Bugojno group

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The Bugojno group (Croatian: Bugojanska skupina) was the name of a Croatian paramilitary formation which was infiltrated into Yugoslavia on June 20, 1972 to raise a rebellion against the socialist Yugoslav government.

The Bugojno group was organized by the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood (Hrvatsko revolucionarno bratstvo or HRB). The HRB was formed in Australia in 1961 and was active in Europe and the United States. The founding principle of the HRB was separation of Croatia from Yugoslavia, and reestablishment of Independent State of Croatia through violence.

After the suppression of the Croatian Spring movement the HRB believed that there existed in Croatia a political climate which would support the beginning of an armed rebellion. After short preparations, the HRB organized their personnel, weapons and funding to support an initial group to start a rebellion. Most of the fighters and money came from Australia while the armed training was done in Germany. After a short preparation in Austria, the 19-member group traveled through Dravograd into Yugoslavia by truck (the driver of which later reported them to police), on June 20, 1972. The Yugoslav territorial defense units soon began a massive search to find them.

The group was named after the Bosnian town of Bugojno, as their goal was to reach the mountain of Raduša south of the town.

The Yugoslav Army had no special forces at its disposal, and relied exclusively on some 30,000 poorly trained conscript soldiers and reservists units for the search.[1] The first clash with the security forces took place on June 25. The group successfully drove back a team of 30 Yugoslav troops and policemen, killing the officer in charge, captain Milos Popovic, and a soldier. Two other soldiers were wounded. The group, however, fled in disarray as their own commander, Adolf Andrić, was also killed in the action. Three other members were caught over the next 24 hours. Although forced to hide, the insurgents managed to regroup near Rama Lake. Cornered once more by territorial defense units, the rebels were dispersed and compelled to seek shelter among the civilian population. During the withdrawal, one unit of the territorial defense was ambushed by the militants and nine of their members killed, one of them after being captured. The paramilitaries headed for Croatia, where they became decimated in a series of ambushes and counter-ambushes with Yugoslav forces.[1] With the help of an informer the Bugojno group was eventually apprehended by July 24.

The Yugoslav losses were 13 killed in action and 14 wounded. Of the 19 members of the group, 15 were killed, 10 in action, whilst 5 were summarily executed after having surrendered. The last four members of the group were captured, tried and sentenced on December 21, 1972. Ludvig Pavlović, who was a minor, was sentenced to 20 years in prison,[1] and the remaining three were executed by firing squad on March 17, 1973. Pavlović was released from prison in 1990 and died in combat in Yugoslav Wars in 1991.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Denis Kuljiš (14 August 2010). "Teroristi ili borci za slobodu Hrvatske". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 2 March 2015.