Fight in Tabanovce

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Fight in Tabanovce
Part of Serbian Chetnik Organization
DateMarch 27, 1905
42°12′53″N 21°42′30″E / 42.214722°N 21.708333°E / 42.214722; 21.708333
Result Serbian rebel victory
Serbian Chetnik Organization Ottoman Empire Kumanovo garrison
Commanders and leaders
Vladimir Kovačević
Veselin Veselinović  (POW)
Dragomir Protić  
Dragomir Vasiljević  
27 112
Casualties and losses
11 dead and two lightly wounded c. 60 dead and wounded
Fight in Tabanovce is located in Republic of North Macedonia
Fight in Tabanovce
Location of Tabanovce in the Republic of Macedonia

On March 27, 1905, there was a fight in Tabanovce (Serbian: борба на Табановцу/borba na Tabanovcu) between the Serbian Chetnik Organization, a Serbian rebel faction, and an Ottoman garrison from Kumanovo.


The Chetnik band heading for Poreče, numbering 27 men, descended at dawn on 27 March (O.S. 14 March) into the village of Tabanovce.[1] They carried a load of 101 rifles and 30,000 rounds of ammunition.[1] It was commanded by sergeant Vladimir Kovačević,[1] a nephew of Herzegovinian revolutionary Stojan Kovačević.[2] The band included, among others, sergeant Veselin Veselinović, lieutenant Dragomir Protić (Kovačević's deputy), sublieutenant Dragomir Vasiljević, Stojan Koruba, and Stojan Ristić-Giljanče.[1] The unit's most experienced fighters were Veselin Veselinović, Stojan Koruba, and Stojan Ristić-Giljanče.[2] Immediately upon arriving, Kovačević divided the band, sending a group of six under Veselinović to a house at the opposite end of the village, while the others were placed in two neighboring houses.[1] A Turkish informant saw Veselinović's group and informed the Kumanovo garrison, who already in the early afternoon began searching the houses.[1] Vasiljević was seriously wounded, while Vitko Vranjanac was shot dead; Stojan promptly reacted and ran through the yard, killing two soldiers, then took Vasiljević to safety.[3] The askeri surrounded Veselinović's house, and reformed Ottoman officer Turić informed the besieged that they had been abandoned by their comrades, who had fled before the army, and that he guaranteed them their lives if they surrendered; as resistance in these circumstances would be futile, they surrendered.[1] Around 15:00 Kovačević's groups and the Ottoman army clashed.[1] Protić and Vasiljević were killed right away when they attempted to break out.[1] The Chetniks fought bravely and stopped the onslaught, which lasted until late at night, with the army retreating; the Ottomans most often avoided nightly engagements with the guerillas.[1] The Ottomans had c. 60 dead and wounded, while the Chetniks had 11 dead and two lightly wounded.[1]


After the fights in Tabanovce, Savatije Milošević, Lazar Kujundžić and Aksentije Bacetović–Baceta left their offices as organizers of the action, wanting to feel the Chetnik lifestyle "from within" as voivodes. Baceta was to replace the then Chief of Upper Staff, Ilija Jovanović. Baceta and Savatije, by mid-April, had moved 107 freedom-fighters across the border.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Ilić, Vladimir (March 5, 2003). "Srpski četnici na početku dvadesetog veka (7): Ubistvo popa Taška". Glas Javnosti.
  2. ^ a b Recueil de Vardar. Akademija. 2005. p. 102.
  3. ^ Đorđević 2014.