|Croatian War of Independence|
|Part of the Yugoslav wars|
Vukovar in ruins 1991
| Croatian military|
| Republic of Serb Krajina|
Yugoslav People's Army
Paramilitary organisations from other countries
|Franjo Tuđman (President of Croatia)|
Anton Tus (Chief of Staff of Croatian Army 1991-1992)
Janko Bobetko (Chief of Staff of Croatian Army 1992-1995)
Atif Dudakovic (Commander of fifth Korps of ARBiH 1995
(President of Serbia)
(President of Republic of Serb Krajina)
(Commander in Chief of the Army of Republic of Serb Krajina)
(Chief of Staff of Yugoslav People's Army)
|Casualties and losses|
The Croatian War of Independence was a war in Croatia from 1991 to 1995. War is an international relations Dispute, characterized by organized Violence between National Military units Croatia (Hrvatska ˈxȓvatska officially the Republic of Croatia ( Republika Hrvatska) is a southern Central European country at the crossroads between Year 1991 ( MCMXCI) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar. Year 1995 ( MCMXCV) was a Common year starting on Sunday. Events of 1995 Initially, the war was between Croatian police forces and the rebelling Serb minority proclaiming an autonomous Republic of Serb Krajina. Serbs ( Serbian: Срби Srbi) are a South Slavic people living in the Balkans and Central Europe, mainly in Serbia,
Over time, the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) began siding with rebel Serbs, openly preventing the Croatian security forces from quelling the rebellion. The Yugoslav People's Army (JNA YPA ( Serbo-Croatian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian: Jugoslavenska Narodna Armija or Jugoslovenska The Croatian side aimed to establish a sovereign Republic of Croatia, outside from the now defunct Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ( Serbo-Croatian, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, Macedonian: Croatia's rebelling Serbs, supported from Serbia,  wanted to remain part of Yugoslavia, effectively seeking new boundaries in those parts of Croatia with a Serb majority or significant minority,  by conquering as much of Croatia as possible. 
In Croatia the war is referred to as Domovinski rat (Homeland War), and due to its recent history, it is often contracted to just rat (war). In Serbia, the phrase Rat u Hrvatskoj (War in Croatia) is the most common name. (See Nomenclatorial note below. )
The war in Croatia resulted from the rise of nationalism in the 1980s which slowly led to the dissolution of Yugoslavia. See also Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia ( Serbo-Croatian A crisis emerged in Yugoslavia with the weakening of the Communist states in Eastern Europe towards the end of the Cold War, as symbolised by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Cold War is the state of conflict tension and competition that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union (USSR and their respective allies from the In Yugoslavia, the national communist party, officially called Alliance or the League of Communists had lost its ideological potency. League of Communists of Yugoslavia ( Savez komunista Jugoslavije) before 1952 the Communist Party of Yugoslavia ( Komunistička partija Jugoslavije) was Tensions between Croats and Serbs were nothing new in the 1990s, rhetoric often claiming it was centuries of history. However, conflicts only arose in the twentieth century, with the unification of South Slavs.
In the 1980s, Albanian secessionist movements in Kosovo led to repression of the Albanian majority in Serbia's southern province. The more prosperous republics of Slovenia and Croatia wanted to move towards decentralisation and democracy. Slovenia, officially the Republic of Slovenia (Republika Slovenija) is a Country in southern Central Europe bordering Italy to the west Serbia, headed by Slobodan Milošević, adhered to centralism and one party rule through the Yugoslav Communist Party. Milošević effectively ended autonomy of Kosovo and Vojvodina autonomous regions.
At the same time, the Yugoslav Peoples Army underwent transformation to a Serb-controlled and dominated force, and army command regions were changed to enable easier command in future wars (with the 1st command region with HQ in Belgrade, which closely resembled the desirable future borders of "Greater Serbia"). The term Greater Serbia or Great Serbia ( Serbian: Велика Србија Velika Srbija) applies to the key current within Serbian
This article is part of the series on the
|Before the Croats|
|Origins of the Croats|
|Medieval Croatian state|
|Kingdom of Croatia|
|Union with Hungary|
|State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs|
|Kingdom of Yugoslavia|
|Independent State of Croatia|
|Socialist Republic of Croatia|
(as part of SFR Yugoslavia)
|War of independence|
|Republic of Croatia|
As nationalism based on each republic's individual matters grew, it was apparent that Yugoslavia would soon be replaced by numerous successor states. Croatia first appeared as a Duchy in the 7th century and then as a kingdom in the 10th century The area known as Croatia today has been inhabited throughout the Prehistoric period ever since the Stone Age. Croats (Hrvati are a South Slavic people mostly living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby countries The Croatian people trace their origins to Slavic peoples which moved into the territory of the former Roman provinces Pannonia and Dalmatia The Kingdom of Croatia was an independent state from circa 925 until 1102 covering most of what is today Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Balkans Following the Battle of Mohács, in 1527 the Croatian (and Hungarian) nobles needed to decide on a new king The State of Slovenes Croats and Serbs was a short-lived state formed from the southernmost parts of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy after its dissolution at the end of The Kingdom of Yugoslavia (Serbo-Croato-Slovene ie Serbo-Croatian, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene: Kraljevina Jugoslavija The Independent State of Croatia ( Croatian: Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, NDH was a Puppet state of the Axis powers. Socialist Republic of Croatia ( Croato-Serbian and Croatian: Socijalistička Republika Hrvatska) was a Socialist state that was a Constituent The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ( Serbo-Croatian, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, Macedonian: Croatia first appeared as a Duchy in the 7th century and then as a kingdom in the 10th century As Slobodan Milošević rose to power in Serbia, his rhetoric favoured the continued unity of all Serbs in a single state. As Slovenia and Croatia began to seek greater autonomy within the Federation, including confederative status and even full independence, the nationalist ideas started to grow within the ranks of the still-ruling League of Communists. A confederation is a group of empowered states or communities usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution League of Communists of Yugoslavia ( Savez komunista Jugoslavije) before 1952 the Communist Party of Yugoslavia ( Komunistička partija Jugoslavije) was
In March 1989, the crisis in Yugoslavia deepened after the adoption of amendments to the Serbian constitution. This allowed the Serbian republic's government to re-assert effective power over the autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina. The Autonomous Province of Vojvodina ( Serbian: Аутономна Покрајина Војводина or Autonomna Pokrajina Vojvodina; Hungarian: Vajdaság Before this point, a number of political decisions were legislated from within these provinces. They also had a vote on the Yugoslav federal presidency level (six members from republics and two members from autonomous provinces).  Serbia, under president Slobodan Milošević, gained control over three out of eight votes in the Yugoslav presidency and this is used in 1991 when Serbian parliament has changed Riza Sapunxhiu and Nenad Bućin representatives of Kosovo and Vojvodina with Jugoslav Kostić and Sejdo Bajramović . The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ( Serbo-Croatian, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, Macedonian: Last vote is given from Montenegro which government has survived first putsch in October 1988  but not second in January 1989 . Montenegro ( British English) Montenegrin / Serbian: PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THE LANGUAGES WITHOUT CONSENSUS ON THE TALK PAGE! Serbia was thus with 4 out of 8 presidency votes able to heavily influence decisions of the federal government. This situation led to objections in other republics and calls for reform of the Yugoslav Federation.
The weakening of the communist regime allowed nationalism to spread its political presence, even within the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (CY). League of Communists of Yugoslavia ( Savez komunista Jugoslavije) before 1952 the Communist Party of Yugoslavia ( Komunistička partija Jugoslavije) was In January 1990, the League of Communists broke up on the lines of the individual republics. At the 14th Extraordinary Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, on January 20th, 1990, the delegations of the republics could not agree on the main issues in the Yugoslav federation. The Croatian delegation demanded a looser federation, while the Serbian delegation, headed by Milošević, opposed this. As a result, the Slovenian and Croatian delegates left the Congress. Slovenia, officially the Republic of Slovenia (Republika Slovenija) is a Country in southern Central Europe bordering Italy to the west Croatia (Hrvatska ˈxȓvatska officially the Republic of Croatia ( Republika Hrvatska) is a southern Central European country at the crossroads between This is considered by some to be the beginning of the end of Yugoslavia. See also Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia ( Serbo-Croatian
The first free elections were then scheduled a few months later in Croatia and Slovenia. An election is a Decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold formal office The elections in Croatia were held in April/May, the first round on 22 April, and the second round on 6 May. First free multi-party elections for Croatian Parliament were held between April 22 and May 7 1990.
In 1989 a number of political parties had been founded, among them the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ - Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica), led by Croatian nationalist Franjo Tuđman. The Croatian Democratic Union (Hrvatska demokratska zajednica HDZ is the main Center-right Political party in Croatia. Franjo Tuđman ( May 14, 1922 - December 10, 1999. Tuđman was elected to the position of President of Croatia by the Parliament The HDZ based its campaign on an aspiration to independence and on a general anti-Yugoslav rhetoric, fueling the sentiment of Croats that "only the HDZ could protect Croatia from the aspirations of Serbian elements led by Slobodan Milošević towards a Greater Serbia". The term Greater Serbia or Great Serbia ( Serbian: Велика Србија Velika Srbija) applies to the key current within Serbian It topped the poll in the elections (followed by Ivica Račan's reformed communists, Social Democratic Party of Croatia) and formed a new Croatian Government. Ivica Račan ( February 24 1944 – April 29 2007) was a Croatian Leftist politician who led the Social Democratic The Social Democratic Party of Croatia (Socijaldemokratska partija Hrvatske is the main Social democratic political party in Croatia. The Government of the Republic of Croatia ( Vlada Republike Hrvatske) commonly abbreviated to Croatian Government ( Hrvatska Vlada) is the main element
An important factor in Croatia's preservation of its pre-war borders was the Yugoslav Constitution change in 1974. which allowed all republics inside Yugoslavia to become independent through elections. These borders were agreed on all sides during AVNOJ in 1945. AVNOJ ( Antifašističko V(ijeće Narodnog Oslobođenja Jugoslavije) standing for " Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia " Many future HDZ politicians, including Tuđman, made international visits during the late 1980s and early 1990s in order to garner support from the Croatian diaspora for the Croatian national cause. In Serbia, the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) president Vojislav Seselj visited the US and was awarded the honourary title of ‘Vojvoda’ (warlord) by Momčilo Đujić,a WWII Chetnik leader. The Serbian Radical Party (Српска радикална странка or Srpska radikalna stranka, SRS is a Nationalist right-wing Political party Vojislav Šešelj ( Serbian Cyrillic: Војислав Шешељ ˈvɔjislav ˈʃɛʃɛʎ (b Momčilo R Đujić ( Serbian: Момчило P Ђујић ( February 27, 1907 - September 11, 1999) was the Serbian Chetnik . This caused an outrage across Yugoslavia. Years later Milan Babic (leader of Croatian Serbs}testified that Momčilo Đujić supported financially the rebellion of Croatian Serbs in 1990's. 
On 13 May 1990, a football game was held in Zagreb between Zagreb's Dinamo team and Belgrade's Crvena Zvezda team. Events 1497 - Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Girolamo Savonarola. Year 1990 ( MCMXC) was a Common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar) The Dinamo Zagreb-Red Star Belgrade riot was an infamous football riot that took place on May 13 1990 at Maksimir stadium in Zagreb, Croatia Dinamo Zagreb is one of the most famous and successful Croatian football clubs Belgrade (Београд Beograd is the Capital and largest city of Serbia. Matches between these two top Yugoslav soccer teams were always high-risk, but in 1990, the game erupted into violence. The day before the match, the ultras of Dinamo Zagreb - Bad Blue Boys and Red Star Belgrade - Delije had already been causing trouble in the streets of Zagreb. Bad Blue Boys (abbreviation BBB) are supporters and the firm of the Zagreb football club NK Dinamo. History Since the very beginning of Red Star Belgrade, there was a section of members-friends of the Sports Club Red Star which had about 100 faithful supporters Zagreb (ˈzɑːgrɛb is the Capital and the largest city of Croatia. Before the ultras of the two respective clubs were given entry to the Maksimir stadium, they were checked for weapons, because of the high risk of the two fan fractions clashing. Maksimir is one of the neighborhoods of Zagreb, Croatia. Maksimir stadium and Park Maksimir are located in it The match started with both fan groups shouting provocative slogans at each other. Suddenly the Dinamo and Red Star ultras started throwing stones at each other. Ultras ( Latin word deriving from beyond in English with the implication that their enthusiasm is 'beyond' the normal are a sanctioned form of sports team supporters Nobody knows who threw the first stone. Shortly after that the Red Star ultras started to tear the stadium apart, ruining seats and advertising boards. The Red Star ultras got out of the area which was reserved to them, and attacked and beat up a neutral group of Croats, who were watching the match. Some of the attacked Croats were lying down unconscious, but all these events found place, without a reaction from the militia (Communist-era police) which was mainly Serb controlled. Communism is a Socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless Society based This fuelled the whole situation on the stadium, as the fan fractions of Dinamo began to tear down the fence, to get to the other side of the stadium, so they could help the Croats who were getting physically attacked by the Red Star ultras. First when the Dinamo ultras tore down the fence, the police reacted sending many policemen to prevent the Croats to get to the other side of the stadium. It evolved into a battle between the Croatian Dinamo fans and the Yugoslav police. The Dinamo ultras succeeded in getting over to the other end of the stadium to the Red Star ultras and everything resulted in a clash, ending the game and resulting in over 60 people hurt, including some stabbed, shot and poisoned by tear gas. A lachrymatory agent or lachrymator (from lacrima meaning "a tear " in Latin) (commonly referred to as tear gas) is a
On 30 May 1990, the new Croatian Parliament held its first session, and President Tuđman announced his manifesto for a new Constitution (ratified at year-end - see below) and a multitude of political, economic and social changes, notably to what extent minority rights (mainly for Serbs and Bosniaks), would be guaranteed. Events 1416 - The Council of Constance, called by the Emperor Sigismund a supporter of Antipope John XXIII burns Jerome of Prague following Local Serb politicians opposed the new constitution, on the grounds that the local Serb population would be threatened. Their prime concern was that a new constitution would not any more designate Croatia a "national state of the Croatian people, a state of the Serbian people and any other people living in it" but a "national state of the Croatian people and any people living in it". This indeed happened once the Constitution was passed by the year's end, which made the Serbs, who comprised 12% of the total population, a national minority. They felt that as a people explicitly mentioned in the constitution they had a separate right to veto the decisions of the common parliament and of the common referendum and thus deny Croatia separation from Yugoslavia, or in the case of an independence move, to separate themselves from the new Croatian state and unilaterally set the new borders.
In August 1990, an unrecognized referendum was held in regions with a substantial Serb population (which would later become known as the Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK)) (bordering western Bosnia and Herzegovina) on the question of Serb "sovereignty and autonomy" in Croatia. The Republic of Serbian Krajina abbreviated RSK (Република Српска Крајина РСК sometimes also translated "Republic of Serb Krajina" Bosnia and Herzegovina ( Latin script: Bosna i Hercegovina, Cyrillic script: Босна и Херцеговина is a country on the Balkan This was to counter the changes in the constitution. The Croatian government tried to block the referendum by sending police forces to rebelling police stations in Serb-populated areas to seize their weapons. Among other incidents, local Serbs from the southern hinterlands of Croatia, mostly around the city of Knin, blocked the roads to the tourist destinations in Dalmatia. Knin ( Croatian: Knin Latin and medieval Hungarian: Tinin, Italian Tenin, Serbian: Книн is a historical town in the Dalmatia ( Croatian: Dalmacija, see names in other languages) is a region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, situated mostly in modern This incident is known as the "Log revolution". The Log Revolution (Balvan revolucija was an incident which started from August 17, 1990 in areas of the Socialist Republic of Croatia which were populated Years later, during Milan Martić's trial, Milan Babić would claim that he was tricked by Martić into agreeing to the Log Revolution, and that it and the entire war in Croatia was Martić's responsibility, orchestrated by Belgrade. Milan Martić ( Serbian Cyrillic: Милан Мартић (born 18 November 1954) is a Serbian politician convicted of War crimes Milan Babić (Милан Бабић February 26, 1956 &ndash March 5, 2006) was from 1991 to 1995 the first President of the Belgrade (Београд Beograd is the Capital and largest city of Serbia.  The Croatian government responded to the blockade of roads by sending special police teams in helicopters to the scene, but they were intercepted by Yugoslav Army fighter jets and forced to turn back to Zagreb.
The Serbs within Croatia did not initially seek independence before 1990. On 30 September 1990, the Serbian National Council declared "the autonomy of the Serbian people in ethnic and historic territories on which they live and which are within the current boundaries of the Republic of Croatia as a federal unit of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia". Events 1399 - Henry IV is proclaimed King of England. 1744 - France and Spain defeat the Year 1990 ( MCMXC) was a Common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar)
Following Tuđman's election and the perception of a threat from the new constitution, Serb nationalists in the Kninska Krajina region began taking armed action against Croatian government officials. Kninska Krajina ( English: Knin region) is a geographical region in Croatia. Many were forcibly expelled or excluded from the RSK. Croatian government property throughout the region was increasingly controlled by local Serb municipalities or the newly established "Serbian National Council". This would later become the government of the breakaway Republic of Serbian Krajina. It was led by Milan Babić, who later would be convicted for war crimes and would openly show remorse for his role (and testify against other Serb leaders). Milan Babić (Милан Бабић February 26, 1956 &ndash March 5, 2006) was from 1991 to 1995 the first President of the
On 22 December 1990, the Parliament of Croatia ratified the new constitution, changing the status of Serbs in Croatia to a 'national minority' from a 'constituent nation'. Events 1790 - The Turkish fortress of Izmail is stormed and captured by Suvorov and his Russian armies The percentage of those declaring themselves as Serbs, according to the 1991 census, was 12% (78% of the population declared itself to be Croat). This was read as taking away some of the rights from the Serbs granted by the previous Socialist constitution, thereby fueling extremism among the Serbs of Croatia. Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the Means of production and distribution
Consequently, many Serbs began to lose their government jobs in Croatia, particularly after the ratification of the new constitution. This further escalated tensions. Furthermore, Slovenia was also well into its own process towards independence. Slovenia, officially the Republic of Slovenia (Republika Slovenija) is a Country in southern Central Europe bordering Italy to the west On 23 December 1990 — one day after the new Croatian Constitution was passed — Slovenia held a referendum on independence. Events 962 - Byzantine-Arab Wars: Under the future Emperor Nicephorus Phocas, Byzantine troops stormed the city This passed with 88% of the vote.
Immediately after the Slovenian referendum and the new Croat constitution, the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) announced that a new defense doctrine would apply across the country. The Tito-era doctrine of "General People's Defense", in which each republic maintained a Territorial defense force (Teritorijalna obrana or TO), would henceforth be replaced by a centrally-directed system of defense. Territorial Defense Forces ( Serbian and Macedonian: Територијална одбрана Teritorijalna odbrana, Croatian: Teritorijalna Territorial Defense Forces ( Serbian and Macedonian: Територијална одбрана Teritorijalna odbrana, Croatian: Teritorijalna The republics would lose their role in defense matters and their TOs would be disarmed and subordinated to JNA headquarters in Belgrade.
The Yugoslav People's Army was initially formed during World War II under guerrilla warfare against Axis occupation. The Yugoslav People's Army (JNA YPA ( Serbo-Croatian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian: Jugoslavenska Narodna Armija or Jugoslovenska World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including Guerrilla warfare is the unconventional warfare and combat with which a small group of combatants use mobile tactics (ambushes raids etc The success of the Partisan movement led to the JNA basing much of its operational strategy on guerrilla warfare. The Yugoslav Partisans, or simply the Partisans, ( Serbo-Croatian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Slovene: Partizani Due to the unique political stance of Yugoslavia in Europe, the strategic planners of the Army expected to face an attack by either NATO or Warsaw Pact forces. The North Atlantic Treaty The Warsaw Pact (see Nomenclature) was an organization of Communist states in Central and Eastern Europe. Expecting to be badly outmatched, the JNA decided to pursue a guerrilla strategy, which would prove disastrous in the upcoming war, since the JNA found itself in a position of an attacker without local civilian support - the very role they intended for invaders of Yugoslavia.
Still, on paper, the JNA looked like a mighty force with 2000 tanks and 300 jet aircraft (all either Soviet or locally produced). However, by 1991, majority of this equipment was over 30 years old: the main T-54/55 tank and the MiG-21 aircraft made up 60% and 40% of the tank force and air-force respectively. The T-54 and T-55 tank were a series of Main battle tanks designed by the Soviet Union. WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout By contrast, more modern cheap anti-tank (like AT-5) and anti-aircraft (like SA-14) missiles were abundant, which were designed to destroy much more advanced weaponry. The 9M113 Konkurs (9М113 «Конкурс» Contest) SACLOS wire-guided Anti-tank missile of the Soviet Union. The 9K34 Strela-3 (9К34 «Стрела-3» Arrow) man-portable air defence missile system ( MANPADS) was developed in the Soviet Union as a response Furthermore, the JNA was a multinational force: the political infighting meant that desertion of men (especially educated cadre from Yugoslavia's more developed northern areas) would ruin the Army's effectiveness. With the retreat of the JNA forces in 1992, JNA units were reorganized as the Army of Serb Krajina, which was a direct heir to JNA organization with little improvement. During 1991, an important role in the Yugo/Serb military assault forces was filled by paramilitary units like Beli Orlovi, Srpski Četnički Pokret, etc. For the other Serbian military group named White Eagles, see White Eagles (anticommunist. who committed numerous massacres on Croat and other non-Serbs civlians.
By contrast to this force, the Croatian Army was in much worse state. The Croatian Ground Army (Hrvatska kopnena vojska commonly referred to as the Croatian Army ( Hrvatska vojska) is a branch of the Armed Forces of the At the early stage of the war, lack of military units meant that the Croatian police force would take much of the brunt of fighting - eventually the police would form the core of the new military force - initially named "Zbor Narodne Garde" (ZNG), later "Hrvatska Vojska" (HV) - that was formed in 1990, but not really developed until 1993. Police are agents or agencies usually of the executive, empowered to enforce the law and to effect public and social order through the legitimatized use of force The Croatian National Guard (Zbor narodne garde ZNG) was the name of the first modern Croatian military force The Croatian Ground Army (Hrvatska kopnena vojska commonly referred to as the Croatian Army ( Hrvatska vojska) is a branch of the Armed Forces of the Weaponry was always lacking and many units were formed either unarmed or with WW2-era rifles. The Croatian Army had just a handful of tanks (even older WW2 veterans like the T-34) and it's air-force was even worse: a few old Antonov An-2 biplane crop-dusters were converted to drop makeshift bombs. The T-34 was a Soviet medium tank produced from 1941 to 1958 It is widely regarded as having been the world's best Tank when the Soviet Union WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout The army was, however, highly motivated, and was formed into local fighting units - so people from a village would defend their own village - which meant they were fairly effective in their home grounds. In August 1991, the Croat Army had fewer than 20 brigades, which would grow to 60 by the end of the year through general mobilization which was called in October. A brigade is a Military unit Echelon: is Seizing of JNA's barracks in the Battle of the barracks would slightly alleviate the problem of equipment shortage. Battle of the barracks (Bitka za vojarne - sometimes also called War for the barracks - is a term given to a series of engagement that took place throughout Croatia Local volunteers and organizations like HOS were formed early on to ease the problem of lack of units, but were later integrated into the regular army. The Croatian Defence Forces (Hrvatske obrambene snage or HOS) was one of the first armed forces assembled by the Croats during the Croatian War of Independence
By 1995, the Croatian Army would develop into an effective fighting force - probably the best in the region - centered on the elite "Guard Brigades" (eight) and less effective "Home Defence Regiments" and regular brigades. This organization meant that in later campaigns, the Croatian army would pursue a variant of a blitzkrieg with Guard brigades taking the role of punching holes in the enemy lines, while other units simply held the front and completed the encirclement of enemy units. Blitzkrieg (German for "lightning war" is a popular name for an Offensive operational-level Military doctrine which involves an initial
Ethnic hatred grew and various incidents fueled the propaganda machines on both sides, thereby causing even more hatred. Vukovar is a city and municipality in eastern Croatia, and the biggest River Port in Croatia located at the confluence of the Vuka Ethnic hatred, inter-ethnic hatred, racial hatred, or ethnic tension refers to feelings and acts of Prejudice and hostility towards an Propaganda is a concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behaviors of large numbers of people The conflict soon escalated into armed incidents in the rebel-led areas. Serbian separatists in Croatia began a series of attacks on Croatian police units, killing more than 20 by the end of April. The Plitvice Lakes incident in late March 1991 stands out. The Plitvice Lakes incident of March 1991 (known in Croatian as "Plitvice Bloody Easter" Krvavi Uskrs na Plitvicama / Plitvički Krvavi Uskrs) was a clash
In April 1991, the Serbs within Croatia began to make serious moves to secede from Croatia. It is a matter of debate to what extent this move was locally motivated and to what degree Milošević-led Serb government gave the push to self-declare. In any event, the Republic of Serbian Krajina was declared—which the Croatian government saw as a rebellion. The Republic of Serbian Krajina abbreviated RSK (Република Српска Крајина РСК sometimes also translated "Republic of Serb Krajina" This is often seen as the beginning of the Croatian War of Independence. It started in areas that had a substantial Serb population.
The Croatian Ministry of the Interior consequently started arming an increasing amount of special police forces, and this led into the building of a real army. Special police and Special Police Force are terms which have different meanings in different countries as described below On 9 April 1991, Croatian President Franjo Tuđman ordered the special police forces to be renamed Zbor Narodne Garde ("National Guard"), marking the creation of a separate military of Croatia. Events 193 - Septimius Severus is proclaimed Roman Emperor by the army in Illyricum (in the Balkans) Year 1991 ( MCMXCI) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar. Franjo Tuđman ( May 14, 1922 - December 10, 1999. Tuđman was elected to the position of President of Croatia by the Parliament Croatian military is officially called Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia (Oružane snage Republike Hrvatske and it consists of these branches
Meanwhile, the federal army, the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and the local Territorial Defense Forces remained led by the nominally Federal government under Milošević. The Yugoslav People's Army (JNA YPA ( Serbo-Croatian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian: Jugoslavenska Narodna Armija or Jugoslovenska Territorial Defense Forces ( Serbian and Macedonian: Територијална одбрана Teritorijalna odbrana, Croatian: Teritorijalna On occasion, the JNA sided with the local Croat Serb forces.
On May, Stipe Mesić, a Croat, was scheduled to be the chairman of the rotating presidency in Yugoslavia, but Serbia upped the ante by blocking the installation of him, so this maneuver technically left the Yugoslavia without a leader. 
On 19 May 1991, Croatian authorities held a referendum on independence with an option of remaining in Yugoslavia as a looser union. Events 1535 - French explorer Jacques Cartier sets sail on his second voyage to North America with three ships 110 men and The Croatian Independence Referendum was held on May 19, 1991 and led to independence of Croatia from the Socialist Federal Republic of Serb local authorities issued calls for a boycott, which were largely followed by Croatian Serbs, so the referendum was passed with 94. A boycott is a form of Consumer activism involving the act of voluntarily abstaining from using buying or dealing with someone or some other organization as an expression of 17% in favor. Croatia declared independence and "razdruženje" (departnerising) from Yugoslavia on 25 June 1991, but the European Commission urged them to place a three-month moratorium on the decision. Events 524 - Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeat the Burgundians The European Commission (formally the Commission of the European Communities) is the executive branch of the European Union. The Brioni Agreement (Brionska deklaracija Brijunska deklaracija is a document signed on the Brijuni islands near Pula, Croatia, on 7 July 1991 by representatives Croatia thereby agreed to freeze its independence declaration for three months, helping to calm tensions a little.
One month after the declaration of independence, Serbian forces held about a quarter of the country, mostly those with a predominantly ethnic Serbian population. They had obvious superiority in weaponry and equipment. The military strategy of the Serbian forces partly consisted of extensive shelling, at times irrespective of civilians. A shell is a payload-carrying Projectile, which as opposed to shot, contains an explosive or other filling though modern usage includes large solid projectiles As the war progressed, the cities of Dubrovnik, Šibenik, Zadar, Karlovac, Sisak, Slavonski Brod, Osijek, Vinkovci and Vukovar all came under attack by the Serbian forces. ||-||-||-||-||-||-||} Dubrovnik (ˈdǔbro̞ːʋniːk Dalmatian: Ragusa; Latin: Ragusium, also Rhausium, Rhaugia; Šibenik is a historic town in Croatia, population 51553 (2001 Zadar is a city in Croatia on the Adriatic Sea, with a population of 72717 (2001 Karlovac (( Slovene: Karlovec, German: Karlstadt or Carlstadt, Hungarian: Károlyváros) is a city and municipality Sisak ( German: Sissek, Hungarian: Sziszek, Italian: Siscia) is a City in Slavonski Brod is a city in Croatia, with a population of 61823 in 2001. Osijek (ˈɔsjɛk is the fourth largest city in Croatia with a population of 114616 in 2001 Vinkovci is a Croatian town in eastern Slavonia, with a population of 32455 (2001 making it the largest town of the Vukovar is a city and municipality in eastern Croatia, and the biggest River Port in Croatia located at the confluence of the Vuka
The UN imposed a weapons embargo, which affected JNA-backed Serb forces, but heavily hurt the young Croatian army. In international Commerce and politics, an embargo is the prohibition of commerce This forced Croatian elements to start smuggling weapons over its borders.
In June/July 1991, the short armed conflict in Slovenia came to a speedy and fairly peaceful conclusion, partly because of the ethnic homogeneity of the Slovene population. The Ten-Day War (Desetdnevna vojna sometimes called the Slovenian Independence War (Slovenska osamosvojitvena vojna was a brief military conflict between Slovenia During this war, a great number of Croatian and Slovenian soldiers refused to fight and started to escape from the JNA.
In July, in an attempt to salvage what remained of the country minus Slovenia, the JNA forces found itself involved in operations against predominantly-Croat areas - such as the Dalmatian coastal areas in the Battle of Dalmatia. The Battle of Dalmatia (Bitka za Dalmaciju Битка за Далмацију) was a military engagement in Croatia for the coastal region of Dalmatia Full-scale war erupted in August. Other names In Arabic, the month is called أغسطسص ʾUġusṭuṣ or آب ʾĀb; usage varies from place to place and Like in Slovenia, when Croatians had refused to fight, with the start of military operations in Croatia, Albanians, Macedonians and Bosnians started to desert the JNA in mass. } Albanians (Shqiptarët are an Ethnic group and a Nation, in the sense of sharing a common Albanian culture speaking the Albanian language The Macedonians (Македонци transliterated Makedonci) also referred to as Macedonian Slavs --> --> are a South Slavic people This is page about Bosnians (as citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina) After this, an estimated 90% of JNA's soldiers were Serbs and the Yugoslav army was seen to be a de facto Serbian army.
In August 1991, the border city of Vukovar came under siege and the Battle of Vukovar began. Vukovar is a city and municipality in eastern Croatia, and the biggest River Port in Croatia located at the confluence of the Vuka The Battle of Vukovar was an 87-day Siege of the Croatian city of Vukovar by the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA supported by various Serbian Serbian troops eventually completely surrounded the city. The Croat population of Vukovar, Croatian troops including the 204th Vukovar Brigade, entrenched themselves within Vukovar and held their ground against a large number of JNA's elite Armoured and Mechanized brigades, as well as many Serb paramilitary units. A certain number of ethnic Croatian civilians had taken shelter inside the city. Other elements of the civilian population fled the areas of armed conflict en masse: generally speaking, Croats moved away from the Bosnian and Serbian border, while the Serbs moved towards it.
There is evidence of extreme hardship imposed on the population at the time.  Some estimates include 220,000 Croats and 300,000 Serbs were internally displaced for the duration of the war in Croatia. Internally displaced persons (IDPs are people forced to flee their homes but who unlike refugees remain within their country's borders However at the peak of fighting in late 1991, around 550,000 people temporarily became refugees on the Croatian side. The 1991 census data and the 1993 RSK data for the territory of Krajina differ by some 102,000 Serbs and 135,000 Croats. The Republic of Serbian Krajina abbreviated RSK (Република Српска Крајина РСК sometimes also translated "Republic of Serb Krajina" In many places, large amounts of civilians were forced out by the military. This was labelled as ethnic cleansing, a term whose meaning at the time ranged from eviction to cold murder. Ethnic cleansing is a Euphemism referring to the persecution through imprisonment expulsion or killing of members of an ethnic minority by a majority to achieve ethnic homogeneity It was at this time that the term "ethnic cleansing" first entered the English lexicon.
President Tuđman made a speech on 5 October 1991 in which he called upon the whole population to mobilize and defend against what he deemed "Greater-Serbian imperialism" pursued by the Serb-led JNA, Serbian paramilitary formations and rebelled Serbs' forces. The T-54 and T-55 tank were a series of Main battle tanks designed by the Soviet Union. Events 869 - The Fourth Council of Constantinople is convened to decide about what to do about Patriarch Photius of Constantinople This article describes military mobilization For other meanings see Mobilization (disambiguation. The term Greater Serbia or Great Serbia ( Serbian: Велика Србија Velika Srbija) applies to the key current within Serbian On 7 October, an explosion occurred within the main government building in Zagreb while Tuđman, Mesić and Marković were present. Events 3761 BC - The epoch (origin of the modern Hebrew calendar ( Proleptic Julian calendar) Zagreb (ˈzɑːgrɛb is the Capital and the largest city of Croatia. Stjepan "Stipe" Mesić (born December 24, 1934) is a Croatian politician Ante Marković (born November 25, 1924) is a Yugoslav statesman The explosion destroyed several rooms of Banski dvori, but failed to kill any of the leaders. Banski dvori is the name of the historical building on the west side of St The government claimed that it was caused by a JNA air raid. Apparently, the Croatian army received information from Bihać (BiH) JNA airfield the day before, about a top secret air mission being prepared for the next day, but these were not taken seriously due to lack of details. Bihać is a town and municipality on the Una River in the north-western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, center of the Una-Sana Canton of the Bosnia and Herzegovina ( Latin script: Bosna i Hercegovina, Cyrillic script: Босна и Херцеговина is a country on the Balkan  The JNA denied the responsibility and in turn claimed that the explosion was set up by the Croatian government itself. It is claimed by some that the few embassies and consulates in Zagreb at the time had withdrawn some of their staff for that day—suggesting that there was prior information about a pending air attack or bomb. The next day, the Croatian Parliament cut off all remaining ties with Yugoslavia. 8 October is Croatia's "Independence Day". Events 314 - Roman Emperor Licinius is defeated by his colleague Constantine I at the Battle of Cibalae, and loses Croatia (Hrvatska ˈxȓvatska officially the Republic of Croatia ( Republika Hrvatska) is a southern Central European country at the crossroads between The bombing of the government and the Siege of Dubrovnik that started in October were contributing factors to EU sanctions against Serbia. Siege of Dubrovnik ( Croatian: Opsada Dubrovnika) is a term marking the battle and siege of the city of Dubrovnik and the surrounding area in
The situation for Croats in Vukovar over October and early November became ever more desperate. Towards the end of the battle, an increasing number of Croat civilians in hospitals and shelters marked with a red cross were hit by Serb forces. As of 2006, three former Yugoslav army officers are on trial for a massacre at the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ICTY in The Hague. The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991  Veselin Šljivančanin, Mile Mrkšić, and Miroslav Radić deny the charges of murder, torture, and persecution. Veselin Šljivančanin (Веселин Шљиванчанин (born June 13, 1953 in Pavez the municipality of Žabljak, Montenegro, Mile Mrkšić (Миле Мркшић (born July 20, 1947 near Vrginmost, Yugoslavia - now knwon as Gvozd, in Croatia) Prosecutors say that after the capture of Vukovar, the Yugoslav Army (JNA) handed over several hundred Croats to rebel Serbian forces. Of these, at least 264 (including injured soldiers, women, children and the elderly) were murdered and buried in mass graves in the neighbourhood of Ovcara on the outskirts of Vukovar. The city's mayor Slavko Dokmanović was also brought to trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, but committed suicide in 1998 in captivity before proceedings began. Slavko Dokmanović ( Serbian Cyrillic: Славко Докмановић) was born on December 14, 1949 in Yugoslavia (somewhere
On 18 November 1991, Vukovar fell to the Serbs after a three-month siege and Vukovar massacre took place, while survivors were transported in prison camps, majority ending up in Sremska Mitrovica prison camp. Events 326 - The old St Peter's Basilica is consecrated 1302 - Pope Boniface VIII issues the Papal bull Vukovar is a city and municipality in eastern Croatia, and the biggest River Port in Croatia located at the confluence of the Vuka The Vukovar massacre was a war crime that took place between November 18 and November 21 1991 near the city of Vukovar, a mixed Croat Sremska Mitrovica prison camp (also called Sremska Mitrovica Concentration camp by survivors were two facilities in Sremska Mitrovica, Vojvodina The town of Vukovar was almost completely destroyed. The sustained focus on a siege facilitated the attraction of heavy international media attention. Many international journalists were present at the time in or near Vukovar, as was the UN peace mediator, Cyrus Vance (former US President Carter's Secretary of State).  Ironically this siege, despite its brutality, contributed to the beginning of a resolution to the war towards year-end (see below). Allegedly, said the Croat authorities at the time, the Vukovar surrender was an attempt to prevent further devastation of Dubrovnik and other cities.
On 19 December, during the heaviest fighting of the war, the Serbian Autonomous Regions in Krajina and western Slavonia officially declared themselves as the Republic of Serbian Krajina. Events 324 - Licinius abdicates his position as Roman Emperor. Not to be confused with Slovenia, a nearby country Slavonia ( Croatian, Serbian: Slavonija, Cyrillic script The Republic of Serbian Krajina abbreviated RSK (Република Српска Крајина РСК sometimes also translated "Republic of Serb Krajina"
In early November 1991 the Croatian army begun a successful counterattack in Western Slavonia, marking a turning point of the war. the Operation Otkos 10, lasting from 31 October until 4 November resulted in Croatia recapturing 300 km² in areas from mountain Bilogora to mountain Papuk. Operation Otkos 10 was a military offensive undertaken by the Croatian army against the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA in Croatia. Papuk is the largest Mountain in the Slavonia region in eastern Croatia,near the city of Požega. Further advances were made in the second half of December - Operation Orkan 91 - but at that point a lasting cease-fire was about to be signed (in January 1992). Operation Orkan 91 was a Military operation during the Croatian War of Independence. In six months, 10,000 people had died, hundreds of thousands had fled, and tens of thousands of homes had been destroyed.
In late 1991, all Croatian democratic parties gathered together to form a government of national unity and to confront the Yugoslav Army and Serbian paramilitaries. Ceasefires were frequently signed, intermediated by foreign diplomats, but also frequently broken. This was part of the tactics on both sides. The Croatians lost much territory, but profited by being able to expand the Croatian Army—from the seven brigades it had at the time of the first cease-fire—to the 64 brigades it had at the time the last one was signed.
The final UN-sponsored ceasefire, the twentieth one, came in January 1992. Already in December 1991, after this series of unsuccessful cease-fires, the United Nations deployed a protection force in Serbian-held Croatia. The United Nations Protection Force was deployed to supervise and maintain the agreement. The United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR, was the first UN peacekeeping force in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the On 7 January 1992 JNA pilot Emir Šišić shot down a European Community helicopter in Croatia, killing five truce observers. Events 1325 - Alfonso IV becomes King of Portugal. 1558 - France takes Calais, the last continental Emir Šišić (born March 17th 1963 in Živinice near Tuzla, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) is a former pilot of SFR Yugoslav Croatia was officially recognised by European community on 15 January 1992. Events 588 BC - Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah 's reign Year 1992 ( MCMXCII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar) The JNA, the federal army progressively to withdraw from Croatia—even Krajina—although Serb paramilitary groups clearly retained the upper hand in the newly occupied territories. The warring parties mostly moved to entrenched positions as The Yugoslav People's Army soon retreated from Croatia into Bosnia and Herzegovina where war was just about to start. Bosnia and Herzegovina ( Latin script: Bosna i Hercegovina, Cyrillic script: Босна и Херцеговина is a country on the Balkan Croatia became a member of the United Nations on 22 May 1992, which was conditional upon Croatia amending its constitution to protect the human rights of minority groups and dissidents. Events 334 BC - The Greek army of Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus. 
Armed conflict in Croatia continued intermittently at a small scale. There were several smaller operations undertaken by the Croatian forces, in order to relieve the siege of Dubrovnik, and other Croatian cities (Šibenik, Zadar and Gospić) from sporadic Serb shelling attacks that wasn't prevented even by the presence of the UN troops (for example, Osijek, the fourth biggest city in Croatia, lived under a constant official bombing alert until mid-1993, while Šibenik, one of the larger coastal tourist centres, received a shell or two almost every week, especially during late spring and summer). A partial list includes:
Also, Slavonski Brod and Županja were often shelled from Serb-held parts of Bosnia. Slavonski Brod is a city in Croatia, with a population of 61823 in 2001. Links Official Site of Županja Unofficial Site of Županja
Intermittent armed conflict in Croatia continued in 1993 at a smaller scale than in 1991 and 1992. There were more successful operations by Croatian forces, to recover territory and relieve Croatian cities (e. g. Zadar and Gospić) from Serb shelling attacks, but between the 1992 ceasefire and 1995s Croatian offensives, fighting was limited and total effective military action in those three and a half years was only about two weeks. 
In early 1993, there were three notable operations:
While most of these above operations were a relative success for the Croatian government, the unsuccessful Operation Medak pocket in 1993 damaged the international reputation of Croatia. Operation Medak Pocket (Medački džep ( Медачки џеп) was a military operation undertaken by the Croatian Army between September 9 – This led the Croatian army to undertaking no offensive action during the subsequent 12 months. The ICTY later investigated Croatian officers Janko Bobetko, Rahim Ademi, Mirko Norac and others for the alleged crimes committed during this operation. Janko Bobetko (1919–2003 was a Croatian army general and the Croatian army's Chief of the General Staff between 1992 and 1995 Rahim Ademi (born January 30, 1954) is a Croatian Army General of Kosovo - Albanian origin Mirko Norac (born September 19 1967) is a former general of the Croatian Army and is regarded by many Croatians as a national hero
There were many UN resolutions that required Croatia to retreat to previous positions and that Croatia must restrain from military operations. Some Croat elements felt aggrieved, as no such resolutions had prevented the Serbian forces from attacking Croatia in the earlier stages of the war (when the disturbances were considered national, not international). In October 1993, the United Nations Security Council affirmed for the first time that the United Nations Protected Areas were an integral part of the Republic of Croatia.
The UNPROFOR troops mostly did nothing but observed during the 1992-1995 period. However they served to mark the borders set up by the war. They thereby failed to provide refugees with much chance of returning to their previous homes. Estimates of the effectiveness of the Krajina government in expelling its ethnic Croat population that had been living in Krajina go as high as 98%.
During 1992 and 1993, an estimated 225,000 Croats, including refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina and others from Serbia settled in Croatia. A notable number of Bosniaks also fled to Croatia (which was the largest initial destination for Bosniaks). Croatian volunteers and some conscripted soldiers participated in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The War in Bosnia and Herzegovina, commonly known as the Bosnian War, was an international armed conflict that took place between March 1992 and November 1995 Some of President Tuđman's closest associates, notably Gojko Šušak and Ivić Pašalić, were from Croat-dominated Herzegovina, and aimed to help the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, financially and otherwise. Gojko Šušak ( 16 April, 1945 &ndash 3 May, 1998) was a Croatian nationalist politician Minister of Defence from 1991 to 1998 Ivić Pašalić (born November 3, 1960 in Šuica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia) is a Croatian right-wing Herzegovina ( Bosnian, Croatian: Hercegovina, Serbian: Херцеговина) is a traditionally
During the same period, Croatia also accepted 280,000 Bosniak refugees from the Bosnian War. The large number of refugees was significantly straining Croatian economy and infrastructure. The American Ambassador to Croatia, Peter Galbraith, tried to put the amount of Muslim refugees in Croatia into proper perspective in an interview on 8 November 1993. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Peter Woodard Galbraith (born December 31, 1950) AB MA JD is a former United States diplomat Events 1519 - Hernán Cortés enters Tenochtitlán and Aztec ruler Moctezuma welcomes him with great a Celebration He said the situation would be the equivalent of the USA taking in 30,000,000 refugees. 
On 18 February 1993 Croatian authorities signed the Daruvar Agreement with local Serb leaders in Western Slavonia. Events 3102 BC - Epoch (origin of the Kali Yuga. 1229 - The Sixth Crusade: Frederick II Holy Year 1993 ( MCMXCIII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar) The Agreement was kept secret and was working towards normalizing life for the locals on the battlefield line. However, the Knin authorities learned of the deal and arrested the Serbian leaders responsible for it.  It was widely believed that the Serb leaders there were also willing to accept peaceful reintegration into Croatia.
In 1993, the Croats and Bosniaks then turned against each other, just as each was fighting with the Bosnian Serbs. The Bosniaks or Bosniacs (Bošnjak pl Bošnjaci bɔ'ʃɲaːt͡si are a South Slavic people living mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina ("Bosnia" Franjo Tuđman participated in the peace talks between the Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosniaks, which resulted in the Washington Agreement of 1994. The Washington Agreement was a peace agreement mediated between the warring Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (a government This led to the dismantling of the statelet of Herzeg-Bosnia and reduced the number of warring parties in Bosnia to two. The Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia (Hrvatska Republika Herceg-Bosna was an unrecognised entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina that existed between 1991 and 1994 as a result of
In March 1994, the Krajina authorities signed a cease-fire. In late 1994, the Croatian Army intervened several times in Bosnia: 1-3 November in the operation "Cincar" near Kupres, and 29 November - 24 December in the "Winter 94" operation near Dinara and Livno. Dinara is one of the more prominent Mountains located on the border of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Livno is a town in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in south-western part of Bosnia These operations were undertaken in order to detract from the siege of the Bihać region and to approach RSK capital Knin from the north, de facto encircling it on three sides. Bihać is a town and municipality on the Una River in the north-western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, center of the Una-Sana Canton of the
During this time, unsuccessful negotiations were under way between Croatian and RSK governments mediated by the UN. The disputes included opening the Serb-occupied part of the Zagreb-Slavonski Brod highway near Okučani to through traffic, as well as the putative status of majority Serbian areas within Croatia. Highway "Brotherhood and Unity" ( "Bratstvo i jedinstvo", "Братство и јединство" "Bratstvo in enotnost" Okučani is a village in western Slavonia, Croatia. It is located at the contact point between the Posavina plain and the southern slopes of Psunj Repeated failures on these two issues would serve as triggers for the two Croatian offensives in 1995.
In early May 1995, violence again exploded. RSK lost the support of Belgrade, partly in response to international pressure. At the same time, the Croatian army took back the whole of previously occupied territory in western Slavonia during Operation Flash. Not to be confused with Slovenia, a nearby country Slavonia ( Croatian, Serbian: Slavonija, Cyrillic script Operation Flash (Operacija Bljesak was a brief and successful offensive conducted in the beginning of May 1995 by the Croatian Army, which removed Serb Krajina forces As retaliation, Serb forces attacked Zagreb with rockets, killing 7 and wounding over 175 civilians. The Zagreb rocket attack was a series of two Artillery attacks conducted by Serb armed forces that fired ground-to-ground Missiles on the Croatian
In August 1995, Croatia started Operation Storm and quickly overran most of the RSK, except for a small strip near the Serbian border. Year 1995 ( MCMXCV) was a Common year starting on Sunday. Events of 1995 Operation Storm ( Croatian: Operacija Oluja, Serbian Cyrillic: Oпeрaциja Oлуja was the Code name given to a large-scale military operation In just four days, approximately 150-200,000 Serbs fled, mostly to Serbia and Bosnia according to ICTY.
RSK sources (Kovačević, Sekulić, Vrcelj, documents of HQ of Civili Protection of RSK, Supreme Council of Defense) have confirmed that evacuation of Serbs was organized and planned beforehand.  (citing:   , see section "Literature"),  Foreign reporters such as from the BBC reported the once heavily Serb-populated city of Knin to be almost completely abandoned and discovered that some Croatian army forces were burning down abandoned Serb property and remaining Serbs reported looting by Croatian forces.  According to Amnesty International (AI), the operation led to the ethnic cleansing of over 200,000 Croatian Serbs. Amnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty or AI) is a Western based international Non-governmental organization which defines its mission as "to Ethnic cleansing is a Euphemism referring to the persecution through imprisonment expulsion or killing of members of an ethnic minority by a majority to achieve ethnic homogeneity .
The BBC noted 200,000 Serb refugees at one point. 
The nature of this exodus is still disputed among Serbs and Croats: the former tend to claim the ethnic cleansing was planned by the Croatian government, while the latter pinpoint Tuđman's promise not to attack civilians and attribute the cases of killing of the Serb civilians that remained to revenge by groups and individuals outside of the Croatian Army's control. However the real number of refugees is difficult to establish because according to many sources the number of refugees exceeds the population that lived in these parts of Croatia. In support of this, they point to interviews conducted with American General Robert Brown, French philosopher Alain Finkelkraut and the American writer Roy Gutman. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. These are said to have defended the Croat government by clarifying the extent of ethnic cleansing, and arguing that any war crimes or ethnic cleansing were committed outside of control by Croatian officials at the time. Later some Croatian officers were indicted for war crimes during operations at this time.
The Croatian army proceeded to fight Serbs in Bosnia alongside the Bosniaks, but further advances were prevented by U.S. diplomatic intervention. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Had the Croat army occupied the second largest Bosnian town of Banja Luka, near the Croat border, the refugee crisis would have become intolerable. Banja Luka or Banjaluka ( Cyrillic: Бања Лука ˌbaɲaˈluːka is the capital and the largest
A few months later, the war ended with the negotiation of the Dayton Agreement (in Dayton, Ohio). The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the Dayton Agreement, Dayton Accords, Paris Protocol Dayton is a city in southwestern Ohio, United States. It is the County seat and largest city of Montgomery County. This was later signed in Paris in December 1995. Year 1995 ( MCMXCV) was a Common year starting on Sunday. Events of 1995
While on the one hand, crisis emerged in Yugoslavia with the weakening of the Communism in Eastern Europe and the rise of nationalism, on the other the world stood by as developments unfolded. Yet the Western press was full of warnings of impending tragedy in the Balkans right from the start. As the war unfolded in Croatia there were many warnings that this was a prelude for much worse ethnic conflict in Bosnia and Kosovo.
The role of the international community in the war would become a matter of much controversy. Many commentators today condemn the lack of international interest in the war at the time. However they had other matters on their mind. The war developed at a time when the attention of the USA and the world was on Iraq, and the Gulf War in 1991, along with a sharp rise in oil prices and a slowdown in the growth of the world economy. Thereafter it was if the rising influence of nationalist and separatist ideologies found their counterpart in Western and Russian policies of laissez-faire. This was not unique to the Balkans, the European nations refused to intervene for example in Rwanda despite culminating in blatant ethnic cleansing on an even worse scale in 1994.
At first in 1989-91, the international community tried to deny the problem and tended to support the Yugoslav government. The UN imposed a weapons trade embargo for all former Yugoslav republics. It placed the seceding republics in an inferior position, as they had no control over the Yugoslav weaponry which was by and large controlled by the Serb forces. Official recognition of the new states of Slovenia and Croatia and of the status of the SFR Yugoslavia became a controversial issue at the time for foreign governments.
By mid-December 1991, other newly formed states such as Lithuania, Latvia, and Ukraine recognized Croatia's and Slovenia's independence. Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublika is a Country in Eastern often referred to as Northern Europe or in the Latvia ( Latvija officially the Republic of Latvia (Latvijas Republika is a Country in Northern Europe in the Baltic region. Ukraine (Україна Ukrayina, /ukrɑˈjinɑ/ is a country in Eastern Europe. Croatia and Slovenia recognized each other. The Vatican also recognised Croatia. The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, commonly known as the Pope, and is the preeminent Episcopal see of the Roman Catholic
Then, between 19 December and 23 December, several other European countries, including Germany, Sweden and Italy announced their recognition of Croatia's (and Slovenia's) independence. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. "Sverige" redirects here For other uses see Sweden (disambiguation and Sverige (disambiguation. Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest The European Union as a whole recognized the independence of the two breakaway republics on 15 January 1992. The European Union ( EU) is a political and economic union of twenty-seven member states, located primarily in Events 588 BC - Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah 's reign Year 1992 ( MCMXCII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar)
Each of the major foreign governments acted somewhat differently.
Particular attention has been focused on the John Major-led government of the UK for insisting on policies of strict non-intervention. Some historians today see this as helping support the "might is right" powers of the time.
Nearby western European countries were mostly responsive to the demands of the Croatians, notably Germany.
The Eastern countries, e. g. Russia and Greece, were old Serbian allies. They opposed recognition of Croatia. If anything, Boris Yeltsin's government was a moderating influence. However the large changes occurring in Russia at the time were one reason that put the Western nations on their guard, afraid of taking any military action that might have provoked a wider conflict. That fear was no longer so present in 1999, but in the early 1990s it was not easy to decipher how Russia might react.
The USA was among the more conservative forces in the west, as was the United Kingdom (under Prime Minister John Major) in initially practising non-intervention. Sir John Major KG CH ACIB (born 29 March 1943 is a British Politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The administration was led by George Bush as President until end-1992. Matters changed with Bill Clinton, who took a more aggressive stance on the issue and played a more forceful intervention role. William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III, August 19 1946 served as the forty-second President of the United States In 1995 the US, using the latest Predator and other tracking devices, thoroughly observed the movements of the Croatian Army and Gotovina's forces in preparation for Operation Storm. Successive US Secretaries of State Lawrence Eagleburger and Warren Christopher strongly criticised the moves of Germany and others arguing that this would escalate the war. The United States Secretary of State (commonly abbreviated as SecState) is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with Foreign affairs Lawrence Sidney Eagleburger (born August 1 1930) is an American Statesman and former career Diplomat, who served briefly as the Warren (Chris Minor Christopher (born October 27, 1925) is an American Diplomat, Lawyer, and Public servant.
|31 March 1991||Plitvice Lakes incident|
|2 May 1991||Borovo Selo killings|
|1 August 1991||Dalj killings|
|August 1991||Battle of Dalmatia|
|September 1991||Battle of Vukovar begins|
|14 - 19 September 1991||Main part of the Battle of the barracks|
|1 October 1991||Start of the Siege of Dubrovnik|
|4 October 1991||Dalj massacre|
|5 October 1991||Croatia commences general mobilization|
|7 October 1991||JNA bombs Croatian government|
|10 October 1991||Lovas massacre|
|10-13 October 1991||Široka Kula massacre|
|16 - 18 October 1991||Gospić massacre|
|20 October 1991||Baćin massacre|
|31 October 1991 - 4 November 1991||Operation Otkos 10|
|7 November 1991||Ethnic cleansing of Lipovaca, Vukovići and Saborsko|
|18 November 1991||Battle of Vukovar ends, Vukovar massacre|
|18 November 1991||Škabrnja massacre|
|12 December 1991 - 3 January 1992||Operation Orkan 91|
|13 December 1991||Voćin massacre|
|21 December 1991||Bruška massacre|
|21 June 1992||Miljevci plateau battle|
|22 January 1993||Operation Maslenica|
|9 - 17 September 1993||Operation Medak Pocket|
|1 - 3 May 1995||Operation Flash|
|2 - 3 May 1995||Zagreb rocket attack|
|4 - 7 August 1995||Operation Storm|
The 1991 - 1995 war in Croatia is variously called:
Type of war: Two conflicting views exist as to whether the war was a civil or an international war. Since neither Croatia or Yugoslavia declared war on each other, a prevailing view in Serbia was that it was a civil war between Croats and Serbs in Croatia. By contrast, the prevailing view in Croatia is that the war was a war of aggression from Yugoslavia against Croatia, supported by local Serbs. A war of aggression is a Military conflict waged in the absence of "a necessity of self-defense instant overwhelming leaving no choice of means and no moment of deliberation The ICTY (in its indictments) characterized the war to have been civil war until 8 October 1991, when Croatia declared independence, and international war after that date, since another country, Yugoslavia, held its troops (JNA) there. Events 314 - Roman Emperor Licinius is defeated by his colleague Constantine I at the Battle of Cibalae, and loses
Status of local Serbs: The standard definition of the term to rebel means: to refuse allegiance to and oppose by force an established government or ruling authority. Rebellion is a refusal of obedienceIt may therefore be seen as encompassing a range of Behaviours from Civil disobedience and mass Nonviolent resistance  Since the "government or authority" was the elected Croatian parliament, Croatian Serbs were thus rebels who initiated an armed revolt. First free multi-party elections for Croatian Parliament were held between April 22 and May 7 1990. Rebellion is a refusal of obedienceIt may therefore be seen as encompassing a range of Behaviours from Civil disobedience and mass Nonviolent resistance
^ Serbian sources:
^ Croatian sources:
^ International sources: