Special Operations Battalion (Croatia)

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Special Operations Battalion
Amblem BSD-a.jpg
Emblem of Special Operations Battalion
ActiveSeptember 8, 2000 – December 24, 2014
BranchGeneral staff unit
TypeSpecial operation force
Size5 companies
Garrison/HQDrgomalj Delnice
Nickname(s)Green berets,Cobras
Motto(s)Svi su pozvani, rijetki su odabrani (All are invited, few are chosen)
Anniversaries8 September
DecorationsOrder of Ban Jelačić
Lieutenant Colonel Perica Turalija

The Special Operations Battalion (Croatian: Bojna za specijalna djelovanja), or popularly BSD was founded on 8 September 2000 when the Special Combat Skills Center from Šepurine and the 1st Croatian Guards Brigade (Croatian: 1. hrvatski gardijski zdrug, a component of the 1st Croatian Guards Corps) were amalgamated.[1] It ceased to exist in 2014, when it was transformed into the Special Operations Command.

The BSD members can be recognized by their green berets with unit badges over the right eye. Their symbol is a snake, so they are sometimes referred as "Cobras" although their insignia shows a Horned viper which is the most dangerous snake to be found in Croatia and in mainland Europe.

Main tasks[edit]

The Battalion was focused on airborne assault as well as operations behind enemy lines with insertion from land, air or sea. However, unlike most special forces in the world, the Battalion is also trained in non-combat search and rescue of civilians and providing aid as well as dealing with natural disasters. The unit was equipped with the most sophisticated weapons and equipment available, and trained to undertake the full range of special ops missions and even the dangerous mid-air, aircraft-to-aircraft operations. Personnel were trained for:

  • Combat operations on land, air and sea on all types of terrains and all weather conditions
  • Deep battlefield infiltration by land, air and sea
  • Unconventional warfare behind enemy lines
  • Counter-terrorism and hand-to-hand combat
  • CSAR missions (Combat Search and Rescue)
  • Humanitarian and peacekeeping operations

The Croatian General Staff exercised direct command over the battalion which thus elevated the unit to strategic level for quicker response time and overall better and faster deployment on both tactical and strategic levels. Also, this meant that members of all three branches of the Croatian armed forces could apply for selection. In 2008, two women successfully completed selection and training, earning their green berets and making the BSD one of the few special forces units in the world that have women among their ranks as combat qualified operators and not just support staff.

Structure of BSD[edit]

The BSD was composed of one command section and five companies, each specialized for a different variety of missions:

  • Command Section - responsible for command, control and communications, supplies, medical personnel and transport
  • 1st Special Operations Company - specialized for airborne and pathfinder operations
  • 2nd Special Operations Company - specialized for alpine and mountain operations
  • 3rd Special Operations Company - specialized for naval and amphibious operations
  • 4th Special Operations Company - specialized for urban and anti-terrorist operations
  • Fire Support Company - specialized for sniper and mortar training, also provides fire support with snipers to other four BSD companies



Model Image Caliber Origin Variants
HS2000 HS 2000 cal. 9x19.JPG 9×19mm  Croatia XD9 and XD45
Model Image Caliber Origin Variants
H&K MP5 MP5.jpg 9×19mm  Germany A3 and SD3
H&K MP7 4,6×30mm  Germany unknown
Model Image Caliber Origin Variants
VHS assault rifle VHS-D assault rifle REMOV.jpg 5.56×45mm  Croatia VHS-D,VH-K and VHS 2 VHS-D assault rifle REMOV.jpg
Heckler & Koch G36 Gewehr G36.jpg 5.56×45mm  Germany KV and C
M4 carbine PEO M4 Carbine RAS M68 CCO.png 5.56×45mm  United States A1
FN F2000 FN F2000 S.jpg 5.56×45mm  Belgium F2000
Model Image Caliber Origin
Browning M2 Machine gun M2 1.jpg 12.7×99mm  United States
FN MAG 7.62×51mm  Belgium
Ultimax 100 Section Automatic Weapon.jpg 5.56×45mm  Singapore
Model Image Caliber Origin Variants
Sako TRG-42 Sako TRG-42.jpg .300 Winchester Magnum  Finland TRG-42 .300 Winchester Magnum
MACS M3 MACSM3.png 12.7×99mm  Croatia MACS M3 and MACS M4
RT-20 Gun RT-20.svg 20×110mm  Croatia M1
M40 rifle Scout sniper snow MARPAT.jpg 7.62×51  United States A5
Steyr SSG 69 Steyr SSG 69.jpg 7.62×51mm  Austria P4
Heckler & Koch PSG1 H&K PSG-1 Sniper Rifle.jpg 7.62×51mm  Germany PSG1
Model Image Caliber Origin Variants
Mossberg 500 PEO Mossberg 590A1.jpg 12 gauge,20 gauge,.410 bore  United States mossberg 500
Franchi SPAS-12 SPAS 12 Fixed Stock and Folding Stock.JPG 12 gauge  Italy SPAS-12
Benelli M4 Super 90 Benelli m4 2.jpg 12 gauge  Italy M4
Model Image Caliber Origin Note
Mk.19 AGL MK19-02.jpg 40×53mm  United States Used on vehicles
RBG-6 Milkor GL.jpg 40×46mm  Croatia Locally produced by Metallic d.o.o., designated RBG-6
H&K AG36 Gewehr G36 noBG.jpg 40×46mm  Germany Comes as standard with all H&K G36C
Model Image Caliber Origin Note
M57 Минобацач М57 60мм.jpg 60mm Mortar  Yugoslavia Mortar underwent modification to meet NATO requirements
Model Image Type Origin
9K38 Igla IGLA-S MANPADS at IDELF-2008.jpg MANPADS  Soviet Union
Model Image Type Origin Note
9К115-2 Metis-M/9K115 Metis Antitank missile system Metis-M1.jpg wire-guided anti-tank missile  Soviet Union
9M113 Konkurs Flickr - Israel Defense Forces - Russian-Made Missile Found in Hezbollah Hands.jpg wire-guided anti-tank missile  Soviet Union To be replaced by Javelin or Eurospike at some point in near future
9K111 Fagot POLK 9K111 Fagot.jpg wire-guided anti-tank missile  Soviet Union Awaiting replacement by a modern tandem warhead anti tank system
AT4 AT4-johnson2004-02-03.jpg RPG  Sweden
Model Image Type Origin
Mercedes G 4WD Utility Light Utility Vehicle  Germany
Iveco LMV Lako oklopno vozilo Iveco (HV).jpg IMV  Italy
Oshkosh M-ATV M153 CROWS mounted on a U.S. Army M-ATV.jpg MRAP  United States
M1151 Up-Armored Capable HMMWV Humvee in difficult terrain.jpg IMV  United States
Model Image Type Origin
Bell 206B-3 Bell 206 111209 1.jpg Utility helicopter  Canada
Mil Mi-171Sh Mil Mi-171Sh front.jpg Combat-support helicopter  Russia
Mi-8MTV-1 MIL Mi 8MTV 1 111209 3.jpg Transport helicopter  Russia


International engagements[edit]

BSD members have been deployed on several peacekeeping operations and missions in the world. BSD was engaged in EUFOR Tchad/RCA, ISAF within ISAF SOF TF-50 detached from Polish Jednostka Wojskowa Komandosów.



  1. ^ "12. obljetnica Bojne za specijalna djelovanja" [12th Anniversary of the Special Operations Battalion] (in Croatian). Ministry of Defence (Croatia). 7 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Brzi presretač na moru". Hrvatski Vojnik. 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2012-04-27.