Also YNA had 400 BMP M-80, 500 BMP M-80А and 300 tracked armored personnel carriers М-60Р of Yugoslav production. 200 Soviet BTR-152 (40), BTR-50 (120) and BTR-60 (80), the latter two in the KSHM variant, and 100 of American half-track M-3-1. The Romanian wheeled armored personnel carriers TAV-71M (variant BTR-60PB) were handed over to the police. For reconnaissance, the 100 PT-76, 50 BRDM-2 and 40 of the outdated Soviet BTR-40 and American armored vehicles M-8 were used. The JNA military police began to receive modern BOV-VP wheeled armored personnel carriers of the Yugoslav production.
It would seem that such an army is ready to repel all external and internal threats, but further events have shown otherwise ...
"Ten Day War" in Slovenia
25 June 1991, the Slovenian leadership announced the taking over of the airspace and borders of the republic, and ordered the local military units to prepare to seize the barracks of the Yugoslav Peoples Army (JNA).
Small historical retreat: after the Warsaw Pact troops entered the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in 1968, the Yugoslav leadership decided that Yugoslavia would be next in line, and in 1969 adopted its own doctrine of total war, called the doctrine of total national defense. The doctrine was based on the experience of the Yugoslav partisans during the Second World War. For this purpose, units of the Territorial Defense (MOT) were created, which were part of the Armed Forces. Each of the Yugoslav union republics had their own MOT military units, while the federation as a whole contained the Yugoslav People’s Army, which had its own reserve. MOT focused on small units of light infantry, defending themselves in a well-known area. The main unit was the company. More than 2000 factories, municipalities and organizations exhibited similar units. They had to act at their place of residence. At the regional level, battalions and regiments were also formed that had artillery, air defense, and a certain amount of armored vehicles.
Thus, the Slovenes had their own armed forces, numbering 15 707 people armed with light weapons, anti-tank weapons and MANPADS.
Fighters of the Slovenian MOT with 20-mm anti-aircraft gun M-55 Yugoslav production
Already in September, 1990, Slovenia did not send recruits to the JNA and did not transfer to the Union budget a tax on the army, which amounted to 300 million dinars. These funds went to the purchase in Hungary, Germany and Poland weapons for the forces of MOT, primarily anti-tank weapons, for example, German RPGs Armbrust and Soviet RPG-7 were purchased.
Slovenian maintenance fighters are preparing to leave for an ambush on the JNA convoy
At the same time, the federal government continued to train and arm the forces of the Slovenian MOT. Here is what Slovenian Defense Minister Janez Iansa wrote about this:
“Everything happened fantastic! ... YNA itself trained our territorial defense forces. Every year, the best instructors were sent from Belgrade. They knew exactly what we can do. To fall into the trap, about which not only they knew, but also contributed to its installation, is the height of arrogance and irresponsibility. ”
25 June, on the day of independence, the Minister of Defense of Slovenia, Janez Yansha and the Minister of the Interior Bovcar, issued an order to mobilize the MOT forces and the police. Theoretically, this is 70 000 man. However, in reality, the Slovenes managed to expose 30 000 fighters and policemen. They were distributed throughout the territory of Slovenia, either around vital facilities or in pre-determined defense plans.
On the same day, Yugoslav Prime Minister Ante Markovic instructed the JNA command to take control of the situation in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana.
The PT-76 and JDM BRDM-2 amphibious tanks are moving to Ljubljana Brnik airport
The JNA units that launched the offensive met with fierce resistance from the Slovenian territorial detachments. On the border with Austria on the route of the divisions of the JNA there was a blocking of the ways and the erection of barricades.
18 — 20-year-old soldiers of the federal army who were told that they would “defend their homeland from the invasion of NATO forces”, but at the same time, many were not even given ammunition (they were not prepared for serious resistance), resisted by reservists, who had been specially prepared to fight for many months for independence. The mass desertion of soldiers and officers of the JNA by Slovenes and Croats by nationality began. In Croatia, barricades began to be erected on the route of the military columns, with a view to preventing them from entering the territory of Slovenia. A pacifist company against the JNA has developed, in which the movement of “soldiers' mothers” played a significant role, demanding the return of enlisted soldiers to “their” republics.
JNA soldiers in Slovenia
The first clashes of Slovenes with the JNA occurred already on the day of June 26. This and the next day can be considered the last line, for which Yugoslavia stepped into the abyss of civil war. The main task of the JNA was to close the border of Slovenia with Italy and Austria; for this purpose, a column consisting of 1990 military personnel, 400 police officers and 270 customs officers advanced. However, the column ran into ambushes and barricades organized by mobile infantry detachments of the Slovenian MOT, besides the local population was also involved in actions against the JNA - residents of villages and cities crowded the roads or built barricades.
Fighters of the Slovenian MOT with 82-mm recoilless gun of the Yugoslav production M-60А1 in anti-tank ambush
Several units of the JNA were blocked on the roads. The 65 Border Battalion was captured and surrendered. Two companies (tank and mechanized) of the tank brigade that came to his aid were stopped not only by anti-tank weapons of the Slovenes, but also by minefields, and the BOV-3 ZSU division that was on the march was ambushed, having lost 12 people and 15 of the wounded.
Slovenian Militant THAT at the destroyed Y-84 MNA tank
Fallen YNA soldiers in the BOV-3 ZSU wounded by the Slovenes
During the fighting, the Slovenes managed to seize several tanks and infantry fighting vehicles from the federal troops.
Slovenian Militar MOT at the captured YNA M-84
However, the UNA command itself did not have a plan for further actions. Mechanized columns aimlessly dangled along the mountain roads of Slovenia, burning fuel, undergoing shelling, falling into numerous ambushes and suffering losses. Special forces were used little. Mehpatruli had the order "to use weapons only as a last resort" and this "case" often resulted in losses of the JNA. The mechgroups (near the company), called up at the site of the Slovenian attacks, did not have enough infantry, or even did not have it at all. Aviation JNA was bombed once by its own troops, who lost three killed, thirteen wounded, one M-84 tank and two M-60 armored personnel carriers were destroyed, three more M-84s and four M-60s were damaged.
JNA column in Slovenia
July 4 active hostilities were stopped. And on July 7, 1991, through the mediation of the EEC, the Briona agreements were signed, under which the JNA pledged to cease hostilities in Slovenia, and Slovenia and Croatia suspended the declaration of independence for three months. In December 1991, the last JNA soldier left Slovenia.
During the fighting, the losses of the Yugoslav Army (JNA) amounted to 45 people killed, 146 injured, while 4693 military personnel and 252 federal service officer were captured. The 31 tank was destroyed (both burned and damaged), 22 transport armored vehicles, 172 vehicles and 6 helicopters. The loss of the Slovenian self-defense forces amounted to 19 killed (9 THAT fighters, the rest - civilians) and 182 injured. 12 citizens of foreign countries also died, mostly drivers in the service of international transport companies. The Slovenes managed to capture as trophies the equipment of two tank battalions and one artillery division 2С1 "Carnation" of the JNA tank brigade. They also got a training engineering regiment, some units of the air defense regiment, a border battalion, equipment and armament of some other units. Only armored vehicles from Slovenes managed to capture more than 100 units (60 M-84, 90 T-55 and at least 40 T-34-85, BMP M-80, BTR M-60).
Fighters of the Slovenian MOT at the captured T-55 YUNA tank
War in Croatia (1991-1995)
By the time Croatia declared 25 independence on June 1991, there was already a war in the country between the Serbs, who constituted the 12% of the Croatian population and the Croatian Interior Ministry forces. Croatian Serbs who remembered the Ustasha genocide during the Second World War, supported by volunteers from Serbia, began the so-called “revolution of logs” - to create road barricades of rounded logs and large stones in order to prevent Croatian police forces.
In these clashes, Croatian police officers used small arms and used 17 armored BOV-M armored vehicles.
Croatian Police BOV-M Wheel Armored Vehicle, Spring 1991
At the same time, parts of the JNA remained neutral, trying to “dissolve” the opposing sides.
Armored personnel carrier BOV-VP Military Police JNA, Croatia, 1991 year
After President Franio Tudjman, the former general of the JNA, who was imprisoned for nationalism under Tito, came to power, the Croats finally decided to secede from Yugoslavia and create their own armed forces, the basis of which was the subdivisions of TO and the forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the purchase of weapons. 11 April The Croatian National Guard was formed in Croatia on the basis of the Croatian National Guard, which later formed the Croatian armed forces. In turn, the Serbs also began to create their own armed units.
With the beginning of the war in Slovenia, the Croats began to block the JNA barracks, whose command gave the order to take control of the situation. Its divisions were actively helped by local Serbs, and a month after Croatia declared independence about 30% of the country's territory was under the control of the JNA and their armed units.
Tanks M-84 JNA, Croatia, 1991 year
The Croats, knowing full well that the main strike force of the JNA was tank units, tried to "knock out this trump card" by organizing anti-tank ambushes.
Croatian grenade throwers in ambush
The YNA tankers have the war in Croatia called "corn" because of the solid corn plantings, widely used by the Croats to fight tanks. In addition to the ATGM and grenade launchers, the Croats used large-caliber sniper rifles to fight against tanks, especially M-84, primarily to penetrate the infrared sight mounted on an M-84 tank.
Croatian soldiers at the destroyed tank M-84 JNA
Back in the spring of 1991, i.e. Before the start of large-scale hostilities, a group of Croatian separatists occupied a tank factory in the town of Slavonski Brod and captured there only a few assembled M-84 tanks guarded by a dozen JNA soldiers. Then, in order to capture heavy weapons, the Croatian formations began to mn. "barracks war" - the seizure of weapons and military equipment of the JNA units deployed in Croatia. During its Croat able to capture: 40 howitzers 152-mm, 37 howitzers 122-mm, howitzer 42 105-mm caliber, 40 howitzers 155-mm, 12 MRL various types of mortar approximately 300 82-mm caliber and 120- mm, 180 guns ZIS-3 and and B-1, 110 anti-tank guns 100-mm caliber, 36 ACS type, 174 ATRA more 2000 grenade, 190 tanks, 179 APCs and APCs, 180 flak 20-mm caliber, 24 ZSU M-53 / 59 Prague, 10 ZSU-57-2, 20 anti-aircraft guns, around 200 000 small arms, 18 600 tons of ammunition, 1630 tons of fuel, i.e. almost all the weapons of the 32 Corps JNA.
The convoy of the captured Croat armored vehicles JNA: in front of the BMP M-80, then the tanks M-84 and T-55
The Croats were actively restoring the JNA vehicle technology, so they were able to capture and recover about fifty M-84 tanks.
Captured by the Croats tank M-84
Captured equipment allowed the Croats in October 1991 to create their first battalion of tanks on the T-55, as well as to replenish their army with much-needed heavy equipment.
Croatian tanks T-55
However, their use was not crowned with success: a company of Croatian T-55 “head on” attacked the Yugoslav M-84 buried in the ground. Croatian T-2 55 were destroyed, 3 - damaged.
Destroyed Croatian T-55
In addition, Gazelle helicopters were also involved in the destruction of Croatian armored vehicles. They used the Malyutka 9М32 ATGM.
Launch of 9М32 ATGM "Baby" from the Yugoslav Gazelle helicopter
The Croats managed to seize a lot of outdated military equipment in the warehouses of the JNA, and then restore and throw into battle. However, the Croatian M47 tanks captured in the YNA warehouses did not perform well in battles against the Serb T-55.
Destroyed Croatian tank M-47
More successfully used by the Croats T-34-85. For example, during the battle with the Serbian troops at Dubrovnik, a tank with the inscription "MALO BIJELO" withstood two hits of the Malyutka anti-tank missile system, which did not prevent the crew of this thirty-three to destroy two armored cars, one truck and one T-55. The Croats tried to compensate for the weakness of the onboard armor of the old tanks by hanging sandbags on the sides of the turret and the hull of sandbags.
Croatian T-34-85 "MALO BIJELO"
By the end of 1991, the Croats had lost 55 guns and cannons, 45 tanks and 22 BTR and BMP from the captured vehicles.
The main battle of the war in Croatia was the battle for Vukovar. On August 20, units of the Croatian National Guard launched an assault on units of the JNA garrison in Vukovar, hoping to seize its arsenals. On September 3, JNA launched an operation to unblock surrounded Yugoslav formations, which resulted in the storming of the city. The operation was carried out by units of the Yugoslav People's Army with 250 units of armored vehicles, with the support of Serbian paramilitary volunteer units (for example, Serbian volunteer guards under the command of Zeljko Razhnatovich Arkan) and continued from September 3 to November 18, including about a month, 9 months, 9, I am 9-month-old, including about 10 October to mid-November, the city was completely surrounded. Part of the Croatian National Guard and Croatian volunteers of 1991 men defended the city. Despite the multiple advantage of the attackers in manpower and equipment, Vukovar’s defenders successfully resisted for nearly three months.
Tank M-84 YUNA tows padded tank M-84
Vukovar became the "grave" of the armored units of the JNA, which, deprived of the support of infantry, were introduced into the city in columns, where they were destroyed by the Croats.
Broken armored column JNA in Vukovar
The city fell on November 18 1991 of the year, while as a result of street fighting, bombing and rocket attacks was almost completely destroyed. In the battles for Vukovar, the 1.103 soldier of the JNA, MOT, and various volunteer units died. 2.500 was injured. Lost 110 armored vehicles and 3 aircraft. Croats lost 921 killed and 770 wounded. Also killed many residents of the city.
Column of tanks M-84 JNA in Vukovar
With the fall of Vukovar, a direct road to the Croatian capital Zagreb opened up before the JNA tanks, but then European diplomats intervened. Under the most powerful political pressure of the West (by that time the USSR had collapsed, and the new Russian rulers were not up to the Balkan problems), Belgrade had to stop its troops and go to an armistice. In January, 1992, between the belligerents, concluded another cease-fire agreement (15-th in a row), which completed the main hostilities.
January 15 Croatia 1992 was officially recognized by the European Community. At the beginning of 1992, the JNA began to withdraw its troops from the territory of Croatia, but the territories occupied by it remained under the control of Serbian forces, since many of the JNA units in these areas were manned by local Serbs and then reorganized into units of the armed forces of the 303 tank, including 31 M-84, 2 T-72, the rest T-55, T-34-85 and floating PT-76.
Tank M-84 of the armed forces of the Serbian Krajina
In total, Serbian forces controlled 13 913 km² in Krajina and Slavonia.
This situation is extremely not satisfied with the Croats, in addition, the war has already begun in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in which both the Croatian army and the armed forces of the Serbian Krajina actively participated. Therefore, the fighting continued during the 1992 year, but on a smaller scale and with interruptions.
In the course of several operations, the Croatian army managed to oust the Serbian forces from several disputed areas. Separate combat operations of the Croatian forces continued in 1993 year.
Destroyed Croatian T-55
The Croats, however, did not waste time and actively engaged in the preparation and equipping of their army, buying, despite the embargo, weapons and military equipment around the world. Germany actively helped them in this by generously providing both the arsenals of the former NNA GDR and the money for arms purchases.
In addition, the Croats, relying on developed industry, themselves established the production of weapons and military equipment, including armored vehicles. So, on the basis of the army truck TAM-110 they created a wheeled armored car LOV. The body of the armored car is welded from steel armor plates that are resistant to hit by armor-piercing bullets of caliber 7,62 mm. Diesel air cooling was installed in the front lower part of the hull between the commander and driver seats. Transmission - manual. A small cabin, in which there are bulletproof glass, rises above the roof of the hull, and there is a hatch in the roof of the cabin, which opens to the front. A rectangular hatch opening backward is located in the roof of the hull above the commander’s seat, and a rotating periscopic observation device is installed in front of the hatch. In the sides next to the seats of the commander and the driver there are doors opening forwards. Suspension of spring-type wheels, hydraulic shock absorbers are installed on all wheels, there is a system for centralized regulation of air pressure in pneumatics. The front wheels are steerable; the power steering is included in the control circuit.
The car had the following modifications:
- LOV-OP, an armored personnel carrier designed to carry 10 soldiers in full gear, not counting the commander and driver;
- LOV-UP1 / 2, artillery fire control machine;
- LOV-IZV, reconnaissance armored car, equipped with more advanced radio communication equipment;
- LOV-Z, command and control vehicle with a crew of six;
- LOV-ABK, machine reconnaissance and marking areas affected by weapons of mass destruction;
- LOV-RAK, MLRS on the basis of the LOV armored car. The rear part of the body is cut off; a rotating 24-barrel launcher 128-mm unguided missiles is installed on the formed platform. For self-defense on the roof of the hull mounted 12,7-mm machine gun.
- LOV-ED, an electronic warfare machine, outwardly differs from the BTR with additional antennas.
1992-1995 total. released 72 armored car LOV of all modifications.
The Croats also installed 9K9 Strela-35 Soviet-made 10 launchers from Germany on the chassis of the Yugoslav army truck TAM-150, which received home-made armored steel. This “product” is called the 10 CROA1 Arrow.
1994 year was marked by a relative calm, the main fighting went on in Bosnia. At the end of 1994, through the mediation of the UN, negotiations even began between the leadership of the RSK and the Government of Croatia. The conflict flared up again in May of 1995, after Kraina lost the support of Belgrade, largely due to pressure from the international community. 1 May during the operation "Lightning" the whole territory of Western Slavonia came under the control of Croatia. The majority of the Serbian population was forced to flee from these territories. However, the Croats did not succeed in capturing Eastern Slavonia, since the Yugoslav army began advancing troops and tanks to the Croatian border in order to prevent its capture.
Croatian T-55 with troops during Operation "Lightning"
On August 4, the Croatian army, jointly with the army of Bosnian Muslims, launched Operation Storm, whose goal was to regain control over virtually all territories controlled by Krajina Serbs. In this largest ground operation in Europe after World War II, the Croatian army deployed more than 100 000 troops. The total number of the Croatian army after mobilizing before the “Storm” was 248 000 soldiers and officers. The MVD was about 45 000 people. At that time, Croatia’s 393 armored vehicles, including the 232 tank, as well as the 320 artillery pieces, were in service with Croatia. In aviation, there were 40 aircraft (26 combat) and 22 helicopters (10 combat). Croats fought 27 000 Serbian soldiers and officers. They were armed with 303 tank, 295 other armored vehicles, 360 artillery caliber, several combat aircraft and helicopters. During the truce in the spring of 1995, 14 900 people were under arms. According to the mobilization plan, the size of the army on all fronts was to grow to 62 500 people.
The offensive was completed on August 9 and fully achieved its goals. The army of the Serbian Krajina was partially defeated, partially retreating into territories controlled by the Bosnian Serbs and Yugoslavia. Many Serb civilians fled along with it. Milosevic did not come to the rescue ...
Croatian tank M-84 in the capital of Serbian Krajina Knin
In this regard, Croatian President Franjo Tudjman expressed the following:
“We decided the Serbian question, there will be no more 12% Serbs or 9% Yugoslavs, as it was. And 3%, as they will be, will no longer threaten the Croatian state. "
On November 12, a peace agreement was signed between the representative of Croatia and representatives of the RSK and Yugoslavia, who received detailed instructions from Slobodan Milosevic. The agreement provided for the integration of the territories of Eastern Slavonia remaining under Serbian control to Croatia, along with Vukovar, which caused so much blood to be spilled, over the next two years. 1995 January 15, these territories were incorporated into Croatia. Milosevic was still flirting with the West, not knowing that Serbia and he himself would be next in line ...
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