Military Review

Serbian fleet away from the sea


Modern river flotilla Serbia

The collapse of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, caused by the surge in nationalism actively supported by Western "democracies", was a true tragedy. A series of interethnic conflicts, territorial claims, economic collapse, as well as actual US intervention accompanied the period of the country's collapse. Against this background, the annihilation of the once modern and sufficiently combat-ready for the tasks of the fleet of Yugoslavia was almost imperceptible.


The Navy of Yugoslavia at the time of the collapse approached with personnel of more than 10 thousand people. The fleet was armed with more than 80 ships and submarines. The surface fleet mainly consisted of “green water” ships, since they had quite specific tasks: protecting the coastline and coastal islands, as well as preventing blocking by the enemy the Otranto Strait (now between Albania and Italy), connecting the Adriatic and Ionian Sea . The fleet also had significant coastal defense assets: artillery (about 400 guns from 88 mm to 152 mm) and missile (for example, Rubezh DB).

From Navy to Flotilla

After the collapse of "Greater Yugoslavia" in 1990-1991, when Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Macedonia and Croatia jumped out of the country, the last newly emerged country with access to the sea got up to 20% of the country's fleet, because at that time some of the ships were being repaired at the shipyards of Croatia. Until now, Croatia operates missile and patrol boats built in the socialist Yugoslavia. However, sailors loyal to Belgrade in those troubled times still managed to withdraw from the Kopersky Gulf (southwest of the Italian Trieste), which belongs to another independent New European Republic, Slovenia, to one ship. They were located in the Bay of Kotor, then still belonging to the "Lesser Yugoslavia" (Serbia and Montenegro).

Serbian fleet away from the sea

Yugoslav submariners

But “democracy” was advancing inexorably, therefore, Montenegro’s pro-Western and openly anti-Serb politicians first tackled the Serbian population to incite due heat, and then, under the cover of the desire for a European development path and other carrots, “Little Yugoslavia” was also destroyed. In May 2006, supporters of the liquidation of “Little Yugoslavia” won with a minimal margin in the referendum on the independence of Montenegro.

Naturally, the next division of the fleet, which still remained, began. At the same time, it was accompanied by the decommissioning and dismantling of many military units of the fleet for scrap. Submarines of the Sava type were destroyed, the same fate awaited two frigates, not counting the seven DBK Rubezh sold to Egypt. Geographical features, of course, left priority in the appropriation of those remaining for Montenegro. Until now, the Montenegrin fleet consists almost entirely of ships launched by Yugoslavia: from Kotor type frigates (P-33 Kotor and P-34 Pula) to Konchar missile boats (RTOP-405 Jordan Nikolov Orce "and RTOP-406" Ante Banina ").

It is also worth noting that during the divide Montenegro appropriated the representative yacht of the government of Yugoslavia “Jadranka”. The Jadranka was built for Josip Broz Tito. Montenegrins did not have to ride on the legacy of Yugoslavia for a long time. By the middle of the second decade of the 21st century, the yacht was brought to a putrid state, rolled ashore, decommissioned from the balance of the fleet and put up for sale. The price, according to various sources, varies from 30 to 50 thousand euros.

Modern view of the executive yacht "Jadranka"

Serbia also lost all coastal anti-ship systems, both missile and artillery. As a result, Belgrade got only the Danube river flotilla.

Danube River Flotilla of the SFRY

The Danube flotilla directly to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was born in 1944, although back in the days of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia the river flotilla on the Danube existed and included several monitors, boats and minzags converted from civilian tugboats. As before, and after the formation of the SFRY, the Danube River Flotilla was part of the Navy. It is noteworthy that even during the partisan war of the People’s Liberation Army of Yugoslavia from 1942 to 1945, the NOAU Navy not only existed, but also actively acted. It was probably the only partisan fleet in the world at that time.

In 1960, the river flotilla was suddenly withdrawn from the Navy and transferred to the command of the 1st Army. This was followed by a reorganization, and again the flotilla was included in the Navy of Yugoslavia. Until 1985, the river flotilla was replenished with warships and participated in exercises. The few truly military operations of the flotilla were completely connected with the tragic events of the collapse of the good old Yugoslavia. On November 8, 1991, one of the flotilla minesweepers was sent to intercept a Czechoslovak ship with a cargo of smuggled weapons for Croatian formations.

The land fleet of modern Serbia

The modern "land" fleet of Serbia (officially in the Serbian language - the River Flotilla) in connection with the bloody geopolitical winds now conducts its history since 1915. It was in that year on August 6th from the slipways of the shipyard in Chukaritsa (the Serbian community that is part of the Belgrade district) that on the river Sava (the right tributary of the Danube), the patrol boat Yadar (“Kadar”), adapted for laying mines, descended . The first Serbian warship was designed by Djoke Popovic and Milojka Vanic. It is in memory of this significant event for the flotilla that August 6th is Serbia's River Flotilla Day.

Patrol boat "Yadar"

The river flotilla on the Danube is now part of the land army of Serbia. The headquarters of the flotilla, which is currently commanded by Colonel Andria Andrich, is located in Novi Sad. The main units and ships are concentrated there, the remaining forces are based on Belgrade and Šabac. At the moment, the flotilla’s tasks as a tactical unit of the land army include transporting troops and equipment, as well as landing them on an unequipped shore, if necessary, ensuring safe navigation and participating in joint operations, including anti-terrorism. The flotilla is also attracted for solving non-combat tasks in the event of natural disasters and catastrophes.

The current organizational structure of the flotilla is as follows: two detachments of river ships (one in Novi Sad, the other in Belgrade), two pontoon battalions (one in Novi Sad, the other in аabac), a command company and a logistics company (both companies are based in Novi Sad) .

The shipboard of a modest flotilla

A kind of flagship of the flotilla, on which the command is located, is one of the oldest active ships in the world - the Kozar. This ship was built in 1939 at the shipyard in Regensburg (Austria). During World War II, the ship was part of the German Danube flotilla under the name Krimhild. After the surrender of Germany, Crimhild became the US Oregon floating barracks. After the “demobilization” of the ship in 1946, it was transferred to private hands. It was only in 1960 that Yugoslavia in exchange for a cargo ship acquired the Krimhild-Oregon, introducing it into the fleet as a base ship under the name Kozara.

Flagship "Kozara"

In 2004, the Kozar ship underwent modernization and overhaul. At the moment, the crew of the ship is 47 people. Length - 67 meters, width - 9,55 meters, maximum draft - 1,45 meters. Displacement - up to 600 tons. The maximum speed is 21 km / h (when moving downstream, the speed increases to 25 km / h). Armament - three triple-barreled 20-mm anti-aircraft mounts M55 of Yugoslav production (Zastava M55). Also, "Kozara" can carry a stockpile of mines of various types, and it is also possible to place up to 250 soldiers with equipment.

The main, so to speak, flotilla strike force is four river minesweepers of the Nestin type: RML-332 Titel, RML-335 Apatine, RML-336 Jerdap and RML-341 Novi Sad. All of them were built at a military shipyard in Belgrade from 1976 to 1980. Ships are used for counter-terrorism operations, protecting infrastructure and ships in basing areas, assisting ground forces units and ensuring the safety of navigation.

Minesweepers of the Nestin type of Serbia

The total displacement does not exceed 78 tons. Length - 26,9 meters, width - 6,5 meters. The maximum speed is 28 km / h. The crew is 17 people. Armament: a four-barreled 20-mm gun M75 class IV and two 20-mm guns M71 class I. The oldest in firepower in the series is Novi Sad, armed with two four-barreled 20-mm guns, but it was modernized already in 1999.

The next most popular in the flotilla are project 411 landing boats. Previously, these boats were part of a group of 32 sistership ships based in the region of Kumbor (Montenegro). Only a few boats went to Serbia. And it was only because of the necessary repairs and modernization that they were driven along the inland waterways to the territory of Serbia, after which they became part of the river flotilla. Now they are used both for transporting manpower and equipment, and as assault landing boats.

Project 411 landing craft

Total displacement - 42 tons. The boat can carry six tons of cargo or 80 soldiers with equipment. Speed ​​- 28,5 km / h. The armament consists of two 20 mm M71 guns, a BP-30 automatic grenade launcher and two 12,7 mm machine guns. The boats also carry four Strela-2M MANPADS.

The fleet also includes river patrol boats of various types and displacement. These ships are armed with 20 mm M71 guns. Powerboats are armed with machine guns.

PTS-M River Flotilla

Apart are two pontoon battalions and a river demagnetization station, armed with 20-mm M71 guns and also patrolling river routes. The composition of the pontoon battalions includes the M-71 pontoon bridges on FAP 2026 trucks, as well as Soviet floating PTS-M transporters in the amount of 12 pieces.

At the end of March 2020, by the way, it was the pontoon battalions that conducted the exercises in connection with the aggravation of the situation and additional tension in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. The main task was to test the readiness to create and maintain points of transport across the country's river arteries. Tasks were worked out under conditions of a possible attack on the created points.
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  1. Thrifty
    Thrifty April 9 2020 05: 30 New
    This article is like a balm for our souls? Like, like that, and we could easily get from the fleet only horns and legs, and a tails tail? ?? In general, thank you for the article, although the author could give a full list of the Serbian Navy, with better photos!
    1. Lara Croft
      Lara Croft April 10 2020 22: 04 New
      Quote: Thrifty
      This article is like a balm for our souls? Like, like that, and we could easily get from the fleet only horns and legs, and a tails tail?

      If this will reassure you of the USSR its Danube military river flotilla in 1960 disbanded ....
  2. svp67
    svp67 April 9 2020 05: 40 New
    Да, плачевно...батальон "речной пехоты" на БМП-3 значительно усилил бы этот флот...
  3. Andrei Nikolaevich
    Andrei Nikolaevich April 9 2020 06: 21 New
    I liked the article very much. Instructive and interesting. Especially with regard to the collapse of Yugoslavia and the division of the fleet. Croats, I am reminded of our frenzied neighbors of lovers of fat and gas freebies.
    1. Snail N9
      Snail N9 April 9 2020 07: 21 New
      Вообще-то, чтобы не нести "ура-патриотический" бред о "сале" и "братьях" и чтобы хоть немного понимать, что происходило при распаде Югославии, и как, на самом деле, происходила там гражданская война, нужно почитать хотя бы Валецкого О. В, который непосредственно принимал участие в том бардаке и к тому же, еще и "разгребал" последствия:
      Valetsky O. V. Yugoslav war of 1991-1995 - M .: Kraft +, 2006 .-- 528 p. - ISBN 5-93675-116-3.
      Valetsky O.V. Yugoslav war, 1991-1995. 2nd ed. add. M .: Kraft +, 2008 .-- 582 p.: Ill. ISBN 978-5-93675-138-7.
      Valetsky O. V. Yugoslav war, 1991-1995. 3rd ed., Ext. and break M .: Kraft +, 2011 s .: ill. ISBN 656-978-5-93765-180.
      Walecki O. V. Wolves White. Serbian diary of a Russian volunteer. 1993-1999. - M .: Griffin M, 2006 .-- 288 p. - ISBN 5-98862-023-X.
      O. V. Walecki. New US and NATO strategy and its impact on the development of foreign weapons systems and ammunition. M.: Arctic, 2008 s. ISBN 360-978-5-902835-07.
      Walecki O. V. Mine weapons. Mining and mine clearance issues. M .: Kraft +, 2009 s. ISBN 576-978-5-93765-161.
      Konovalov I.P., Valetsky O.V. The evolution of private military companies. - Pushkino: Center for Strategic Market Studies, 2013 .-- 138 p. - ISBN 978–5–906233–20–2. Archived September 6, 2013 on the Wayback Machine
      Valetsky O.V. Partisan War in Kosovo and Metohija in 1999. Pushkino: Center for Strategic Market Studies, 2013. 70 p. ISBN 978-5-906233-13-4
      Valetsky O. V. Guided aircraft weapons of the United States and NATO. Pushkino: Center for Strategic Market Studies, 2013 s. ISBN 154-978-5-906233-14
      Valetsky O. V., Lyamin Yu. Yu. Propagation of rocket technologies in the third world. Pushkino: Center for Strategic Market Studies, 2013 p. ISBN 60-978-5-906233-34
      Russians in Serbia // Soldier of Fortune, No. 5-6. 1996.
      Notes by a sapper from Bosnia and Herzegovina (work experience in the American company Ronco in 1996-97) // Soldier of Fortune. No. 1-2. 1998.
      The battle from headquarters and from the frontline is ambiguously visible // Soldier of Fortune. No. 2–4. 2002.
      Pirates of the Caribbean // Men's work. No. 30. 2009.
      The origin of the Slavs in the light of the works of historians of the Serbian "autochthonous" school // Bulletin of the Academy of DNA Genealogy. No. 11. 2012. (Proceedings of the Academy of DNA Genealogy, Boston; Moscow; Tsukuba. Vol. 5. No. 11, November 2012)
      War in Macedonia
      “Supernatural beings and magic (sihr) in Islam”
      Organization and tactics of ground forces in enemy air strikes. The use of mine weapons and the fight against it.
      History of Gnosticism in Early Christianity
      Humanitarian Demining in the Former Yugoslavia (Part 1; Part 2; Part 3)
      Mine weapons in the modern world (together with N. Iliev)
      Cluster munitions
      Privatization of the war (private military companies, their creation, development and experience in Iraq and other regions of the world)
      Tskhinval lessons
      Valetsky O.V. Theory and practice of guerrilla warfare // Information war. 2016. No. 4 (40). S. 58–66.
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      1. Andrei Nikolaevich
        Andrei Nikolaevich April 9 2020 16: 42 New
        Your links to authors, too, are far from objective. Any book is a subjective view of the author.
    2. knn54
      knn54 April 9 2020 07: 50 New
      Croats. Like Galicians:
      - From the Croats in the Austro-Hungarian army formed punitive units.
      There is still a demagnetization boat.
      At one time (before Montenegro joined NATO), the country's leadership planned to transform the flotilla into a river police, abolishing military functions.
      1. John
        John April 13 2020 00: 17 New
        This is the essence, but the Orthodox Serbs are spread rot!
  4. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins April 9 2020 06: 24 New
    I liked the article. If the sea forces of Yugoslavia were written in detail, then today I learned about the river forces for the first time. Thank you author!
  5. tihonmarine
    tihonmarine April 9 2020 08: 43 New
    In Soviet times, I was repeatedly repaired, received a tanker in the ports of Yugoslavia, Rijeka, Pula, Split. We don’t even need to talk about nature and people, but shipyards and shipyards were something. Our shipyards were far from them, they produced from supertankers to pleasure yachts, built their naval forces. On the Danube and canals you can walk to the North Sea, not to mention the Black Sea. It was five years ago, while the factories are working, but with an interference fit. Such a country was destroyed by the same forces as ours.
  6. Ros 56
    Ros 56 April 9 2020 09: 37 New
    Well, if you build, if possible, of course, more modern ships like our RTOs and arm them accordingly, I think the Serbs will have more morale.
  7. Old26
    Old26 April 9 2020 12: 18 New
    Quote: Ros 56
    Well, if you build, if possible, of course, more modern ships like our RTOs and arm them accordingly, I think the Serbs will have more morale.

    It is possible to build and arm, but what will it do when the country's waterway is only about 300 km
  8. Aviator_
    Aviator_ April 9 2020 13: 04 New
    Was once in the now impoverished Montenegro. The people, who are older, nostalgically recall the times of the SFRY, just as we remember the USSR those who had a chance to live there.
  9. Romka47
    Romka47 April 9 2020 15: 41 New
    20 mm M75 class IV gun and two 20 mm M71 class I guns What kind of gun are these, chew someone in the subject, or give a suitable link please.
  10. Vitas
    Vitas April 10 2020 06: 08 New
    The Serbs could have bought the Jadranka yacht and pennies are not big. All the same, the memory of Tito and the SFRY ...
    1. John
      John April 13 2020 00: 18 New
      They can’t buy, they were ruined
  11. toha124
    toha124 17 May 2020 17: 12 New
    Сербские оптимизаторы впихнули в речную флотилию буквально всё подряд по принципу "всё что плавает". Так там и оказались понтонно-мостовые парки, которые во всем мире стоят на вооружении инженерных частей. Впрочем, они и войска РХБЗ свели к одному батальону на все Вооруженые силы (Covid'ле привет)