Talk:Battle of the Barracks

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GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Battle of the Barracks/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Albacore (talk · contribs) 17:36, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

  • I'll review this shortly. Albacore (talk) 17:36, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
  • No dead links, no DAB links, files look OK.
  • (Zbor narodne garde - ZNG ndash needed, like you do for the JNA
    • Added.
  • Reading the lead, I was pretty lost but as I read it again things mostly make sense, well written, but I had difficulty at first equating the abbreviations to the sides (as someone without a background in Croatian history would). When you say The Battle of the Barracks was an escalation of the conflict between Croatian authorities and the Croatian Serbs who openly revolted in August 1990 and the JNA efforts to preserve the Yugoslavia while Croatia moved towards achieving its independence., what do you mean, "the Yugoslavia"? I had to re-read the lead multiple times to fully understand, but I think that's not anything to do with the article. The "background" section should provide me with background, here, too, and help clear things up. Albacore (talk) 18:34, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Right. Thanks for the comment, it was very enlightening - I unconsciously (and incorrectly) assumed that readers somehow understood that Croatia was a federal unit of Yugoslav federation. I clarified this a bit. Could you take another look at this to see if it serves purpose any better?
  • (Teritorijalna obrana - TO) ndash again.
    • Added.
  • Can you explain why the Yugoslav People's Army had interest in Croatia?
    • Added clarifications to the lead and background. Please see the final point response below.
  • around Knin... this doesn't help me... I don't know where/what Kinn is without a link or explanation.
    • Linked. I could add something like (approximately 60 kilometres (37 miles) northeast of Split) if that's any improvement. What would you recommend?
      • Yes, that addition would be helpful. Albacore (talk) 21:57, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
        • Added.
  • After two unsuccessful attempts by Serbia, supported by Montenegro and Serbia's provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo to obtain Yugoslav Presidency's approval of a JNA operation to disarm Croatian security forces in January 1991,[5] and a bloodless skirmish between Serb insurgents and Croatian special police in March,[6] the JNA itself, supported by Serbian and its allies, asked the federal Presidency to give it wartime authorities and declare a state of emergency. And breathe...
    • Broken up in several sentences.
  • Can you link "federal presidency" somewhere?
    • It is already linked in the 3rd sentence of the Background section: "After two unsuccessful attempts by Serbia, supported by Montenegro and Serbia's provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo to obtain Yugoslav Presidency's approval of..."
  • Can you link battalion? It's not common to me.
    • Linked.
  • What form of English are you writing with? Curious with 9,000–10,000 regionally organized reserve police
    • Um, I meant to use British English.
  • (Zbor narodne garde - ZNG) ndash.
    • Added.
  • This was achieved by amalgamation Wiktionary link?
    • Provided, but I'm not sure how useful it will be. There is a disambiguation page Amalgamation with redlinked Amalgamation (military unit) item - which should become the target of this link once that article is created.
  • My biggest question the "background" section left me was, "Why is the Yugoslav People's Army involved in Croatia?" Can you maybe explain where Yugoslavia was in relation to Croatia and some of the prior conflicts they had? That being said, the article is dense but understandable. I'll review the next section when these are responded to. Albacore (talk) 18:34, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
    • I added clarifications in the above quoted too-long sentence, well in text which now stands in its place. Also I added some clarification in the lead, as indicated above. Please recheck those clarifications for, um, clarity.

Thank you for volunteering your time and effort to review the article. I'll do my best to resolve these issues right away.--Tomobe03 (talk) 18:45, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

    • Re-read, and it's more clear now. I do however have two questions in re-reading: The JNA stepped in, supporting the insurgents, and preventing Croatian police from intervening. Who were the insurgents and why were the JNA supporting them? And maybe more broadly, why/how was Serbia involved here, as in the sentence The JNA came under control of Serbian President Slobodan Milošević. Why?
      • Added info on who were the insurgents, and reworded a part of the prose to clarify the JNA coming under control of Milošević. As far as why did the JNA support the insurgency, this was in response to the Serbia's policy of defending Yugoslavia, expanding Serbia and protecting Croatian Serbs (Hoare, p 121) in conjunction with Milošević's increasing control over the JNA exercised to implement the policy. Regardless, the sentence in question is now removed as redundant because it adds nothing to understanding of the article, the relationship between the insurgents, the JNA and the Croatian armed forces is well presented in the "Prelude" section anyway.

Onto prelude:

  • Initial plan of Croatian President Franjo Tuđman was to win support from the European Community (EC) and the United States for Croatia, and dismissed advice to seize JNA barracks and storage facilities in the country. It sounds like a "the" would be good before the sentence.
    • Added.
  • Capturing the JNA barracks and storage depots was first advocated by Špegelj in late 1990. Who?
    • Info on retired JNA General Martin Špegelj - and his appointment as the Defence Minister of Croatia in 1990 - is present in the background section. Do you think something else need be added?
      • My apologies, I didn't see the link earlier.
  • Can you link "buffer zone"?
    • Linked.
  • the JNA intervened after the ZNG lost ground, leaving the Croatian Serbs in control of the territory. Which territory?
    • No specific territory is referred to. I meant to say that an intervention would come about after the ZNG lost control over some area and the intervention would freeze any further advance of the belligerents. This in effect secured territorial grabs made in fighting which preceded the JNA intervention. In addition, the strategy reinforced Croatian belief that the JNA sided with the Serb insurgents as the JNA interventions appeared to do nothing more than secure Serb territorial gains. I reworded the sentence a bit to clarify, but could you please review the changes and suggest improvements?
      • Clarifications look good, my only suggestion would be to mention specifically that Serbia supported defending Yugoslavia.
  • On 1 September, an EC proposed The EC, not an EC. Albacore (talk) 21:57, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Timeline:
  • Can you link "garrison"?
    • Linked.
  • its planned campaign in Croatia plans to accommodate the new development. I think the first "planned" can be removed.
    • Amended as suggested.
  • In the "September" section, perhaps you could add in a sentence describing a general pattern the Croatian forces were moving in in addition to all the barracks captured.
    • There was not much movement of troops on Croatian side because the barracks which were eventually captured were located within Croatian cities and locally raised units besieged various facilities by deploying within cities they were headquartered in. Elsewhere (particularly in eastern Slavonia and northern Dalmatia, the Croatian forces were generally on defensive. There were very few instances non-local units were deployed as reinforcements by Croatian side in the Battle of the Barracks - but I'll find sources for those and add info shortly.
      • Apparently there were very few reinforcements sent from elsewhere in Croatia, and the sieges were apparently enforced by locally raised units - unfortunately reasonable efforts to locate a source directly supporting such a general assessment were unsuccessful (so far). I did find a source citing 60 troops were sent from Zagreb to Varaždin as a reinforcement to 580 locally raised ZNG troops and 100 police and added this info. Hope that helps.--Tomobe03 (talk) 13:36, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
  • The prose in the "September" section is a bit repetitive. Are there any death totals from a capture of the barracks? Did the Croatian forces take hostages?
    • Unfortunately there are few details regarding fatalities in those operations. As far as prisoners were concerned, conscripted JNA soldiers were normally released immediately (and provided with civilian clothes and some cash to allow them to return to their homes), while captured JNA officers and NCOs were exchanged for Croatian POWs captured elsewhere. This information is provided in the Aftermath section.
    • Re repetitive prose, I copyedited the section now, removing some redundant material without compromising chronological order of the events. It would be possible to group events occurring in or near Varaždin and Šibenik respectively, but the timeline would be lost and I suspect more harm would be caused than good.--Tomobe03 (talk) 14:15, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Maybe a sentence on why the Yugoslav forces lost so badly? There's a sentence on them using WW2 supplies in the background, but none as far as I can tell after that.
    • There is info (at least in part) covering that in the Aftermath section. JNA's order of battle consisted of a handful of battalions at full combat readiness deployed in the garrisons within Croatia. Those were one battalion each of the 140th Mechanised Brigade in Zagreb, the 31st Armoured Brigade in Dugo Selo, just to the east of Zagreb, the 12th Proletarian Mechanised Brigade in Osijek, the 11th Marine Infantry Brigade in Šibenik and the 139th Marine Infantry Brigade in Pula. None of those garrisons were captured. Further down the scale in terms of combat readiness were A-classification units with 60-100% troop levels: 4th Armoured Brigade in Jastrebarsko, a battalion of the 622nd Motorised Brigade in Petrinja, the 13th Proletarian Motorised Brigade in Rijeka, and the 265th Mechanised Brigade in Bjelovar and Koprivnica. In this group, the Croatian siege achieved mixed results - Bjelovar and Koprivnica garrisons eventually surrendered, while the Petrinja barracks were only briefly captured by Croatians only to be quickly lost to the JNA. Further A-class battalions were deployed by the JNA before the siege to Knin and Vukovar and one A-class battalion to Vinkovci. None of those garrisons were captured either. In short, JNA barracks and storage depots provided with insufficient manpower were captured by Croatians. For instance, when Varaždin garrison surrendered (including headquarters of a JNA corps) the Croatian force captured only 450 officers, NCOs and soldiers, but more than 150 tanks and armoured vehicles, more than 200 cannons and howitzers, 10 rocket launchers, several mortar batteries, 250 other vehicles and 25,000 small arms - far more than the 450-strong garrison could use. Worse yet, the garrison was fragmented into several barracks situated at various points in and around the city. Two barracks contained about 200 troops each, and two additional barracks housed about 40 troops combined. Info that the JNA was under-strength is also located in the aftermath section. Do you think that the info about troop levels should be moved from Aftermath to Prelude section in order to improve understandability of the article?
    • No, I think it makes sense where it is. Albacore (talk) 14:23, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • "October" looks good.
  • After it was abandoned by the JNA, the barracks still contained weapons which were taken away by the Croatian troops until November 13. Why was this abandoned? Albacore (talk) 17:45, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
    • The garrison broke out of the barracks and the force besieging the barracks driving towards the JNA-held areas few kilometers to the east. There is no source clarifying reasoning behind the decision to abandon the barracks. It is quite likely that the commanding officer thought the garrison could not withstand an assault to capture the barracks (Logorište was also severely under-strength, containing more vehicles than drivers, hence leftover equipment) but there is no way to reference this reliably.--Tomobe03 (talk) 22:33, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
  • The first section in "Aftermath" looks good.
  • In Šibenik, the JNA evacuated two barracks and four depots from 25 November till until might be better here.
    • Revised.
  • Elsewhere in Croatia, the JNA also evacuated its facilities: Pullout from "Maršal Tito" and "Kerestinec" barracks in Zagreb, started on 30 November,[105] was completed by the end of 1991. awkward construction before the colon, and the word after the colon shouldn't be in caps. I don't think the second comma (first after the colon) is necessary, and the an "and" is needed before "was"
    • Revised.
  • Despite the Geneva Accord requiring an immediate withdrawal of JNA personnel and equipment, the JNA stayed behind for seven to eight months. I think a reference is needed here.
    • Added one ref (Armatta, p196) to cover the claim that the Geneva Accord required the immediate withdrawal. The rest is covered by the (Armatta, p197) ref currently placed at the end of the sentence following the one cited here. Would you prefer if the ref was repeated anyway?
    • Yes, I would like the reference added because the claim of seven to eight months seems specific. Albacore (talk) 16:59, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
      • Added.

War crimes

  • Probably the most publicised Needs a citation after those words, the "probably" gives me reason to concern since it seems to me like original research right now. Albacore (talk) 14:23, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Right. I seem to remember reading one news article using a similar structure, but I reworded the sentence instead realising that the news outlet probably wanted to hype the news a bit.--Tomobe03 (talk) 15:50, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I enjoyed reviewing this article, as it was interesting and in a subject I wasn't learned in. In my judgement, the article meets the GA criteria. Pass. Albacore (talk) 17:29, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

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