Talk:1991 Yugoslav campaign in Croatia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Military history (Rated GA-Class)
MILHIST This article is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
GA This article has been rated as GA-Class on the quality assessment scale.
WikiProject Yugoslavia (Rated GA-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon 1991 Yugoslav campaign in Croatia is within the scope of WikiProject Yugoslavia, a collaborative effort to improve the Wikipedia coverage of articles related to Yugoslavia and its nations. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Croatia (Rated GA-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon 1991 Yugoslav campaign in Croatia is within the scope of WikiProject Croatia, a collaborative effort to improve the quality and coverage of articles related to Croatia on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Serbia (Rated GA-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Serbia, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Serbia on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.


How much control did Milošević have over military operations, and does his level of control over the JNA's military strategy merit his inclusion as a commander in the page's infobox? 23 editor (talk) 21:14, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

That's via Serbian, Montenegrin, Vojvodina's and Kosovo's seats in the federal presidency. The offered sources back that claim up quite extensively. Besides that, the ceasefires of November 23 and January 2, as well as the Vance plan was first presented to and approved by Milošević, and only then presented to Kadijević. Finally, he was decisive in redefining strategic goals of JNA deployment, decisive in arranging countrywide ceasefires and agreeing upon its pullout from Croatia. Those reflect quite comprehensive control over the JNA at a strategic level, especially since 1 October 1991. This is likewise verifiable by the sources offered in the article. His inclusion in the infobox, based on the same arguments, has already been upheld by a FA review.--Tomobe03 (talk) 22:02, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I am not aware of any reliable sources that claim that Milošević did not have strategic control over the JNA at this time. Ramet details numerous meetings where Kadijević took direction from Milošević. Happy to discuss alternative viewpoints if they are backed by reliable sources though. Can you point to any, 23? Regards, Peacemaker67 (send... over) 00:22, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia is based on what RS say, not on what RS don't say. Similar discussion was held here.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 15:54, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
In 1991 Milošević was able to influence or excercised control over JNA see ( "Milošević was the President of the Republic of Serbia during the relevant period, and as such, it was alleged, exercised effective control or substantial influence over the participants of the JCE, and, either alone or acting in concert with others, effectively controlled or substantially influenced the actions of the Federal Presidency of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) and later the FRY, the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP), the Yugoslav Peoples’ Army (JNA), the Serb-run Territorial Defence (TO) staff in the relevant territories, and Serb volunteer groups. According to the indictment, between 1 August 1991 and June 1992, Serb forces, comprising JNA units, local TO units, TO units from Serbia and Montenegro, local and Serbian MUP units and paramilitary units, attacked and took control of towns, villages and settlements in the territories listed above. After the takeover, the Serb forces, in co-operation with the local Serb authorities, established a regime of persecutions designed to drive the Croat and other non-Serb civilian population from these territories." The so called JNA was in that name only, it was part of Milosevic's regime, therefore the title of this article is WRONG Vodomar (talk) 22:00, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
The source which is linked here is marked as "NOT AN OFFICIAL DOCUMENT". Even if that document was official, it would be insufficient to support the assertion that Milosevic commanded Yugoslav troops. "Substantial influence" logic would mean that president of USA can be put into infobox as well, because he also had "substantial influence" on the situation on the ground. The point is not who had substantial influence but who was commander of the troops.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 11:35, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
or "exercised effective control" over them? Peacemaker67 (send... over) 11:45, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps Sell, p. 373 [1] would be a better source? Peacemaker67 (send... over) 12:23, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Is there any specific reason to use non-neutral source written by "former U.S. foreign service officer Louis Sell" instead of constitution of Yugoslavia? Supreme commander of JNA after Tito's death was Presidency of Yugoslavia. During the period which is subject of this article its members were Branko Kostić and Borisav Jović. --Antidiskriminator (talk) 12:47, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
The Constitution of Yugoslavia is not a secondary source, for starters. Peacemaker67 (send... over) 12:57, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
There are plenty of secondary sources which support the assertion that collective supreme commander of JNA in period within the scope of this article was Presidency. It is easy to search and pick few. --Antidiskriminator (talk) 13:15, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
If you think Sell is not a reliable source for this point, take it to RSN. Your opinion that he isn't is just that, your opinion. Produce an academic review that says he's biased. Peacemaker67 (send... over) 14:17, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The appropriate course of action is to either take the sources used to support this material to RSN for an opinion (hopefully a strong one so that while not binding, it would be persuasive...), or produce reliable secondary sources that contradict what Armatta and Sell say (not a primary document like the Constitution that the article and cited sources clearly state SM was circumventing through his control of the presidency). Your disruptive tagging of issues you personally have an issue with eventually led to ARBMAC last time. Don't be surprised if it heads that way again if you do not follow proper dispute resolution procedures in this case. Either engage with the sources on the talk page or employ another form of dispute resolution. I have removed the "unresolved" tag because you have signally failed to do either at this stage. When you have commenced doing one of those things, please let us all know. Peacemaker67 (send... over) 07:39, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

The title of the article[edit]

The title of the article was discussed here. I think that my concerns about the title were not completely addressed so I present a link to this discussion here in case somebody will want to deal with it in future.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 16:14, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

I'm pretty unhappy with the outcome. "Yugoslav campaign in Croatia" sounds odd (even a bit nonsensical) because it could be reasonably argued that Croatia was still a part of Yugoslavia in 1991 and did not receive significant international recognition before January 1992. "Yugoslav People's Army campaign in Croatia" would have been much better. GregorB (talk) 16:21, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I think it is fine. Peacemaker67 (send... over) 16:23, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I also don't think there's anything wrong with the current title. Even if an argument is made that Croatia was a federal unit at the outset of the campaign, it was still a political entity and a geographical term regardless of declaration and/or recognition of Croatian independence. Since the declaration of independence came into force mere 18 days after the beginning of the campaign (declared in late June), most of the events occurred in formally independent and partially recognized country.--Tomobe03 (talk) 20:10, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
One might say Croatia was "formally independent" but then again so was the Republic of Serbian Krajina, if one chooses to use the same criteria. For the better part of that stage the conflict, no one outside Croatia recognized its independence, and no one saw it as a "Yugoslav campaign in Croatia" - it can only be described that way from the Croatian perspective, or from a current global perspective if one is being inconsistent (i.e. "Croatia actually was independent in 1991, even if that's not what we were saying back then").
That put aside, there is one more problem with the title: also for the better part of the conflict, that campaign was "Yugoslav" in name only, as the JNA was not effectively under control of the Yugoslav Presidency. GregorB (talk) 20:48, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm not bent on using "Yugoslavia" instead of "Yugoslav People's Army" in the title. The problem with the "army" in the title is that it means "ground forces" in English, when navy and air force took part as well.--Tomobe03 (talk) 21:00, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
That is unfortunate, but I don't think it's seriously misleading, and may well be discussed in the lead. GregorB (talk) 21:18, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
BTW I'm not that bent on the Yugoslav People's Army in the title either, it is not that important - just trying to present some counter-arguments, and see if people agree or not. GregorB (talk) 21:41, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I believe the consensus in this section is that it really is not all that important (GregorB), or that the title is fine (me and Tomobe03). Therefore, the current consensus is that the article title is fine. I have removed the "tag" you have placed, until you employ one of the many dispute resolution options available here on WP. Tagging without advancing your argument is disruptive (see my comment above). Peacemaker67 (send... over) 07:42, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:1991 Yugoslav campaign in Croatia/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Peacemaker67 (talk · contribs) 12:22, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

I'll get to this shortly.

Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, it respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct.
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.
2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline.
2b. all in-line citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines. well cited throughout, one query re: Milosevic in the infobox needs expansion in the text (see suggestion on talk page)
2c. it contains no original research.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic.
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each.
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
6a. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content.
6b. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions. have tweaked
7. Overall assessment. All comments below have been addressed to my satisfaction


  • the licensing for the photographs in the collage in the infobox all appear to be ok in themselves, but the collage itself does not meet the attribution requirements of the authors of the images, and the author on the collage image should be that of the authors of the images (Denton and the other guy). To meet the requirements, they both need to be listed as the authors on the collage. Putting the collage together does not make one the author.
    • Listed authors indicating who created what image specifically.--Tomobe03 (talk) 10:00, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
      • Have checked my advice with Nikkimaria, she says it was probably overkill, but better to be safe than sorry at ACR or FA if you take it that far.
        • It was no trouble at all. Thanks for rechecking though.
  • I've c/e'd the lead, rather than list every point in prose, style and grammar etc, I propose c/e'ing the whole article if you are happy with that?
    • Of course. I'd greatly appreciate that.--Tomobe03 (talk) 09:35, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
      • It'll take a couple of days, I'm thinking. Peacemaker67 (send... over) 10:05, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
        • c/e done. These are my edits. Check I haven't changed any meanings?
          • Everything seems to be in order. Thanks.
  • You need to address Ad's query about Milosevic as a commander/effective control. I've suggested using Louis Sell, p.373 - published by Duke University (see talk page). It is not necessary now, but at ACR you might need to use an academic source in addition to Sell.
    • I added info, referencing Sell p.373, and an additional explanation of the mechanisms applied (including a description of the level of control described by the source as "de facto commander"), referencing Armatta p.160.
  • I've checked Ad's other query about the 20,000 refugees and am satisfied that the matter is explained and cited in the text of the article. It probably wouldn't hurt to add "Serb" to "refugees" for clarity though. I suppose it might then be necessary to add "Croat" to the other refugees to maintain consistency in the infobox.
    • I have no problem adding "Serb" to "refugees" as a clarification, as far as the "Croat" tag is concerned, that would be possible albeit not completely accurate. The refugees were not 100% ethnic Croats, a relatively small proportion were of other ethnicities (e.g. Hungarians). I cannot readily produce specific info on exact ethnic breakup of the refugees, so if these tags are acceptable generalisations, that's fine by me. I'll try to come up with something in that respect if necessary.
      • I think it is fine, I believe Ramet might have something about the breakdown of the other refugees, I'll take a look soon.
  • putting it on hold while you clear up the SM issue raised by Ad. Good article, well structured and appropriate level of detail. Regards, Peacemaker67 (send... over) 12:54, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Thank you for your time and effort put into reviewing this article.--Tomobe03 (talk) 18:47, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Number of refugees[edit]

There is an unreferenced information about 20,000 refugees at Yugoslav side. This is unclear. Were those refugees from Croatia or from Yugoslavia?--Antidiskriminator (talk) 11:43, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Hello again Ad. I've reviewed your query given I am in the middle of reviewing this article against the GA criteria. It is not unreferenced. The issue is clarified in the text, they were Serbs from western Slavonia, and a ref is provided to the HRW report, which I have verified. At that point they were either Yugoslav citizens or Croatian citizens I suppose, depending upon your point of view. Infoboxes are not expected to explain all the various nuances of an article. I am satisfied the matter is addressed. Peacemaker67 (send... over) 12:44, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
This is not a matter of point of view, but factual accuracy. Western Slavonia is in Croatia. --Antidiskriminator (talk) 12:54, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
"Ali vratimo se Hrvatskoj i ratnoj 1991. godini. Dakle, sa prostora Hrvatske koji je kontrolisala JNA i snage lokalnih Srba, a to je bila jedna ~etvrtina teritorije, iselilo je i otišlo u izbjeglištvo više od stopedeset hiljada ljudi hrvatske nacionalnosti. Nad njima su vršeni ratni zločini, paljena i plačkana njihova imovina. U isto vrijeme je iz hrvatskih gradova izbjeglo više od sto hiljada ljudi srpske nacionalnosti, pod najrazličitijim vrstama pritiska,..." link.
  • One page ahead of the quoted bit, the source explicitly notes that the Serb refugees started leaving Croatian cities in spring 1991. Therefore even if the figure provided is accurate, it covers a period of time up to three times longer than the one discussed by the article. Furthermore the source provided explicitly dismisses any link between the subject topic of this article and the refugees, except for western Slavonia, and those refugees are dealt with in fair detail by the article already, specifying their origin, number, cause of flight and fate. Finally the Croatian counteroffensive neither captured nor threatened any major city - particularly none of those specified by the offered source (on the page following the quoted bit) as origin of the refugees. It is therefore not reasonable to conclude that refugees who may have left those cities are linked to the counteroffensive or the subject of the article.--Tomobe03 (talk) 11:04, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Is there any specific reason to separate refugees in Croatia by their ethnicity and to assert that only non-Serb refugees belong to Croatia while Croatian Serb refugees from Croatia are not refugees from Croatia?--Antidiskriminator (talk) 07:33, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Getting a bit touchy, Ad. How about you stop asking rhetorical questions and be direct about what you want fixed? I don't know, make an actual suggestion about a solution instead of asking vague questions. I really don't understand your query. Do you mean that this article identifies some refugees as being Serbs and doesn't identify the rest by ethnicity, and because the refugee numbers in the infobox are aligned with the forces fighting the campaign, there is something wrong with that? What exactly do you mean? Stop beating around the bush... Peacemaker67 (send... over) 11:14, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Please respect WP:NPA and comment on content, not on the contributor.
  • I think I was specific from the first comment I wrote in this section. The issue here is uncited classification of refugees in Croatia presented in the infobox. From some reason 420,000 refugees in Croatia are classified in two groups. One group is assigned to forces of Croatia, while other group is not. This classification of the refugees in Croatia is made by their ethnicity (you said "they were Serbs from western Slavonia"). I asked you to explain the reason for such ethnicity based separation of the refugees in Croatia. Please answer my question and explain why do you believe that refugees in Croatia should be classified based on their ethnicity. "Stop beating around the bush..."--Antidiskriminator (talk) 20:20, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • The refugees are grouped not by their ethnicity but depending on which belligerent caused their displacement. This must have been made clear to you if you read the article (and the corresponding references) or at least the talk above. Be advised that your edit above represents disruptive editing per WP:LISTEN. If you have a specific proposal or question, say it.--Tomobe03 (talk) 21:50, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Incorrect. It is Peacemaker67 who did not understand what was the issue here. I also had intention to mention WP:LISTEN in his case but instead I decided to AGF.
  • I hope that Peacemaker67 will answer my question because I think that your explanation is not supported by sources and does not make any sense.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 06:49, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Ad, I believe that you only now have made your question clear. Thank you for stating it plainly. It is not a question of WP:LISTEN, it is most likely a combination of your English expression and some assumptions on all sides. However, to address your point, to quote from Schumann, "At the end of 1991, civil war casualties had totaled over 6,000 dead, 23,000 wounded, and 400,000 internally displaced people in Croatia." Schumann does not say what side of the fighting these figures came from. They therefore could have been from any ethnic group, including Serbs. It is therefore incorrect to state that the 6,000, 23,000 or 400,000 were "Croatians", except in the sense that they were Croatian citizens (from a Croatian government perspective of course, because international recognition was not widespread until early 1992). I therefore believe identifying them as such is not supported by the source. Consequently, I believe that this source does not support the material it has been used to support, and the sentence needs to be amended accordingly. This obviously has an implication for the infobox as Ad has pointed out, and I believe the most appropriate way to deal with it is to use a reference to the Aftermath section in the infobox rather than artificially (and inaccurately) use one column or the other. I recommend leaving casualty figures out of the infobox unless the source explicitly identifies who they belong to, and inserting "See the Aftermath section" in that field on both columns of the infobox for the other types of casualties. Another option would be to just use the See Aftermath section approach with all casualty types (this is my preference given the potential for confusion). There are minor implications for other casualty-related figures used in the article, eg 420,000 is used in the lead, and according to Schumann, the figure was 400,000. Thoughts? Peacemaker67 (send... over) 07:28, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • There is this and this source supporting significantly higher figures. Perhaps it would be the best to introduce the figure as casualties3 field in the box and in the article prose as a range: 400-600k, and keep the 20k figure only in the counteroffensive subsection. Thoughts?--Tomobe03 (talk) 09:43, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Certainly, both sources are good, but Schumann isn't specific about the 6K and 23K figures in the infobox either. I'd just remove all the casualty figures from the infobox, cite the existing ones and the additional ones carefully in the Aftermath section, then use the full width infobox field you've used for the refugees to link to the Aftermath section. It would be worthwhile adding Calic's 78K figure for refugees from Croatia arriving in Serbia into the Aftermath section as well. Calic also seems to have a bit more about the locations of atrocities committed by both sides that could be added. You'll certainly need all this and more at ACR if you're intending to take this there. Peacemaker67 (send... over) 10:43, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Added one bit from Calic, with details (figures) on the same from Goldstein. The rest provided by Calic (and Goldstein) seem better suited for the aftermath section for now (chronologically at least), until the ACR, that is.--Tomobe03 (talk) 11:42, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't really know how to go about linking from the box to the section. Can you advise on that please?--Tomobe03 (talk) 10:56, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────done. Peacemaker67 (send... over) 11:47, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Thanks, that's a very elegant solution. Quite frankly, I hate cramming lots of numbers, especially ranges, in the box because that defeats the purpose of the box itself. Casual readers are likely to be puzzled and put off by such a mess, and those really interested in the subject will want to read the prose. --Tomobe03 (talk) 11:51, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • No worries, I even do that with a Result section in some cases, as win, lose or draw is just too cut and dried. I believe this solution should address Ad's concern. Peacemaker67 (send... over) 12:29, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. There's more to victory than being in possession of the battlefield.--Tomobe03 (talk) 12:56, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • The Schumann's quote used in the article and presented here by Peacemaker67 discuss "civil war casualties... in Croatia" at the end of 1991 and therefore are not only casualties of the event presented with this article. Are there any sources on this topic specifically?--Antidiskriminator (talk) 21:18, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Schumann gives a fairly round number. Granted some people died before the campaign - there were a couple of fatalities at Plitvice, a dozen or so in Borovo Selo, none in Pakrac, less than three dozen in and around Kozibrod, and likely some more in addition elsewhere. All in all not that many - fairly certainly below a hundred. Again, since the 6,000 is ostensibly a rounded out figure, it is quite safe to use in this context as well. No reasonable reader will interpret the figure as "exactly 6,000".--Tomobe03 (talk) 21:32, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Please don't write your comments inside of mine. Please read your own comment about presenting the all 1991 year casualties as casualties of only this event (diff).
  • WP:RS says: "Sources should directly support the information as it is presented in an article. If no reliable sources can be found on a topic, Wikipedia should not have an article on it."--Antidiskriminator (talk) 21:59, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Stalemate result[edit]

  • Are there any sources which support "stalemate" result in the infobox? --Antidiskriminator (talk) 21:18, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Is there a particular reason you ignore the sources in the article? The claim is directly supported in the article prose itself, at p.108 of the Balkan Battlegrounds, which reads: "Militarily, the Croatian war had ended in a stalemate within months of its eruption, which was a key reason both sides were willing at the end of 1991 to accept a UN-brokered truce and an international peacekeeping force."--Tomobe03 (talk) 21:32, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I am not sure if the quote you presented refers to Yugoslav campaign. The text says: " the campaign objectives were redefined to deny Croatian Government access to parts of Croatia that contained a substantial Serb population, and to protect Croatian Serbs." - Were this objectives fulfilled?--Antidiskriminator (talk) 21:47, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Apparently not. It seems you would like to disregard western Slavonia. I seem to remember quite publicly stated goals of capture of Virovitica, Karlovac... those did not pan out either... Besides, you asked for a source and were provided one.--Tomobe03 (talk) 21:59, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • "I would like?" This is not the first time you write comments in which you imply what I would like or not like. Please comment the content, not the contributor. Don't attribute motives to me. What I would like or not is not the subject of this discussion.
  • I am still uncertain if stalemate assertion is correct regarding the result and if cited source directly supports it. Not because I think JNA was victorious. On the contrary. --Antidiskriminator (talk) 22:17, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Ad, pls start threads in chronological order, this thread should be below the tank thread. Peacemaker67 (send... over) 23:43, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Image of the tank[edit]

The image of the tank in the collage was taken in April 1992, three months after the event described in this article.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 20:15, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

So what? Is there a question or suggestion in here or is this just a statement of something obvious?--Tomobe03 (talk) 21:25, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

I think he's saying the collage should be fixed to reflect events that happened during the period described within the article. 23 editor (talk) 18:48, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Since no fighting including tanks occurred in the area except for Logorište breakout of 4-6 November 1991, that one must have been destroyed then. At least a half of the tanks that attempted to break through from Logorište barracks were indeed T-34s, just like that one. If there were any information about any tanks that were destroyed in the area in January-April 1992 or prior to September 1991, there could be some room for doubt.--Tomobe03 (talk) 19:28, 4 July 2013 (UTC)