Blago Zadro

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Blago Zadro
Blago Zadro spomenik 221208.jpg
Bust of Blago Zadro
Nickname(s) Šljuka
Born (1944-03-31)31 March 1944
Donji Mamići, Grude, Independent State of Croatia
Died 16 October 1991(1991-10-16) (aged 47)
Borovo Naselje, Croatia
Buried at Memorial Cemetery, Vukovar, Croatia
Allegiance  Croatia
Service/branch Croatian Army
Years of service 1990–91
Rank Major general (posthumously)
Commands held 3rd Btn of the 204th (Vukovar) Brigade
Battles/wars Battle of Vukovar
Blago Zadro's grave

Blago Zadro (31 March 1944 – 16 October 1991) was a commander of the northern part of Croatian defense forces in Vukovar (Croatia) during the Croatian War of Independence. He was killed in an attack by Serb forces in the town of Borovo Naselje.

Early life[edit]

Zadro was born in a small village Donji Mamići[1] near Grude in Herzegovina, and his family moved to Borovo Naselje in 1954[1] where he finished school. He became active in politics during Croatia's first democratic elections in 1990; he founded branch of Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) for Municipality of Vukovar[1] and became the vice president of the HDZ in Vukovar, and joined the defense corps when the war started.

Blago Zadro Memorial in Vukovar, Trpinjska Street

Battle of Vukovar[edit]

He commanded the 3rd Battallion of the 204th (Vukovar) Croatian Army Brigade during Battle of Vukovar, along with two of his sons, where he led actions against the JNA and local Serb forces. Zadro's unit was assigned to defend the vital Trpinjska cesta (Trpinja road), an open road leading directly into Vukovar. Because of its importance, the road became primary target for JNA tank units attacking the city and it became known as the Tank Graveyard due to actions of Zadro's anti-tank rocket groups Yellow Ants and Turbo platoon which fought off many tank attacks, notably a single incident on 18 September when an entire battalion of about 60 tanks and armored personnel carriers was ambushed and destroyed there.

Zadro was killed by Serb forces on 16 October 1991. His body was recovered and buried by his unit. When the Serb forces surrendered the city, his body was removed and remained missing until 1998, when it was found along with the bodies of 937 other victims from a mass grave in Borovo Naselje. After his death, he was promoted to the rank of major general.

President of Sabor Vladimir Šeks stated "without heroes like Blago Zadro, there would be no free Croatia".[2] A commemoration for him is held every year on the anniversary of his death in Vukovar, attended by many former comrades and political dignitaries. The main street in Borovo Naselje and a military school in Zagreb have been named after him. A street in Grude was named after him and in his birth village Donji Mamići was placed a monument in his tribute.

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