An interesting old CIA analysis of Tito’s strangled Yugoslav grammar and pronuciation concluded that he probably was a Polish or Russian imposter.

The CIA opined that this fact “does not matter a great deal” as his rise to world prominence occurred after any substitution.

Evelyn Waugh famously fretted that Tito was a woman, nay a lesbian, even when confronted with evidence pointing strongly in the opposite direction:

This meeting was the setting for one of the more amusing encounters in EW’s life. EW had previously seized on the idea that Tito might be a woman. It was not his invention; the possibility had been discussed in Foreign Office circles much earlier – Sir Fitzroy Maclean mentions the speculation in his memoirs Eastern Approaches. But once he had got hold of the notion, EW played it for all it was worth with the result that Tito himself got to hear of his witticisms.

Tito was bathing at Vis and displaying his obviously masculine attributes when EW turned up. Tito said to Maclean, ‘Please ask Captain Waugh why he thinks I am a woman.’ Maclean says that EW did not answer but merely looked embarrassed and disconcerted. EW nevertheless continued the joke for the rest of his life, even endowing Tito with lesbian predilections.

But Waugh did correctly grasp that Tito was a communist monster, a fact that did not go down well in Whitehall:

He produced a very thorough and detailed report that — by March 1945 — finally found its way to the Foreign Office. It was a remarkable and alarming document. Although he could not and certainly would not say that the churches had been treated well under the German occupation, they had at least been allowed to exist. Under Tito’s Communists, however, they rapidly disappeared. As Communist power and territorial control increased, Christianity was eradicated — sometimes by the pen, most often by the sword. Moreover, the sectarian rift had been less religiously inspired than actively abetted by the Communists. It was clear that the persecution and murder of clergy, and the disappearances of lay faithful, were Tito’s doing.

Unfortunately, Tito had by now become Britain’s new friend, and no one wanted to hear Waugh’s criticisms. At British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden’s direction, a campaign was mounted to discredit Waugh’s report and its author, even going so far as to threaten Waugh with prosecution under the Official Secrets Act.

But the truth has an inconvenient resistance to such baldfaced manipulation. The report was too detailed and consistent to be a fabrication, and whatever his other faults Waugh was widely known as a scrupulously honest man. Moreover, one can easily imagine the royal stink that his literary pals — most of whom, ironically, were Labor Party supporters — could have raised if such threats had been carried out.

In the end, as often happens in bureaucracies, the offensive document was buried in the Whitehall files, and thus ended the wartime escapades of ‘Captain Wuff.’

I wonder if even a Polish imposter Yugo-communist would have been quite so zealous at demolishing Catholic churches.