Battle of the Barracks
|Battle of the Barracks|
|Part of the Croatian War of Independence|
Destroyed Yugoslav Army T-55 tank
| Croatian National Guard (until November 1991)
Croatian Army (from November 1991)
|Yugoslav People's Army, Navy and Air Force|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Anton Tus||Veljko Kadijević|
|Casualties and losses|
400–500 artillery pieces
36 naval vessels
180,000 small arms
|3,000 JNA officers changed their allegiance to Croatia|
The Battle of the Barracks (Croatian: Bitka za vojarne) was a series of engagements that occurred in mid-to-late 1991 between the Croatian National Guard (Zbor narodne garde – ZNG, later renamed the Croatian Army) and the Croatian police on one side and the Yugoslav People's Army (Jugoslovenska Narodna Armija – JNA) on another. The battle took place around numerous JNA posts in Croatia, starting when Croatian forces blockaded the JNA barracks, weapons storage depots and other facilities. It formally began on 14 September; its objective was to neutralise the JNA positions in ZNG-held territory and to secure arms and ammunition supplies to the poorly equipped ZNG.
The Battle of the Barracks was an escalation of the conflict between Croatian authorities and the Croatian Serbs who openly revolted in August 1990 and the JNA's efforts to preserve the Yugoslav federation. At the same time, Croatia made moves towards achieving independence from Yugoslavia. The Battle of the Barracks briefly preceded the start of the JNA's campaign in Croatia—itself amended in early September to add relief of the blockaded barracks to the operation plans. However, the JNA's advance was largely curbed by the ZNG and it relieved few JNA facilities.
The ZNG and the police captured small, isolated JNA posts, and a number of large weapons depots and barracks—including the entire 32nd (Varaždin) Corps of the JNA. The move provided the Croatian forces with a sizable stock of weapons—including 250 tanks, hundreds of artillery pieces and a large supply of small arms and ammunition—which proved crucial in defending against JNA advances in the early stage of the Croatian War of Independence. Some of the JNA facilities surrendered without fighting, while others put up armed resistance to the takeover. In some places, this caused civilian casualties because the barracks were situated in urban areas. Legal charges of abuse of or killing captured JNA personnel, and charges of war crimes against civilian populations were filed in Croatia, but most defendants remain at large.
In November, the JNA and Croatia reached several agreements to end the blockade and withdraw JNA from Croatia. The pullout was completed by 4 January 1992, except in areas around Dubrovnik and on the islands of Vis and Lastovo. The JNA maintained its presence there until the summer of 1992. As the JNA withdrew from the areas it controlled in Croatia, it was replaced by the UN peacekeepers agreed upon by the Vance plan.
In 1990, ethnic tensions worsened after the electoral defeat of the government of the Socialist Republic of Croatia. The Yugoslav People's Army (Jugoslovenska Narodna Armija – JNA) confiscated Croatia's Territorial Defence (Teritorijalna obrana – TO) weapons to minimize resistance. On 17 August, the tensions escalated into an open revolt of the Croatian Serbs, centred on the predominantly Serb-populated areas of the Dalmatian hinterland around Knin approximately 60 kilometres (37 miles) north-east of Split), parts of the Lika, Kordun, Banovina and eastern Croatia. Serbia, supported by Montenegro and Serbia's provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo, unsuccessfully tried to obtain the Yugoslav Presidency's approval of a JNA operation to disarm Croatian security forces in January 1991. The request was denied and a bloodless skirmish between Serb insurgents and Croatian special police in March prompted the JNA itself to ask the federal Presidency to give it wartime authority and declare a state of emergency. Even though the request was backed by Serbia and its allies, the JNA was denied on 15 March. Serbian President Slobodan Milošević, preferring a campaign to expand Serbia rather than to preserve Yugoslavia with Croatia as a federal unit, publicly threatened to replace the JNA with a Serbian army and declared that he no longer recognized the authority of the federal Presidency. The threat caused the JNA to gradually abandon plans to preserve Yugoslavia in favour of expansion of Serbia as the JNA came under Milošević's control. By the end of March, the conflict had escalated to the first fatalities. In early April, leaders of Serb revolt in Croatia declared their intention of integration of the area—viewed by the Government of Croatia as a breakaway region—under their control with Serbia.
At the beginning of 1991, Croatia had no regular army. To bolster its defence, Croatia doubled police personnel to about 20,000. The most effective part of the force was 3,000-strong special police deployed in twelve battalions and adopting military organization of the units. There were also 9,000–10,000 regionally organized reserve police set up in 16 battalions and 10 companies. The reserve force lacked weapons. As a response to the deteriorating situation, the Croatian government established the Croatian National Guard (Zbor narodne garde – ZNG) in May by merging the special police battalions into four all-professional guards brigades together consisting of approximately 8,000 troops subordinate to the Ministry of Defence headed by retired JNA General Martin Špegelj. The regional police, by then expanded to 40,000, was also attached to the ZNG and reorganized in 19 brigades and 14 independent battalions. The guards brigades were the only units of the ZNG that were fully armed with small arms; throughout the ZNG there was a lack of heavier weapons and there was no command and control structure. The shortage of heavy weapons was so severe that the ZNG resorted to use of World War II weapons taken from museums and film studios. At the time, Croatian stockpile of weapons consisted of 30,000 small arms purchased abroad and15,000 previously owned by the police. A new 10,000-strong special police was established then to replace the personnel lost to the guards brigades.
Croatian views of the JNA's role in the Serb revolt gradually evolved in January–September 1991. Croatian President Franjo Tuđman's first plan was to win support from the European Community (EC) and the United States for Croatia; he dismissed advice to seize JNA barracks and storage facilities in the country. Capture of the JNA barracks and storage depots was first advocated by Špegelj in late 1990; he again urged Tuđman to adopt the plan in early-to-mid 1991 while the JNA fought Slovenia's TO in the Ten-Day War in June–July 1991. Špegelj's calls were echoed by Šime Đodan, who succeeded Špegelj as the Defence Minister in July. Špegelj remained in command of the ZNG.
Tuđman's stance was motivated by his belief that Croatia could not win a war against the JNA. The ZNG was limited to defence, even though the actions of the JNA appeared to be coordinated with the Croatian Serb military. The impression was reinforced by buffer zones established by the JNA after armed conflicts between the Croatian Serb militia and the ZNG—the JNA intervened after the ZNG lost territory, leaving the Croatian Serbs in control of areas they captured before the JNA arrived. The JNA provided weapons to the Croatian Serbs, although most of the weaponry was provided from Serbia's TO and Ministry of Internal Affairs stocks.
In July 1991, Špegelj and Đodan's demands were backed up by a number of Croatian Parliament members during a parliamentary debate. This led Tuđman to dismiss Đodan the same month he was appointed Defence Minister, and Špegelj resigned his post on 3 August. The deteriorating situation in eastern Croatia— including JNA forces' removal of the ZNG from Baranja, intermittent fighting around Osijek, Vukovar and Vinkovci— increasing losses and the growing conviction that the JNA actively supported the Croatian Serb revolt—forced Tuđman to act. On 22 August, he issued an ultimatum to the federal Yugoslav authorities demanding the withdrawal of the JNA to its barracks by the end of the month. The ultimatum stated if the JNA failed to comply, Croatia would consider it an army of occupation and take corresponding action. On 1 September, the EC proposed a ceasefire and a peace conference was accepted by Tuđman—despite his ultimatum—and by the Yugoslav Presidency. The conference started on 7 September, but only four days later, the Croatian member and chair of the presidency Stjepan Mesić ordered the JNA to return to its barracks within 48 hours. The move was motivated by Tuđman's impression that the conference would continue while the ZNG lost ground. Even though the order was disputed by other members of the body, it gave Croatia a justification to openly confront the JNA.
Prime Minister Franjo Gregurić proposed Tuđman to implement Špegelj's plan. According to General Anton Tus, Tuđman ordered the ZNG to capture JNA barracks on 12 September, but rescinded the order the next day. The order was reinstated on 14 September after Tus pleaded with Tuđman to authorize the move, arguing that the ZNG was running out of time. The same day, the ZNG and the Croatian police blockaded and cut utilities to all JNA facilities it had access to, beginning the Battle of the Barracks. The move blockaded 33 large JNA garrisons in Croatia, and numerous smaller facilities, including border posts and weapons and ammunition storage depots. The blockade forced the JNA to amend its campaign in Croatia plans to accommodate the new development. Several JNA posts were attacked by the ZNG before the blockade was officially sanctioned, largely in response to local battlefield situations. The first such incident was a failed attack on JNA barracks in Sinj on 25 August, in response to the deterioration of ZNG positions in the nearby village of Kijevo. On 3 September, the ZNG captured a barracks in Sisak, and on 13 September a weapons storage depot in Gospić area was captured amid fighting for control of the city. In May, 21 M-84AB tanks were captured in a Đuro Đaković factory. The tanks were due to be shipped to Kuwait, but a part of the shipment was kept by Croatia. A train transporting JNA weapons from Slovenia to Serbia was captured in Slavonski Brod on 21 August. The ZNG seized its first anti-aircraft weapons, anti-tank weapons, and artillery pieces there while adding to its small stock of mortars. The ZNG forces besieging the JNA facilities were mainly drawn from the local populace; einforcements deployed from other cities were relatively few.
On 14 September—the day Croatian forces were ordered to blockade the JNA facilities—the ZNG and the police captured JNA barracks in Ploče, one of several barracks in Gospić, and one in nearby Perušić. The JNA garrison in Otočac—north of Gospić—also came under attack as the ZNG started to assault the barracks in the town. Sopnica JNA depot near Zagreb and a JNA-manned post on the Hungarian border near Pitomača were captured that day. In response to the blockade of their barracks in Vukovar, the JNA dispatched a force to relieve the siege. The next day, the ZNG and the police captured a JNA depot near Popovec—west of Zagreb—and another near Slavonski Brod. At the same time, fighting erupted around JNA facilities in Varaždin, and two JNA border posts were captured north of Virovitica.
On 16 September, Croatian forces captured a JNA barracks and another storage depot in Slavonski Brod, and two barracks in Ogulin, while fighting started around a JNA post in Oštarije. They also captured Žrnovnica missile base and JNA weapons storage facilities near Daruvar, Otočac, Križevci and Virovitica. On 17 September, the Croatian forces captured JNA barracks in Daruvar, Ogulin, Čakovec, Križevci, Virovitica, Požega, two JNA barracks in the Šibenik–Rogoznica area and one in Varaždin. A JNA depot was captured near Zagreb (Duboki Jarak). On 18 September, three additional barracks in Varaždin, one near Rogoznica and two in Đakovo—together with all remaining JNA facilities in Gospić, a nearby weapons storage facility, a communications facility near Garešnica and dozens of border posts—surrendered to Croatian forces.
On 19 September, the ZNG clashed with the JNA garrison in Logorište barracks in Karlovac, captured a communications facility at Platak near Rijeka an additional JNA barracks and a storage depot in Varaždin, restricting the JNA to the barracks housing headquarters of the JNA Varaždin Corps. By 20 September, when the JNA launched a campaign against the ZNG throughout Croatia, more than 60 JNA facilities in Croatia—including 15 barracks and 11 storage depots—surrendered or were captured. Capture of the barracks continued in Našice, where JNA barracks surrendered on 21 September. The JNA Varaždin Corps surrendered the next day, providing the ZNG with a major weapons cache. In the first few days of the blockade, the Croatian forces also captured several small JNA posts in Split, but no large JNA facility in the city.
In mid-September, seven JNA facilities in Zadar, including three barracks, were captured. The most significant captured facility was the "Turske kuće" barracks, which contained a large cache of small arms and ammunition. The Yugoslav Air Force carried out air strikes against the facility the next day—following a pattern that was established at the time—to hinder removal of weapons from captured JNA facilities. On 23 September, a ZNG assault on a large JNA weapons storage site in Sveti Rok—located between Gospić and Zadar—failed. The two remaining JNA barracks under Croatian blockade—in Vinkovci and Osijek—were abandoned by the JNA by 26 September. The Osijek garrison managed to break out from its besieged barracks and joined the JNA troops south and east of the city, while evacuation of the Vinkovci barracks was negotiated between Croatian authorities and the JNA. The negotiations were initiated after the JNA 1st Guards Mechanised Division reached Vinkovci on 25 September, forcing the ZNG to accept the evacuation. A JNA facility on the island of Korčula surrendered its equipment to the ZNG on 26 September.
On 29 September, the Croatian forces captured two barracks and three storage depots in and around Bjelovar after a day-long fighting, while the fourth storage facility was blown up by its commanding officer, JNA Major Milan Tepić. The explosion killed all defenders and 11 in the besieging force. It was heard 20 kilometres (12 miles) away and caused damage in nearby villages. The same day, a weapons storage facility in Koprivnica and a border post near Virovitica were captured by the ZNG and the Croatian police. The JNA 73rd Motorized Brigade surrendered in Koprivnica the next day.
On 14/15 September, Croatian forces seized a DJČ-612 landing craft from the Yugoslav Navy while it was undergoing repairs in Vela Luka shipyard; they sailed the vessel the same night into the Cetina River. Between 16 and 22 September, the Croatian forces captured Kuline barracks in Šibenik and 15 Yugoslav Navy vessels based there, as well as further 19 vessels which were being overhauled in "Velimir Škorpik" shipyard. The vessels, comprising approximately a quarter of the Yugoslav Navy assets, included: Vlado Ćetković (RTOP-402) Končar-class fast attack craft (renamed Šibenik (RTOP-21) later on), Velimir Škorpik (RČ-310) Osa-class missile boat, Partizan II (TČ-222) Shershen-class torpedo boat and Biokovo (PČ-171), Cer (PČ-180) and Durmitor (PČ-181) Mirna-class patrol boats. Also, a ship in the final stages of construction was captured in the Kraljevica Shipyard the same month. She was launched in 1992 as Kralj Petar Krešimir IV (RTOP-11) missile boat. In September, seven coastal artillery bases near Šibenik and on the islands of Šolta, Brač and Korčula were captured.
On 3 October, Croatian forces captured "Joža Vlahović" JNA barracks in Koprivnica, and a communications post and a border post near the city. The next day, JNA barracks in Sinj and its nearby land mine storage facility were abandoned after a negotiated agreement. In early October, two JNA artillery regiments based in "Šepurine" barracks near Zadar broke through a siege around their base and joined the JNA attack on the city. By 5 October, Zadar was completely surrounded by JNA forces and the situation prompted Croatian authorities in the city to seek a ceasefire and negotiations. The ceasefire was arranged the same day, while the negotiations, held on 7–9 October, brought about the lifting of the JNA siege of Zadar and the evacuation of the remaining JNA garrison and its equipment from the city. The evacuation, involving seven JNA facilities, started on 11 October and took 15 days. The agreement stipulated that the evacuated units would leave Croatian soil and the JNA generally respected the obligation, even though twenty truckloads of weapons were left to the Serbian population in the hinterland around Zadar.
In the wake of the bombing of Banski dvori of 7 October, Croatian authorities instructed the ZNG to assault and capture JNA barracks in the Zagreb area if commanders considered it possible. The instructions did not result in attacks in Zagreb itself, but JNA barracks in Samobor were captured by the Croatian forces on the day of the bombing. The declaration of the independence of Croatia came into force the next day.
On 13 October, the JNA mostly destroyed and abandoned its barracks at Oštarije, and a JNA weapons storage facility in Rijeka was damaged in a fire caused by a thunderstorm. The ZNG removed some weapons from the latter while the firefighters were called in to save individual storage structures. The next day, the JNA began moving the remaining weapons from the damaged storage to elsewhere in the city. While a convoy of 18 trucks was moving through Rijeka, 15 vehicles carrying weapons were diverted and captured by the ZNG. At the same time, personnel at the JNA's Borongaj barracks in Zagreb were allowed to evacuate in return for free passage of a convoy carrying humanitarian aid to Vukovar, where the battle to control the city was in progress.
After a period of siege with little or no activity, the JNA forces in the Logorište barracks in the Karlovac area broke through the blockade towards the JNA-held territory to the east of the city in the Battle of Logorište, which lasted from 4 to 6 November. The Croatian forces besieging the barracks were more numerous, but the JNA had superiority in armour and artillery. After it was abandoned by the JNA, the barracks still contained weapons which were taken away by the Croatian troops by November 13. The ZNG was renamed the Croatian Army (Hrvatska vojska–HV) in early November. It captured the Jamadol barracks and storage facility in Karlovac on 4 November, while the fighting around the Logorište barracks was in progress. The following day, the HV captured JNA barracks and several weapons storage facilities in Delnice. The attacks were ordered to capture ammunition needed by the HV because its stockpile was running low.
On 8 November, Davorin Rudolf representing Croatian authorities, and Lieutenant Colonel General Marijan Čad—JNA commanding officer of the 13th (Rijeka) Corps—agreed to evacuate the corps personnel and equipment from Croatia. The agreement, made after negotiations supervised and supported by the European Community Monitor Mission (ECMM) would later serve as a model for similar agreements elsewhere in Croatia. Čad made the agreement at his own initiative, with the support of the JNA Fifth Military District, after receiving an order from the JNA Chief of Staff Colonel General Blagoje Adžić to destroy the JNA facilities in Rijeka and to attack industrial plants and infrastructure in or near the city. The agreement was not affected by the HV capture of the Draga barracks and weapons stored there on 9 November. The JNA 13th (Rijeka) Corps started to evacuate by sea to Montenegrin ports on 18 November.
Following negotiations, the JNA evacuated its Jastrebarsko barracks on 13 November. The garrison left, under ECMM escort, to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The next day, an agreement to evacuate the JNA from Šibenik was made in the village of Žitnić near Drniš. The Yugoslav Navy's bombardment of Split, Šolta and Brač on 15 November—in response to the loss of a Mukos (PČ-176) patrol boat—and the subsequent Battle of the Dalmatian channels appeared to have derailed the Žitnić agreement.
In Žitnić on 21 November, another agreement to evacuate the JNA and the Yugoslav Navy from the Šibenik–Split area and surrender of the confiscated TO weapons stored there was signed by Rudolf and the JNA Maritime-Military District commanding officer Major General Nikola Mladenić. It was followed by another agreement to the same effect which was signed in Split two days later by Mladenić and Croatian Admiral Sveto Letica, defining that the pullout should be completed within 30 days. The agreement also provided for a cease-fire in northern Dalmatia and the lifting of the Yugoslav Navy's blockade of the Croatian coast. The agreement did not include evacuation of the Yugoslav Navy from its bases on the islands of Vis and Lastovo. Tensions remained high throughout the process and the JNA made contingency plans to break through from Knin to Šibenik and Split and relieve the siege of its forces there—these plans were codenamed Operation Coast-91 (Operacija Obala-91) and Operation Hurricane-91 (Operacija Orkan-91) respectively.
On 22 November, Croatian authorities and the JNA signed an agreement to evacuate all remaining JNA forces from Croatia. The agreement was signed in Zagreb, by HV Colonel Imra Agotić and Lieutenant Colonel General Andrija Rašeta in presence of the ECMM monitors. The agreement was confirmed the next day in Geneva when the Geneva Accord was signed by Tuđman, Milošević and the Yugoslav defence minister, JNA General Veljko Kadijević.
The ZNG quickly captured isolated JNA facilities, depots and several major posts, seizing a large quantity of weapons, including the entire stocks of the JNA 32nd (Varaždin) Corps and nearly all the weapons previously confiscated from the Croatia's TO. The JNA lost control of eight brigades—including one armoured brigade, two mechanized brigades and three artillery regiments—and additional forces in the JNA Fifth Military District and the Military-Maritime District remained pinned down by the blockade. The Significance of the Battle of the Barracks was reinforced by introduction of a United Nations (UN) arms embargo on 25 September. The Battle of the Barracks resulted in a large increase of ZNG/HV capabilities—allowing complete arming of its existing units, raising of additional 40–42 brigades and fielding 200,000 troops and 40,000 police by the end of the year. In the battle, the ZNG/HV captured 250 tanks, 400–500 heavy artillery pieces, 180,000 small arms and 2 million tonnes of ammunition. In addition, 3,000 officers left the JNA and joined the HV.
While there is no information on the number of troops involved or casualties sustained on either side, the JNA garrisons in Croatia were significantly undermanned at the time. The JNA order of battle, developed in the 1980s, specified a handful of battalions at full combat readiness in Croatia. Those were elements of the 140th Mechanised Brigade in Zagreb, the 31st Armoured Brigade in Dugo Selo near Zagreb, the 12th Proletarian Mechanised Brigade in Osijek, the 11th Marine Infantry Brigade in Šibenik and the 139th Marine Infantry Brigade in Pula. In 1990, the "A" classification—requiring 60–100% troop levels,— was assigned to the 4th Armoured Brigade in Jastrebarsko, a battalion of the 622nd Motorised Brigade in Petrinja, the 13th Proletarian Motorised Brigade in Rijeka, and the 265th Mechanised Brigade in Bjelovar and Koprivnica. The 221st Motorised Brigade based in Knin was reinforced with "A" class armoured and mechanised battalions. In addition, an armoured battalion was added to the 622nd Mechanised Brigade, and a mechanised battalion to JNA garrisons in Vinkovci and Vukovar each in May 1991. Likewise, Croatian forces were strained between maintaining the blockade and manning the positions held against the JNA and Croatian Serb militias elsewhere. Surrendered JNA troops were either transported to Serbia, exchanged for prisoners of war captured elsewhere, or were given civilian clothing and released.
Both in 1991 and years later, Špegelj criticised Tuđman's decision to disregard his advice to attack the JNA barracks earlier than September—specifically during the Ten-Day War in Slovenia in June–July 1991. Špegelj said that an earlier move, preempting deterioration of the strategic situation in Croatia, would best serve Croatian defensive needs. Furthermore, he said that the JNA would be unable to respond in force because it would need two months to mobilise the required forces and that all prerequisites for a decisive victory against the JNA were met. Tus thought that Tuđman kept postponing the blockade because of the pressure applied by the international community against confrontation with the JNA. Zdravko Tomac, deputy prime minister of a national unity government in Croatia at the time, and later an opposition leader, stated that while Špegelj's view was militarily correct, Tuđman's position was politically better. Kadijević conversely said that the JNA would have fared better if Croatian forces had confronted it earlier because the JNA's capabilities declined during the summer of 1991.
The JNA campaign in Croatia ended in a stalemate, leading the belligerents to accept an internationally supervised ceasefire, formulated as the Vance plan—a result of a diplomatic mission by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Cyrus Vance, aided by United States diplomat Herbert Okun, and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Special Political Affairs Marrack Goulding, to Yugoslavia aimed at securing a negotiated end to hostilities in Croatia. The plan proposed a ceasefire, the protection of civilians in specific areas designated as UN Protected Areas and deployment of a UN force to Croatia. The Vance plan provided for the end of the Croatian blockade of the JNA barracks, the withdrawal of all JNA personnel and equipment from Croatia, the implementation of a ceasefire and the facilitation of delivery of humanitarian aid. The parties to the accord also agreed to the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission in Croatia, later initiated through the subsequent United Nations Security Council Resolution 721 of 27 November. As a consequence of organizational problems and breaches of the last ceasefire agreement, the UN peacekeepers only started to deploy on 8 March 1992.
Evacuation of the JNA
The JNA continued to evacuate following the Geneva Accord. The remaining seven JNA facilities in Rijeka area were evacuated during November, and the last barracks evacuated were those in Trsat on 10 December. In Šibenik, the JNA evacuated two barracks and four depots from 25 November until 24 December, turning the confiscated Croatian TO weapons over to the HV on 10 December—but the weapons remained in a sealed storage under ECMM supervision until 25 December as required by the Žitnić agreement. Most the evacuation took place by rail via Knin, and part of the force was moved by sea to Montenegro. The evacuation agreement required—as in case of the Zadar evacuation—the removal of the evacuated units from Croatian soil; the JNA only partly fulfilled that criterion. The "Divulje" base of the JNA near Trogir started to evacuate by sea on 4 December, after an additional agreement signed by Rudolf and Mladenić regulating surrender of the TO weapons to the HV and the evacuation of the Lora naval base in Split.
The evacuation was halted again when it was determined that some of the TO weapons were missing from the JNA facilities in Split. The issue was resolved through an agreement of 18 December made between Rašeta and Agotić stipulating that the JNA would provide the HV with the missing weapons from its own stocks, and the evacuation resumed. Since the JNA did not have sufficient weapons to achieve that criterion in Split, a Yugoslav Navy ship delivered 250 tonnes (250 long tons; 280 short tons) of weapons and ammunition from Kumbor in Montenegro to Split on 1 January 1992. The last JNA forces left the area of Split on 4 January.
The JNA also evacuated its facilities elsewhere in Croatia. Pullout from the Maršal Tito and Kerestinec barracks in Zagreb started on 30 November, and was completed by the end of 1991. Istria was evacuated by the JNA and the Yugoslav Navy on 15 December, handing over the Croatian TO weapons to the HV. The quantity of the TO weapons handed over in Istria—where the JNA evacuated 78 facilities—was enough to arm two combat brigades. In December 1991, only minor clashes occurred around the JNA facilities that were still under the HV blockade, including a minor, unsuccessful HV attack on Mekušje barracks in Karlovac. Despite the Geneva Accord requiring an immediate withdrawal of JNA personnel and equipment, the JNA remained for seven to eight months. When its troops eventually withdrew from Croatia, the JNA left their equipment to the Republic of Serbian Krajina, established in the JNA-held areas of Croatia on 19 December. The JNA and the Yugoslav Navy kept their bases on Vis and Lastovo islands until early June 1992 before pulling out unilaterally. The JNA maintained positions near Dubrovnik until July, while the naval blockade of the city was lifted on 26 May 1992.
Croatian authorities charged deputy head of the Bjelovar police operations department and three special police force members with the deaths of five JNA prisoners and the shooting of a civilian in the aftermath of the Bjelovar barracks surrender. They were acquitted after 12 years of legal proceedings, after the Supreme Court of Croatia twice ordered a re-trial. The Head of Bjelovar crisis centre was also charged with war crimes in 2012, but as of 2013[update] his trial is still pending. Croatia also charged numerous JNA officers who held posts in the blockaded garrisons. In Osijek, 13 JNA officers were charged with war crimes against the civilian population, including causing the deaths of 307 persons and severe injuries to 171 persons, but none were arrested as of 2013[update].
War crime charges were brought against JNA commander of the 32nd (Varaždin) Corps, General Vladimir Trifunović. He was charged by Croatia with the deaths of six persons and the wounding of 37 persons. After a trial in absentia, he was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1991. Three years later, in 1994, Trifunović was charged in Yugoslavia with treason because he surrendered the entire JNA corps to the ZNG. He was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in prison. In early 1996, he was pardoned and released, and the Yugoslav authorities paid him €62,000 compensation for spending nearly two years in a prison. In 2013, Trifunović formally requested re-trial in Croatia.
- Hoare 2010, p. 117
- Hoare 2010, p. 118
- The New York Times 19 August 1990
- ICTY 12 June 2007
- Hoare 2010, pp. 118–119
- Ramet 2006, pp. 384–385
- Hoare 2010, p. 119
- The New York Times 3 March 1991
- The New York Times 2 April 1991
- CIA 2002, p. 86
- EECIS 1999, pp. 272–278
- Ramet 2006, p. 400
- CIA 2002, p. 91
- CIA 2002, p. 92
- CIA 2002, p. 93
- CIA 2002, p. 94
- CIA 2002, pp. 94–95
- Jutarnji list 28 May 2011
- CIA 2002, p. 95
- Ramet 2006, p. 401
- CIA 2002, p. 96
- Slobodna Dalmacija 25 August 2010
- Sisak 3 September 2012
- Slobodna Dalmacija 15 September 2000
- Đuro Đaković, p. 13
- Slobodna Dalmacija 18 February 2007
- Hrastović 2006, p. 125
- Slobodna Dalmacija 14 September 2010
- Lika online 17 September 2012
- Lisičak 2010, p. 83
- Škvorc 2010, p. 123
- CIA 2002, p. 100
- Posavska Hrvatska 16 September 2011
- Hrastović 2006, p. 128
- Karaula 2007, p. 19
- Brigović 2011, pp. 424–425
- Škvorc 2010, note 36
- Škvorc 2010, p. 122
- Hrastović 2006, p. 124
- Hrastović 2006, p. 129
- Miškulin 2005, pp. 340–341
- Hrastović 2006, pp. 123–124
- Marijan 2011, p. 456
- Novi list 14 October 2006, p. 10
- CIA 2002, pp. 98–99
- Lisičak 2010, p. 87
- Radio Našice 22 September 2008
- Hrastović 2006, p. 131
- Brigović 2011, p. 424
- Zadarski list 23 September 2011
- Brigović 2011, p. 425
- Marijan 2006, pp. 229–230
- Marijan 2002, note 51
- Dubrovački list 23 November 2011
- Karaula 2007, p. 21
- Hrvatski vojnik October 2010
- Hrvatski vojnik November 2001
- Slobodna Dalmacija 16 January 2012
- Brigović 2011, p. 429
- Brigović 2011, pp. 429–430
- Brigović 2011, p. 431
- Brigović 2011, p. 433
- Brigović 2011, pp. 431–432
- Večernji list 15 January 2012
- Hrvatski vojnik September 2011
- Delo 14 October 1991
- Marijan 2011, p. 477
- Marijan 2011, pp. 472–473
- Marijan 2011, p. 476
- Delnice 6 November 2011
- Marijan 2011, p. 461
- Brigović 2011, note 85
- Novosti 14 May 2010
- Radio Jaska 13 November 2010
- Brigović 2011, p. 436
- Brigović 2011, p. 437
- Brigović 2011, pp. 438–439
- Brigović 2011, p. 440
- The Independent 10 October 1992
- Oberschall 2007, p. 107
- Ramet 2002, p. 68
- Marijan 2003, note 20
- Marijan 2003, note 21
- Marijan 2003, p. 44
- Marijan 2003, pp. 41–42
- Marijan 2003, pp. 42–43
- Marijan 2005, p. 302
- Hrastović 2006, p. 130
- Karaula 2007, p. 22
- Ramet 2005, pp. 124–125
- Sadkovich 2008, p. 191
- Sadkovich 2008, note 42
- Kadijević 1993, p. 129
- CIA 2002, p. 108
- Armatta 2010, pp. 194–196
- Trbovich 2008, p. 299
- Armatta 2010, p. 196
- Trbovich 2008, p. 300
- Brigović 2011, pp. 440–441
- Brigović 2011, pp. 444–445
- Brigović 2011, pp. 448–449
- Brigović 2011, p. 449
- The New York Times 30 November 1991
- Thomas & Mikulan 2006, p. 51
- Glas Istre 15 December 2012
- Marijan 2012, p. 109
- Armatta 2010, p. 197
- Ahrens 2007, p. 110
- Bethlehem & Weller 1997, p. 542
- CIA 2002, pp. 157–158
- Jelavić 2010, p. 178
- Novi list 6 July 2012
- Večernji list 15 November 2010
- Jutarnji list 17 November 2008
- Večernji list 9 April 2013
- Nacional 21 October 2003
- Večernji list 10 May 2011
- Ahrens, Geert-Hinrich (2007). Diplomacy on the Edge: Containment of Ethnic Conflict and the Minorities Working Group of the Conferences on Yugoslavia. Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8557-0.
- Armatta, Judith (2010). Twilight of Impunity: The War Crimes Trial of Slobodan Milosevic. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0-8223-4746-0.
- Bethlehem, Daniel; Weller, Marc, eds. (1997). The 'Yugoslav' Crisis in International Law: General issues. Part 1. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-46304-1.
- Central Intelligence Agency, Office of Russian and European Analysis (2002). Balkan Battlegrounds: A Military History of the Yugoslav Conflict, 1990–1995. Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency. OCLC 50396958.
- Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. London, England: Routledge. 1999. ISBN 978-1-85743-058-5.
- Hoare, Marko Attila (2010). "The War of Yugoslav Succession". In Ramet, Sabrina P. Central and Southeast European Politics Since 1989. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. pp. 111–136. ISBN 978-1-139-48750-4.
- Kadijević, Veljko (1993). Moje viđenje raspada: vojska bez države [My view of disintegration: An army without a state] (in Serbian). Belgrade, Yugoslavia: Politika. ISBN 978-86-7607-047-3.
- Oberschall, Anthony (2007). Conflict and Peace Building in Divided Societies: Responses to Ethnic Violence. London, England: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-203-94485-1.
- Ramet, Sabrina P. (2002). Balkan babel: the disintegration of Yugoslavia from the death of Tito to the fall of Milošević. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. ISBN 978-0-8133-3987-0.
- Ramet, Sabrina P. (2005). Thinking about Yugoslavia: Scholarly Debates about the Yugoslav Breakup and the Wars in Bosnia and Kosovo. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-61690-4.
- Ramet, Sabrina P. (2006). The Three Yugoslavias: State-Building And Legitimation, 1918–2006. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34656-8.
- Thomas, Nigel; Mikulan, Krunislav (2006). The Yugoslav Wars (1): Slovenia & Croatia 1991–95. Oxford, England: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-963-9.
- Trbovich, Ana S. (2008). A Legal Geography of Yugoslavia's Disintegration. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-533343-5.
- Scientific journal articles
- Brigović, Ivan (October 2011). "Odlazak Jugoslavenske narodne armije s područja Zadra, Šibenika i Splita krajem 1991. i početkom 1992. godine" [Departure of the Yugoslav People's Army from the area of Zadar, Šibenik and Split in late 1991 and early 1992]. Journal of Contemporary History (in Croatian) (Croatian Institute of History) 43 (2): 415–452. ISSN 0590-9597.
- Jelavić, Ante (October 2010). "Međunarodni oružani sukobi na moru" [International armed conflicts at sea]. Naše more, Journal of marine science and technology (in Croatian) (University of Dubrovnik) 57 (3-4): 170–178. ISSN 0469-6255.
- Hrastović, Ivica (December 2006). "Zauzimanje vojarni JNA u Varaždinu i predaja 32. varaždinskog korpusa JNA" [Capture of the JNA barracks in Varaždin and surrender of the 32nd Varaždin Corps of the JNA]. Polemos: Journal of Interdisciplinary Research on War and Peace (in Croatian) (Croatian Sociological Association and Jesenski & Turk Publishing House) 9 (18): 119–135. ISSN 1331-5595.
- Karaula, Željko (June 2007). "Osvajanje vojarne JNA "Božidar Adžija" u Bjelovaru 1991. godine" [Capture of "Božidar Adžija" JNA barracks in Bjelovar in 1991]. Journal of Contemporary History (in Croatian) (Croatian Institute of History) 39 (1): 7–24. ISSN 0590-9597.
- Lisičak, Adrijan (June 2010). "Oslobađanje vojnih skladišta JNA u Sesvetama 1991." [Liberation of Yugoslav People's Army depots in Sesvete, 1991]. Polemos: Journal of Interdisciplinary Research on War and Peace (in Croatian) (Croatian Sociological Association and Jesenski & Turk Publishing House) 13 (25): 77–92. ISSN 1331-5595.
- Marijan, Davor (October 2002). "Bitka za Vukovar 1991." [Battle of Vukovar, 1991]. Scrinia Slavonica (in Croatian) (Croatian Historical Institute - Department of History of Slavonia, Srijem and Baranja) 2 (1): 367–402. ISSN 1332-4853.
- Marijan, Davor (December 2003). ""Jedinstvo" – Posljednji ustroj JNA" ["Unity" - The last order of battle of the JNA]. Polemos: Journal of Interdisciplinary Research on War and Peace (in Croatian) (Croatian Sociological Association and Jesenski & Turk Publishing House) 6 (11-12): 11–47. ISSN 1331-5595.
- Marijan, Davor (December 2005). "Agression of The Yugoslav People's Army on the Republic of Croatia 1990–1992". Review of Croatian History (Croatian Institute of History) 1 (1): 295–318. ISSN 1845-4380.
- Marijan, Davor (December 2006). "Djelovanje JNA i pobunjenih Srba u Lici 1990. - 1992. godine" [Activities of the JNA and rebel Serbs in Lika in 1990–1992]. The Review of Senj (in Croatian) (City Museum Senj - Senj Museum Society) 33 (1): 217–241. ISSN 0582-673X.
- Marijan, Davor (October 2011). ""Slučaj" Logorište" [Logorište Case]. Journal of Contemporary History (in Croatian) (Croatian Institute of History) 43 (2): 453–480. ISSN 0590-9597.
- Marijan, Davor (May 2012). "The Sarajevo Ceasefire – Realism or strategic error by the Croatian leadership?". Review of Croatian History (Croatian Institute of History) 7 (1): 103–123. ISSN 1845-4380.
- Miškulin, Ivica (September 2005). "Iz života 122. brigade Hrvatske vojske 1991.-1993." [From the life of the 122nd Brigade of the Croatian Army 1991–1993]. Scrinia Slavonica (in Croatian) (Croatian Historical Institute - Department of History of Slavonia, Srijem and Baranja) 5 (1): 338–365. ISSN 1332-4853.
- Sadkovich, James J. (June 2008). "Franjo Tuđman i problem stvaranja hrvatske države" [Franjo Tuđman and the problem of creating a Croatian State]. Journal of Contemporary History (in Croatian) (Croatian Institute of History) 40 (1): 177–194. ISSN 0590-9597.
- Škvorc, Đuro (February 2010). "Zapadna Slavonija uoči i u Domovinskom ratu do studenoga 1991. godine" [Western Slavonia on the eve of and in the Croatian War of Independence, till November 1991]. Cris: Journal of the Historical Society of Križevci (in Croatian) (The Historical Society of Križevci) 11 (1): 116–126. ISSN 1332-2567.
- News reports
- Bellamy, Christopher (10 October 1992). "Croatia built 'web of contacts' to evade weapons embargo". The Independent. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012.
- Bognar, Karolina; Kovačević, Marija; Vanić, Dunja; Ravlić, Marija; Vukas, Irena; Kovačević, Marin (16 September 2011). "Mala, ali značajna bitka" [Small, but significant battle]. Posavska Hrvatska (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- Dimitrič, Milovan; Moravček, Goran (14 October 1991). "Težavna pot konvoja s pomočjo v Vukovar" [Hard road ahead of the relief convoy for Vukovar] (PDF). Delo (in Slovene). Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- Engelberg, Stephen (3 March 1991). "Belgrade Sends Troops to Croatia Town". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013.
- Flego, Miroslav (10 May 2011). "General Vlado Trifunović će pravdu potražiti i u Hrvatskoj" [General Vlado Trifunović will seek justice in Croatia too]. Večernji list (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- Galić, Cristian Bruno (15 December 2012). "Prije točno 21 godine Pulu napustila jugo-vojska" [Yugo-army left Pula 21 years ago to the day]. Glas Istre (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- Jurica Turk, Varina (23 November 2011). "Igra na "Male Bare" II" [Male Bare games II]. Dubrovački list. Archived from the original on 8 October 2013.
- Kirlan, Zvonimir (18 February 2007). "Gregurić Miloviću: JNA neće tenkove upotrijebiti protiv vlastitoga naroda" [Gregurić to Milović: JNA will not use tanks against its own people]. Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 22 July 2009.
- Klarica, Siniša (23 September 2011). "Zauzimanjem vojarni spriječen pakleni plan JNA da u Zadar uđu tenkovskim snagama" [Capture of the barracks foiled JNA's deadly plan to enter Zadar with tanks]. Zadarski list (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 25 August 2013.
- Lepan, Suzana (17 November 2008). "Osječku katedralu gađali za gajbu piva" [Osijek cathedral shot at for a case of beer]. Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- Marinković, Ernest (14 May 2010). "Čovjek čiji je neposluh spasio Rijeku" [Man whose disobedience saved Rijeka] (in Croatian). Novosti. Archived from the original on 27 September 2012.
- Marčinković, Darko (15 November 2010). "Jure Šimić, osumnjičen za ratni zločin, branit će se sa slobode" [Jure Šimić, suspected of a war crime, will stand trial on bail]. Večernji list (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- Marković, Marko (15 September 2000). "Orešković i Norac zaslužni što Gospić danas nije Teslingrad!" [Orešković and Norac take credit that Gospić is not called Teslingrad today]. Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 25 September 2010.
- Ogurlić, Dragan (14 October 2006). "Osvajanje vojarni u Rijeci" [Conquest of barracks in Rijeka] (PDF). Novi list (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- Pašalić, Davor (21 October 2003). "Htjeli su da poginem da dokažu da su Hrvati genocidni" [They wanted me to get killed to prove that Croats are genocidal]. Nacional (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 17 July 2012.
- Paštar, Toni (25 August 2010). "Vijenci, svijeće i molitve u Sinju i Vrlici za poginule branitelje" [Wreaths, candles and prayers for dead in Sinj and Vrlika]. Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- Paštar, Toni (16 January 2012). "Snažno uporište JNA" [Strong JNA base]. Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 6 March 2012.
- Perica, Silvana. "20 godina od priznanja - otkrivamo nepoznate detalje novije povijesti" [20 years since recognition - we reveal unknown details of the recent history]. Večernji list (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- Prša, Dražen (17 September 2012). "Na današnji dan osvojena vojarna u Otočcu" [Anniversary of Otočac barracks capture] (in Croatian). Lika online daily e-newspaper. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012.
- "Današnji 13. studeni, dan je grada Jastrebarskog!" [Today, 13 November, is the day of the city of Jastrebarsko!] (in Croatian). Radio Jaska. 13 November 2010. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- "Obilježen Dan pobjede nad JNA u Našicama" [Victory day over the JNA marked in Našice] (in Croatian). Radio Našice. 22 September 2008. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- Raić Knežević, Ana (6 July 2012). "Skupa pravda: Sud mora platiti milijun kuna za 12 godina dug proces" [Expensive justice: The court ordered to pay a million Kuna for 12-years-long trial]. Novi list (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 22 August 2012.
- Skočibušić, Kristijan (9 April 2013). "General bivše JNA Vladimir Trifunović traži novo suđenje" [Former JNA General Vladimir Trifunović seeks new trial]. Večernji list (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- Sudetic, Chuck (2 April 1991). "Rebel Serbs Complicate Rift on Yugoslav Unity". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013.
- Šunjić, Ante (14 September 2010). "Dan kada je osvojena prva vojarna u Hrvatskoj" [The day when the first barracks in Croatia were captured]. Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- "Roads Sealed as Yugoslav Unrest Mounts". The New York Times. Reuters. 19 August 1990. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013.
- "Serbian Troops Pull Out of Croatian Barracks". The New York Times. 30 November 1991. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- Žabec, Krešimir (28 May 2011). "Tus, Stipetić, Špegelj i Agotić: Dan prije opsade Vukovara Tuđman je Imri Agotiću rekao: Rata neće biti!" [Tus, Stipetić, Špegelj and Agotić: A day ahead of the siege of Vukovar, Tuđman said to Imra Agotić: There will be no war!]. Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 21 April 2012.
- International, governmental and NGO sources
- "17. rujna – oslobođenje vojarne "Polom" i Dan branitelja Daruvara" [17 September - liberation of "Polom" barracks and the day of the defenders of Daruvar] (in Croatian). City of Daruvar. Archived from the original on 5 September 2013.
- "Gorski kotar upisan je zlatnim slovima" [Gorski kotar inscribed in gold] (in Croatian). City of Delnice. 6 November 2011. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- "Wartime history of the factory" (PDF). "Unstoppable on all terrains". Đuro Đaković. p. 13. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- "Narodna zaštita i dobrovoljački odredi" [National guard and volunteer detachments] (in Croatian). City of Ogulin. Archived from the original on 13 August 2011.
- "Branitelji grada Siska proslavili svoj dan" [Defenders of the city of Sisak celebrate their day] (in Croatian). City of Sisak. 3 September 2012. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- Nazor, Ante (October 2010). "Dokumenti o napadnim operacijama JNA i pobunjenih Srba u Dalmaciji 1991. (III. dio)" [Documents on offensive operations of the JNA and the rebel Serbs in Dalmatia 1991 (part 3)] (in Croatian). Hrvatski vojnik. Archived from the original on 30 November 2013.
- Reljanović, Marijo (November 2001). "Hrvatska ratna mornarica u obrani Jadrana" [Croatian Navy in defence of the Adriatic] (in Croatian). Hrvatski vojnik. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013.
- "The Prosecutor vs. Milan Martic – Judgement" (PDF). International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. 12 June 2007.
- Vlahović, Domagoj (September 2011). "20. obljetnica pukovnije veze" [20th anniversary of the signals regiment] (in Croatian). Hrvatski vojnik. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.