In 1941 during the World War II the most of Vardar Macedonia and a half of Aegean Macedonia, were annexed by Bulgaria and along with various other regions became Greater Bulgaria. Mihailov refused to return to Bulgarian-occupied part of Macedonia and remained in Croatia until the end of the war. With his help in 1943 some armed detachments - Uhrana, which included pro-Bulgarian Slav-speakers in Italian and German occupied Greek Macedonia were organised. It was apparent that Mihailov had broader plans which envisaged the creation of a Macedonian state under a German control. It was also anticipated that the IMRO volunteers would form the core of the armed forces of a future Independent Macedonia in addition to providing administration and education in the Florina, Kastoria and Edessa districts. In August 1943, Ivan Mihailov left Zagreb incognito for Germany where he was to visit the main headquarters of Hitler and the headquarters of the Sicherheitsdienst, where he spoke to Hitler and Himmler and other top German leaders. From the scant available German information, it is apparent that Mihailov received consent to create three battalions consisting of volunteers armed with German weapons and munitions. Moreover, these battalions were to be under the operative command and disposal of Reichsfuhrer of SS Heinrich Himmler. Additionally, in Sofia talks were held between high-ranking functionaries of the SS and the IMRO Central Committee members. Despite the confidential character of the negotiations between Mihailov and the Sicherheitsdienst, the Bulgarian government obtained certain information about them. In the summer of 1944, Uhrana constituted some 12,000 fighters and volunteers from Bulgaria charged with protection of the local population. During 1944, whole Slavophone villages were armed by the German authorities and developed into the most formidable enemy of ELAS. In September 1944 the Fatherland Front in Sofia made a coup d'état and deposed the pro-German government. After the declaration of war by Bulgaria on Nazi Germany, the Bulgarian troops in Macedonia surrounded by German forces, fought their way back to the old borders of Bulgaria. At this time Ivan Mihailov arrived in German occupied Skopje, where the Germans hoped that he could form a Macedonian puppet-state with their support. Seeing that the war is lost to Germany and to avoid further bloodshed, he refused.<quoted text>
Eternal glory to Todor Alexandrov, Ivan Mihailov, Vlado Cernozemski, Mara Buneva, Georgi Delcev, Damian Gruev and all heroes from VMRO who wanted to see one free Bulgarian Macedonia.
Unlike the leftist resistance, the right wing followers of pro-Bulgarian IMRO of Ivan Mihailov considered the ethnic Macedonians to be Bulgarians, did not support the existence of a separate Macedonian people and they saw the solution of the Macedonian Question in creating a right-wing greater Macedonian state. In the summer of 1944 Ivan Mihailov in coordination with the Gestapo tried to make a final effort to impose his influence in Macedonia. He was transported in a German convoy to German occupied Skopje, where the Germans hoped that he could form a Macedonian state with their support on the base of IMRO.
Seeing that the war is lost to Germany, and that the wider Macedonian masses are loyal to the Macedonian National Liberation Movement led by the CPM, he refused. Seeing that the Macedonian sentiment has triumphed during the several years of struggle, Mihailov's last words were "Let Macedonia without Bulgarians burn in hell" ("Ма ке
76;он& #1080;я бе
83;га& #1088;и, ог
98;н да я го
88;и"). After the meeting in Skopje, Mihajlov escaped in Italy where he died in 1991.