Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Yugoslav People's Army

Yugoslav People's Army

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Yugoslav People's Army'
Start a new discussion about 'Yugoslav People's Army'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Yugoslav People's Army (YPA), also referred to as the Yugoslav National Army (YNA), (Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian language
Serbo-Croatian or Serbo-Croat, less commonly Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian , is a South Slavic language with multiple standards and the primary language of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro...

, or Jugoslovenska Narodna Armija – JNA, Cyrillic script: Југославенска народна армија or Југословенска народна армија – JHA; Slovene: Jugoslovanska ljudska armada) was the military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

.

Origins


The origins of the JNA can be found in the Yugoslav Partisan units of World War II. As part of the antifascist
Resistance during World War II
Resistance movements during World War II occurred in every occupied country by a variety of means, ranging from non-cooperation, disinformation and propaganda to hiding crashed pilots and even to outright warfare and the recapturing of towns...

 People's Liberation War of Yugoslavia, the People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia (NOVJ), a predecessor of the JNA, was formed in the town of Rudo
Rudo
Rudo is a town and municipality in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina near the border with Serbia. It appears in Ivo Andrić's story "The Beys of Rudo."-1971:15,982 total* Serbs – 10.155...

 in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

 on December 22, 1941. After the Yugoslav Partisans liberated the country from the Axis Powers
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

, that date was officially celebrated as the Day of the Army in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFR Yugoslavia).

In March 1945, the NOVJ was renamed the Yugoslav Army (Jugoslovenska Armija) and finally on its 10th anniversary on December 22, 1951, received the adjective "People's" (Narodna).

Organization


The JNA consisted of the ground force
Army
An army An army An army (from Latin arma "arms, weapons" via Old French armée, "armed" (feminine), in the broadest sense, is the land-based military of a nation or state. It may also include other branches of the military such as the air force via means of aviation corps...

s, air force
Air force
An air force, also known in some countries as an air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military organization that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy or...

 and navy
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

. It was organized into four military regions which were further divided into districts that were responsible for administrative tasks such as draft registration
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

, mobilization
Mobilization
Mobilization is the act of assembling and making both troops and supplies ready for war. The word mobilization was first used, in a military context, in order to describe the preparation of the Prussian army during the 1850s and 1860s. Mobilization theories and techniques have continuously changed...

, and construction and maintenance of military facilities. The regions were: Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 (responsible for eastern Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

), Zagreb
Zagreb
Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately above sea level. According to the last official census, Zagreb's city...

 (Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

 and northern Croatia), Skopje
Skopje
Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...

 (Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

, Southern Serbia and Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

) and Split
Split (city)
Split is a Mediterranean city on the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea, centered around the ancient Roman Palace of the Emperor Diocletian and its wide port bay. With a population of 178,192 citizens, and a metropolitan area numbering up to 467,899, Split is by far the largest Dalmatian city and...

 Naval Region. Of the JNA's 180,000 soldiers, more than 90,000 were conscripts.

In 1990, the army had nearly completed a major overhaul of its basic force structure. It eliminated its old division
Division (military)
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

al infantry organization and established the brigade
Brigade
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment...

 as the largest operational unit. The army converted ten of twelve infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 divisions into twenty-nine tank
Tank
A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities...

, mechanized and mountain infantry brigades with integral artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

, air defense and anti-tank regiments. One airborne
Airborne forces
Airborne forces are military units, usually light infantry, set up to be moved by aircraft and 'dropped' into battle. Thus they can be placed behind enemy lines, and have an ability to deploy almost anywhere with little warning...

 brigade was organized before 1990. The shift to brigade-level organization provided greater operational flexibility, maneuverability, tactical initiative and reduced the possibility that large army units would be destroyed in set piece engagements with an aggressor. The change created many senior field command positions that would develop relatively young and talented officers. The brigade structure had advantages at a time of declining manpower.

Industry


The arms industry was dominant in the Yugoslavian economy. With annual exports of $3 billion, it was twice as large as the second largest industry, tourism. It had modern infrastructure with underground air bases and control centres in several mountains. The biggest and best known installation was the Željava Air Base
Željava Air Base
Željava Air Base, situated on the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina under Plješevica Mountain, near the town of Bihać in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was the largest underground airport and military airbase in the former Yugoslavia and one of the largest in Europe.-History:Construction...

, also known as the Bihać Underground Integrated Radar Control and Surveillance Centre and Air Base, in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

.

Several companies in Yugoslavia produced airplanes and specifically combat aircraft, most notably SOKO
SOKO
SOKO was an aircraft factory situated in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It gained prominence in Yugoslavia.-Products:* Soko 522* Soko S-55-5 Mk...

 of Mostar
Mostar
Mostar is a city and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the largest and one of the most important cities in the Herzegovina region and the center of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton of the Federation. Mostar is situated on the Neretva river and is the fifth-largest city in the country...

, with the Soko J-22 Orao
Soko J-22 Orao
The Soko J-22 Orao is a twin-engined, subsonic, close support, ground-attack and tactical reconnaissance aircraft, with secondary capability as a low level interceptor. It was designed as a single-seat main attack version or as a combat capable two-seat version for advanced flying and weapon...

 being its best known product. Another important manufacturer was Utva in Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

. The Yugoslav military-industrial complex produced tanks (most notably, the M-84
M-84
The M-84 is a Yugoslav 2nd generation main battle tank. The M-84 is in service in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kuwait, Slovenia and Serbia.-Development and production:...

), armored vehicles (BOV APC, BVP M-80
BVP M-80
The BVP M-80, is a Yugoslavian infantry fighting vehicle, produced in the 1980s until the Yugoslav civil wars in the 1990s.-Development:Early research and development of the M-80 began in 1969, with testing of the first completed prototype in 1974. First examples of the, BVP M-80 rolled out in 1979...

), various artillery pieces (mortar
Mortar (weapon)
A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber....

s, multiple rocket launcher
Multiple rocket launcher
A multiple rocket launcher is a type of unguided rocket artillery system. Like other rocket artillery, multiple rocket launchers are less accurate and have a much lower rate of fire than batteries of traditional artillery guns...

s, howitzer
Howitzer
A howitzer is a type of artillery piece characterized by a relatively short barrel and the use of comparatively small propellant charges to propel projectiles at relatively high trajectories, with a steep angle of descent...

s), anti-aircraft weapons, as well as various types of infantry weapons and other equipment.

Ground forces



The ground forces led in number of personnel. In 1991 there were about 600,000 active-duty soldiers (including 190,000 conscripts), and over two million trained reservist
Reservist
A reservist is a person who is a member of a military reserve force. They are otherwise civilians, and in peacetime have careers outside the military. Reservists usually go for training on an annual basis to refresh their skills. This person is usually a former active-duty member of the armed...

s could be mobilized in wartime. Each of the Yugoslav constituent republics had its own Territorial Defence Forces
Territorial Defense Forces (Yugoslavia)
The Territorial Defense Forces were a separate part of the armed forces of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The forces acted as a Home Guard which roughly corresponded to a military reserve force or an official governmental paramilitary...

 which in wartime would be subordinate to Supreme Command as an integral part of the defence system. The Territorial Defence (Reserve Force) was made up of former conscripts; they were occasionally called up for war exercises.

The ground forces were organised into infantry, armour
Armour
Armour or armor is protective covering used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object, individual or a vehicle through use of direct contact weapons or projectiles, usually during combat, or from damage caused by a potentially dangerous environment or action...

, artillery, and air defence, as well as signal, engineering and chemical defence corps.

Air force


The Yugoslav Air Force had about 32,000 personnel including 4,000 conscripts, and operated over 1,000 aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 and 200 helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

s. In 1991, it was the second largest air force in Europe. It was responsible for transport, reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

, and rotary-wing aircraft as well as the national air defence system. The primary air force missions were to contest enemy efforts to establish air supremacy
Air supremacy
Air supremacy is the complete dominance of the air power of one side's air forces over the other side's, during a military campaign. It is the most favorable state of control of the air...

 over Yugoslavia and to support the defensive operations of the ground forces and navy. Most aircraft were produced in Yugoslavia. Missile
Missile
Though a missile may be any thrown or launched object, it colloquially almost always refers to a self-propelled guided weapon system.-Etymology:The word missile comes from the Latin verb mittere, meaning "to send"...

s were produced domestically or supplied by the Soviet Union.

The Yugoslav Air Force had twelve squadrons of domestically produced ground attack fighters. The ground attack squadrons provided close air support to ground force operations. They were equipped with 165 new Soko J-22 Orao
Soko J-22 Orao
The Soko J-22 Orao is a twin-engined, subsonic, close support, ground-attack and tactical reconnaissance aircraft, with secondary capability as a low level interceptor. It was designed as a single-seat main attack version or as a combat capable two-seat version for advanced flying and weapon...

, Super Galeb and J-21 Jastreb, and older Soko J-20 Kraguj
Soko J-20 Kraguj
|-See also:-References:* Taylor,John W.R. . Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1969-70. London: Sampson Low,1969.-External links:* *...

 fighters. Many ground attack fighters were armed with AGM-65 Maverick
AGM-65 Maverick
The AGM-65 Maverick is an air-to-ground tactical missile designed for close-air support. It is effective against a wide range of tactical targets, including armor, air defenses, ships, ground transportation and fuel storage facilities....

 air-to-surface missiles purchased from the United States. Others were armed with Soviet Kh-23
Kh-23
The Zvezda Kh-66 and Kh-23 Grom are a family of early Soviet tactical air-to-surface missiles with a range of 10 km. They were intended for use against small ground or naval targets. The Kh-66 was effectively a heavy-warhead, beam-riding version of the K-8 air-to-air missile rushed into...

 and Kh-28
Kh-28
The Kh-28 was the first Soviet anti-radiation missile for tactical aircraft. It entered production in 1973 and is still carried on some Sukhoi Su-22s in developing countries but is no longer in Russian service...

 missiles. The air force also had about ninety armed Mi-8
Mil Mi-8
The Mil Mi-8 is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter that can also act as a gunship. The Mi-8 is the world's most-produced helicopter, and is used by over 50 countries. Russia is the largest operator of the Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopter....

 helicopter gunships to provide added mobility and fire support for small ground units. A large number of reconnaissance aircraft were available to support ground forces operations. Four squadrons of seventy Galeb, Jastreb, and Orao-1 fighters were configured for reconnaissance missions.

The Yugoslav Air Force had nine squadrons of 130 Soviet-made MiG-21 interceptors for air defence. First produced in the late 1950s, the MiG-21 design was largely obsolete in 1990 and represented a potential weakness in Yugoslavia's air defence. However, the bulk of the MiG-21 fleet consisted mainly of the bis variant, the latest production MiG-21 model, and was armed with Soviet Vympel K-13
Vympel K-13
The K-13 is an short-range, infrared homing air-to-air missile developed by the Soviet Union. It is similar in appearance and function to the American AIM-9 Sidewinder from which it was reverse-engineered...

 (NATO reporting name
NATO reporting name
NATO reporting names are classified code names for military equipment of the Eastern Bloc...

: AA-2 "Atoll"), air-to-air missiles and some more modern Molniya R-60
Molniya R-60
The Molniya R-60 is a lightweight air-to-air missile designed for use by Soviet fighter aircraft. It has been widely exported, and remains in service with the CIS and many other nations....

 (NATO reporting name: AA-8 "Aphid") missiles as well as twin 23 mm cannons. By 1989, Yugoslavia started developing a new domestic multirole fighter called Novi Avion
Novi Avion
|-See also:-References:* Newspaper article on Novi Avion* Aerosvet Magazine* Jane's All the World's Aircraft...

, which was supposed to replace the MiG-21 and J-21 Jastreb fleets entirely. The design of the new aircraft was influenced by both Mirage 2000 and Dassault Rafale
Dassault Rafale
The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine delta-wing multi-role jet fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Introduced in 2000, the Rafale is being produced both for land-based use with the French Air Force and for carrier-based operations with the French Navy...

 fighter types and it was to enter service by early 2000s. As an interim solution, a modernization package was planned for the MiG-21 and it is speculated that India's MiG-21 Bison upgrade was actually intended for Yugoslav aircraft. In 1987, Yugoslavia acquired 16 MiG-29s.

Although not officially known at the time, Yugoslavia was rumoured to have been interested in the purchase of certain numbers of Su-25 attack-aircraft and Mi-24 gunships. Instead of developing its own fighter plane, the Novi Avion
Novi Avion
|-See also:-References:* Newspaper article on Novi Avion* Aerosvet Magazine* Jane's All the World's Aircraft...

, the country made a request to licence-build the F-20, but due to unstable relations with the US, the request was rejected. By the late 1980s, the licensed production of Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma helicopters was also envisaged, but due to the dissolution of the country, it was never realized.

One of the most impressive structures operated by the JNA Air Force was the underground Željava Air Base
Željava Air Base
Željava Air Base, situated on the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina under Plješevica Mountain, near the town of Bihać in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was the largest underground airport and military airbase in the former Yugoslavia and one of the largest in Europe.-History:Construction...

 near the town of Bihac
Bihac
Bihać is a city and municipality on the river Una in the north-western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Bosanska Krajina region. Bihać is located in the Una-Sana Canton in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.-History:...

 in Bosnia. The structure was made to withstand a nuclear explosion and was destroyed by the JNA in 1992 to prevent its capture. Željava was home to the 117th Fighter Aviation Regiment, which was composed of the 124th and 125th Fighter Squadrons, equipped with MiG-21Bis fighters, and the 352nd Reconnaissance Squadron, equipped with MiG-21R aircraft.

The Air and Air Defence Forces were headquartered at Zemun
Zemun
Zemun is a historical town and one of the 17 municipalities which constitute the City of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia...

 and had fighter
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

 and bomber
Bomber
A bomber is a military aircraft designed to attack ground and sea targets, by dropping bombs on them, or – in recent years – by launching cruise missiles at them.-Classifications of bombers:...

 aircraft, helicopters, and air defence artillery units at air bases throughout the former Yugoslavia: Batajnica Air Base (Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

), Niš Constantine the Great Airport
Niš Constantine the Great Airport
Niš Constantine the Great Airport , is a Serbian airport that serves southern Serbia and the city of Niš. The airport, which is named for Constantine the Great, is located from the Niš city centre and is Serbia's second international airport.- History :...

, Slatina Air Base
Slatina Air Base
Slatina Air Base , located at Pristina International Airport, contained the second largest military underground hangar complex in former Yugoslavia. The largest one was at Željava Airport near Bihać...

 (Priština
Pristina
Pristina, also spelled Prishtina and Priština is the capital and largest city of Kosovo. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous municipality and district....

), Golubovci Airbase (Titograd), Skopski Petrovec, Sarajevo
Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

, Mostar
Mostar
Mostar is a city and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the largest and one of the most important cities in the Herzegovina region and the center of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton of the Federation. Mostar is situated on the Neretva river and is the fifth-largest city in the country...

, Željava Air Base (Bihać), Pleso
Pleso
Pleso is a settlement located to the southeast of the city of Zagreb. Nowadays, Pleso is the northernmost section of the city of Velika Gorica....

 (Zagreb
Zagreb
Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately above sea level. According to the last official census, Zagreb's city...

), Split Airport
Split Airport
Split Kaštela/Resnik Airport is the airport serving Split and Kaštela in Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia. It is close to the town of Trogir....

, Pula
Pula
Pula is the largest city in Istria County, Croatia, situated at the southern tip of the Istria peninsula, with a population of 62,080 .Like the rest of the region, it is known for its mild climate, smooth sea, and unspoiled nature. The city has a long tradition of winemaking, fishing,...

, Zemunik (Zadar
Zadar
Zadar is a city in Croatia on the Adriatic Sea. It is the centre of Zadar county and the wider northern Dalmatian region. Population of the city is 75,082 citizens...

), Cerklje ob Krki
Cerklje ob Krki
Cerklje ob Krki is a settlement on the left bank of the Krka River in the Municipality of Brežice in eastern Slovenia. It is best known for the Cerklje ob Krki Airbase to the north of the settlement. The area was traditionally part of Lower Carniola...

 and many other smaller air bases.

Navy




Minor surface combatants operated by the Yugoslav Navy
Yugoslav Navy
The Yugoslav Navy was the navy of Yugoslavia. It was essentially a coastal defense force with the mission of preventing enemy landings along the Yugoslavia's rugged 4,000- kilometer shoreline or coastal islands, and contesting an enemy blockade or control of the strategic Strait of Otranto...

 included nearly eighty frigates, corvettes, submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

s, minesweepers
Minesweeper (ship)
A minesweeper is a small naval warship designed to counter the threat posed by naval mines. Minesweepers generally detect then neutralize mines in advance of other naval operations.-History:...

, and missile, torpedo, and patrol boats in the Adriatic Fleet. The entire coast of Yugoslavia was part of the naval region headquartered at Split
Split (city)
Split is a Mediterranean city on the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea, centered around the ancient Roman Palace of the Emperor Diocletian and its wide port bay. With a population of 178,192 citizens, and a metropolitan area numbering up to 467,899, Split is by far the largest Dalmatian city and...

 (now part of Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

).

The Partisans had operated many small boats in raids harassing Italian convoys in the Adriatic Sea during World War II. After the war, the navy operated numerous German and Italian submarines, destroyers, minesweepers, and tank-landing craft captured during the war or received as war reparations. The United States provided eight torpedo boats in the late 1940s, but most of those units were soon obsolete. The navy was upgraded in the 1960s when it acquired ten Osa-I class missile boats and four Shershen class torpedo boat
Shershen class torpedo boat
The Shershen class was the NATO reporting name for a class of torpedo boats built for the Soviet Navy and allies. The Soviet designation was Project 206 Shtorm.-Design:...

s from the Soviet Union. The Soviets granted a license to build eleven additional Shershen units in Yugoslav shipyards developed for this purpose.

In 1980 and 1982, the Yugoslav navy took delivery of two Soviet Koni class frigate
Koni class frigate
Koni class is the NATO reporting name for a anti-submarine warfare frigate built by the Soviet Union. They were known in the Soviet Union as Project 1159. 14 were built in Zelenodolsk shipyard between 1975 and 1988. They were originally intended to replace the older Riga class frigates, but were...

s. In 1988 it completed two additional units under license. The Koni frigates were armed with four Soviet P-15 Termit
P-15 Termit
The P-15 Termit is an anti-ship missile developed by the Soviet Union's Raduga design bureau in the 1950s. Its GRAU designation was 4K40, its NATO reporting name was Styx or SS-N-2. In Russian service today it also seems to be called the Rubezh...

 surface-to-surface missile launchers, twin 9K33 Osa
9K33 Osa
The 9K33 OSA is a highly mobile, low-altitude, short-range tactical surface-to-air missile system. "9K33" is its GRAU designation. Its NATO reporting name is SA-8 Gecko.-Description:...

 (NATO reporting name: SA-8 "Gecko") surface-to-air missiles, and anti-submarine rocket launchers.

The Yugoslav navy developed its own submarine-building capability during the 1960s. In 1990, the main combat units of the submarine service were three Heroj class submarine
Heroj class submarine
The Heroj class were a group of submarines built for and operated by the Yugoslav Navy-Design:These boats were designed in Yugoslavia and were second group of indigenous submarines...

s armed with 533 mm torpedoes. Two smaller Sava class submarine
Sava class submarine
The Sava class were the last group of submarines to be completed for the Yugoslav Navy. The subs that are currently owned by Montenegro, are laid up and are for sale.-Design:...

s entered service in the late 1970s. Two Sutjeska-class submarines had been relegated mainly to training missions by 1990. At that time the navy had apparently shifted to construction of versatile midget submarines. Four Una-class midgets and four Mala-class swimmer delivery vehicles were in service in the late 1980s. They were built for use by underwater demolition teams and special forces. The Una-class boats carried five crewmen, eight combat swimmers, four Mala vehicles, and limpet mine
Limpet mine
A limpet mine is a type of naval mine attached to a target by magnets; they are so named because of their superficial similarity to the limpet, a type of mollusk....

s. The Mala vehicles carried two swimmers and 250 kilograms of mines.

The Yugoslav navy operated ten Osa class missile boat
Osa class missile boat
The Project 205 Tsunami, more commonly known by their NATO reporting name Osa, are a class of missile boats developed for the Soviet Navy in the early 1960s. The Osas are probably the most numerous class of missile boats ever built, with over 400 vessels constructed for both the Soviet Navy and for...

s and six Končar class
Končar class fast attack craft
The Končar class is a class of fast attack craft that was built for the SFR Yugoslav Navy in the late 1970s. Following the break-up of Yugoslavia one craft went to the Croatian Navy whilst the remaining five went to the Montenegro Navy...

 missile boats. The Osa I boats were armed with four P-15 Termit surface-to-surface missile launchers. In 1990, ten domestic Kobra missile boats were scheduled to begin replacing the Osa I class. The Kobra class was to be armed with eight Swedish RBS-15 anti-ship missiles, and fifteen of them were ordered in late 1989. Armed with two P-15 Termit launchers, the Končar class boats were modeled after the Spica class torpedo boat
Spica class torpedo boat
The Spica-class were a class of torpedo boats of the Regia Marina during World War II. These ships were built as a result of a clause in the Washington Naval Treaty, which stated that ships with a tonnage of less than 600 tons could be built in unlimited numbers...

s, and there were plans to upgrade them with Swedish-built missiles. Two Kobra missile boats were built by Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

 as the and both are still in service. The navy's fifteen Topčider-class torpedo boats included four former Soviet Shershen-class and eleven Yugoslav built units.

The Yugoslav navy's mine warfare and countermeasures capabilities were considered adequate in 1990. It operated four Vukov Klanac-class coastal minesweepers built on a French design, four British Ham class minesweeper
Ham class minesweeper
The Ham class was a class of inshore minesweepers , known as the Type 1, of the British Royal Navy. The class was designed to operate in the shallow water of rivers and estuaries. It took its name from the fact that all the ship names were British place names ending in -"ham"...

s, and six 117-class inshore minesweepers built in domestic shipyards. Larger numbers of older and less capable minesweepers were mainly used in riverine operations. Other older units were used as dedicated minelayers. The navy used amphibious landing craft in support of army operations in the area of the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

, Sava, and Drava
Drava
Drava or Drave is a river in southern Central Europe, a tributary of the Danube. It sources in Toblach/Dobbiaco, Italy, and flows east through East Tirol and Carinthia in Austria, into Slovenia , and then southeast, passing through Croatia and forming most of the border between Croatia and...

 rivers. They included both tank and assault landing craft. In 1990, there were four 501-class, ten 211-class, and twenty-five 601-class landing craft in service. Most of them were also capable of laying mines in rivers and coastal areas.

The Yugoslav Navy had 10,000 sailors (including 4,400 conscripts and 900 marines). This was essentially a coastal defence force with the mission of preventing enemy amphibious landings along the country's rugged 4,000-kilometer shoreline and coastal islands, and contesting an enemy blockade
Blockade
A blockade is an effort to cut off food, supplies, war material or communications from a particular area by force, either in part or totally. A blockade should not be confused with an embargo or sanctions, which are legal barriers to trade, and is distinct from a siege in that a blockade is usually...

 or control of the strategic Strait of Otranto
Strait of Otranto
The Strait of Otranto connects the Adriatic Sea with the Ionian Sea and separates Italy from Albania. Its width at Punta Palascìa, east of Salento is less than . The strait is named after the Italian city of Otranto.- History :...

. The entire coast of Yugoslavia was part of the naval region headquartered at Split
Split (city)
Split is a Mediterranean city on the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea, centered around the ancient Roman Palace of the Emperor Diocletian and its wide port bay. With a population of 178,192 citizens, and a metropolitan area numbering up to 467,899, Split is by far the largest Dalmatian city and...

. The naval region was divided into three smaller naval districts and a riverine flotilla with major naval base
Naval base
A naval base is a military base, where warships and naval ships are deployed when they have no mission at sea or want to restock. Usually ships may also perform some minor repairs. Some naval bases are temporary homes to aircraft that usually stay on the ships but are undergoing maintenance while...

s located at Split, Šibenik
Šibenik
Šibenik is a historic town in Croatia, with population of 51,553 . It is located in central Dalmatia where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic Sea...

, Pula
Pula
Pula is the largest city in Istria County, Croatia, situated at the southern tip of the Istria peninsula, with a population of 62,080 .Like the rest of the region, it is known for its mild climate, smooth sea, and unspoiled nature. The city has a long tradition of winemaking, fishing,...

, Ploce
Ploce
Ploče is a town and a notable seaport in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County of Croatia.The total population of Ploče is 10,102 , in the following settlements:* Baćina, population 564* Banja, population 176* Komin, population 1,222...

 and Kotor
Kotor
Kotor is a coastal city in Montenegro. It is located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor. The city has a population of 13,510 and is the administrative center of the municipality....

 on the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

, and Novi Sad
Novi Sad
Novi Sad is the capital of the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, and the administrative centre of the South Bačka District. The city is located in the southern part of Pannonian Plain on the Danube river....

 on the River Danube. The strategic islands of Vis
Vis (island)
Vis is the most outerly lying larger Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, and is part of the Central Dalmatian group of islands, with an area of 90.26 km² and a population of 3,617 . Of all the inhabited Croatian islands, it is the farthest from the coast...

 and Lastovo
Lastovo
Lastovo is an island municipality in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County in Croatia. The municipality consists of 46 islands with a total population of 792 people, of which 93% are ethnic Croats, and a land area of approximately . The biggest island in the municipality is also named Lastovo, as is the...

 were heavily fortified
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

 and unauthorised entry was prohibited. The fleet
Naval fleet
A fleet, or naval fleet, is a large formation of warships, and the largest formation in any navy. A fleet at sea is the direct equivalent of an army on land....

 was organized into missile, torpedo, and patrol boat brigades, a submarine division, and minesweeper flotillas. The naval order of battle
Order of battle
In modern use, the order of battle is the identification, command structure, strength, and disposition of personnel, equipment, and units of an armed force participating in field operations. Various abbreviations are in use, including OOB, O/B, or OB, while ORBAT remains the most common in the...

 included four frigates, three corvettes, five patrol submarines, fifty-eight missile, torpedo, and patrol boats, and twenty-eight minesweepers. One antisubmarine warfare helicopter squadron was based at Split on the Adriatic coast. It employed Soviet Ka-25, Ka-28, and Mi-8
Mil Mi-8
The Mil Mi-8 is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter that can also act as a gunship. The Mi-8 is the world's most-produced helicopter, and is used by over 50 countries. Russia is the largest operator of the Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopter....

 helicopters, and domestic Partisan helicopters. Some air force fighter and reconnaissance squadrons supported naval operations.

Doctrine


The Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) had a unique operational military doctrine
Military doctrine
Military doctrine is the concise expression of how military forces contribute to campaigns, major operations, battles, and engagements.It is a guide to action, not hard and fast rules. Doctrine provides a common frame of reference across the military...

 for a conventional military force. Yugoslavia based its defence doctrine upon the total war
Total war
Total war is a war in which a belligerent engages in the complete mobilization of fully available resources and population.In the mid-19th century, "total war" was identified by scholars as a separate class of warfare...

 concept of "Total National Defence" which drew upon Yugoslavia's successful partisan history during the Yugoslav People's Liberation War during the Second World War. The "Total National Defence" concept gave the JNA the role of defending borders against aggressors with the intention of delaying an invader long enough for Territorial Defence Forces to enter the field and start wearing the invader down with partisan tactics. The entire Yugoslav population was to be engaged in armed resistance, armaments production, and civil defence under this concept. It was believed by the Yugoslav planners to be the best method by which a smaller nation could properly defend itself against a much stronger invader.

Dissolution



In January 1990, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was dissolved during its 14th congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia
League of Communists of Yugoslavia
League of Communists of Yugoslavia , before 1952 the Communist Party of Yugoslavia League of Communists of Yugoslavia (Serbo-Croatian: Savez komunista Jugoslavije/Савез комуниста Југославије, Slovene: Zveza komunistov Jugoslavije, Macedonian: Сојуз на комунистите на Југославија, Sojuz na...

. The Yugoslav army was left without an ideological support mechanism. 99% of the officers of the Yugoslav army were members of the party.

The dissolution of Yugoslavia began when independent, non-communist governments were established in the Republics of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia. In 1990, the Socialist republic of Slovenia changed its name to Republic of Slovenia and ceased contributing funds to the federal government for a sustained military budget. Soon afterward the Slovenian government began a re-organization of its territorial defense and the government brought the Territorial Defense Forces (Yugoslavia)
Territorial Defense Forces (Yugoslavia)
The Territorial Defense Forces were a separate part of the armed forces of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The forces acted as a Home Guard which roughly corresponded to a military reserve force or an official governmental paramilitary...

 under its control.

In Croatia the nationalist government formed with paramilitary organizations such as ZNG
Croatian National Guard
The Croatian National Guard was the name of the first modern Croatian military force. Croatian president Franjo Tuđman signed to law the Decree of Formation of the Croatian National Guard on April 20, 1991 which became the first professional armed forces with defence and training duties.These...

.

In March 1991, the Yugoslav defense minister, General Veljko Kadijevic organized a meeting in a military complex in Topcider
Topcider
Topčider is a forest park and an urban neighborhood of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is divided between in the municipalities of Čukarica, Rakovica and Savski Venac...

. Present at this meeting were all 6 presidents of the Yugoslav republic, presidents of the autonomous republic, the Yugoslav president and all top military officers. Kadijevic claimed that there are numerous paramilitary organizations in Yugoslavia sponsored by foreign and domestic enemies of the State. He also stated that YPA was dealing with Ustase, Chetniks and other enemies of the socialism stemming from WW2 conflicts. Kadijevic proposed a declaration of martial law. A subsequent vote was held on Kadijevic's recommendation of martial law, and the suggestion was vetoed.

On June 25th 1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence from Yugoslavia. On the same day Slovenian territorial defense units captured Yugoslav control posts on borders with Italy, Hungary and Austria. Slovenian forces also established border control posts on their border with Croatia.

As a result of these actions, the Yugoslav Army attacked; its top commanders citing the constitutional obligation to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia.

On June 27th, 1991, the Yugoslav Army attacked the Slovenian TO units on borders and also in all other areas which were under Slovenian control. The Slovenian TO blockaded all the Yugoslav Army bases in Slovenia and kept them under siege for 10 days.

A general state of war lasted for 10 days
Ten-Day War
The Ten-Day War or the Slovenian Independence War was a military conflict between the Slovenian Territorial Defence and the Yugoslav People's Army in 1991 following Slovenia's declaration of independence.-Background:...

 and ended on 6 July 1991. The Yugoslav Army suffered approximately 150 casualties. Many Yugoslav Army soldiers and officers were wounded or captured. After the Brioni Agreement
Brioni Agreement
The Brijuni Agreement is a document signed on the Brijuni islands near Pula, Croatia, on 7 July 1991 by representatives of the Republic of Slovenia, Republic of Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under the political sponsorship of the European Community...

 was signed, the Yugoslav Army agreed to withdraw from Slovenia by October 10th, 1991, leaving numerous tanks, rifles, trucks and other equipment.

The Yugoslav Army was also sporadically attacked during the withdrawal period throughout Slovenia.

On June 27th, 1991, war in Croatia began. The belligerents were the Yugoslav Army and Serbians on one side and Croatian paramilitary units on the other.

Croatia initiated a siege of the Yugoslav Army's barracks, leaving its soldiers without food, water or electricity for weeks. Some Croatian citizens deserted from the Yugoslav Army and began joining Croatian military forces. Senior officers of the Yugoslav Army also defected to the Croatia, including Air Force Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Anton Tus
Anton Tus
Anton Tus is a retired Croatian general who served as head of the Yugoslav Air Force between 1985 and 1991 and was the first Chief of Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces from 1991 to 1992 during the Croatian War of Independence....

.

The war has spread to the whole of Croatia. The Yugoslav Army was in a difficult position. Soldiers tried to escape from besieged barracks with more or less casualties. Croats captured large amounts of weapons in the Yugoslav Army barracks. Most of their equipment Croats captured in Varazdin when General Trifunovic gave up fighting with Croats.

Throughout the war the Yugoslav Army gave weapons to the Serbs rebels, allied against the Croatian government.

In August 1991, the battle of Vukovar began. This was the biggest battle in the War in Croatia after Oluja and Bljesak operations. In this battle 90% of the city was destroyed. The Yugoslav Army used fighter and attack aircraft, rocket launchers, large amount of tanks and other equipment.

Macedonia declared independence in August 1991.

In October Vukovar was captured and 80% of Croatian forces were destroyed or captured. Many atrocities were made by the Yugoslav Army in the city.

In mid-October 1991, Yugoslav ground forces, supported by naval and air forces attacked the city of Dubrovnik and the Konavle area where Croats had strongholds. By the 6th of December, the Yugoslav Army had neutralized all Croat formations in the Konavle area, but the Dubrovnik had not been captured.

After these two big operations, the Yugoslav Army signed a peace treaty with Croatia and began to withdraw. The last Yugoslav Army soldier left Croatia in May 1992 when ships of the Yugoslav navy sailed off Vis island to Kumbor in Montenegro.

In February 1992 Veljko Kadijevic resigned.

The Yugoslav Army left Macedonia in March 1992. Macedonia was left without any heavy equipment, weapons or aircraft.

In March 1992 Bosnia declared independence and the War in Bosnia started between Muslims, Croats and Serbs. The Yugoslav Army was in withdrawal and Muslims were attacking Yugoslav Army barracks and soldiers.The Yugoslav Army officially withdrew from Bosnia and Herzegovina in May 1992.

On May 20th, 1992 the Yugoslav People's Army was formally dissolved, the remnants of which reformed into the military of the newly found Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Peacekeeping operations

  • United Nations Emergency Force
    United Nations Emergency Force
    The first United Nations Emergency Force was established by United Nations General Assembly to secure an end to the 1956 Suez Crisis with resolution 1001 on November 7, 1956. The force was developed in large measure as a result of efforts by UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and a proposal...

     (1956–1967) – 14.265 soldiers in 22 rotations, Colonel
    Colonel
    Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

     Lazar Mušicki as commander of mission (Aug. 1964 – Jan. 1965);
  • United Nations Yemen Observation Mission
    United Nations Yemen Observation Mission
    The UN Yemen Observation Mission was established in 1963.Yemen entered into a state of civil war in 1962. Yemen had joined Egypt in 1958, and then in 1962, separated again, sparking the conflict....

     (1963–1964) – one squad;
  • United Nations Iran–Iraq Military Observer Group (1988–1991) – military observers, General
    General
    A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

     Slavko Jović as commander of mission;
  • United Nations Transition Assistance Group
    United Nations Transition Assistance Group
    The United Nations Transition Assistance Group was a United Nations peacekeeping force deployed from April 1989 to March 1990 in Namibia to monitor the peace process and elections there. Namibia had been occupied by South Africa since 1915, first under a League of Nations mandate and later...

     (1989–1990) – military observers;
  • United Nations Angola Verification Mission I
    United Nations Angola Verification Mission I
    The United Nations Angola Verification Mission I was a peacekeeping mission that existed from January 1989 to June 1991 in Angola during the civil war...

     (1989–1991) – military observers.

Operational experience

  • Yugoslav Front (World War II)
  • Trieste crisis
  • Yugoslav wars
    Yugoslav wars
    The Yugoslav Wars were a series of wars, fought throughout the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995. The wars were complex: characterized by bitter ethnic conflicts among the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, mostly between Serbs on the one side and Croats and Bosniaks on the other; but also...

    • War in Slovenia (1991)
      Ten-Day War
      The Ten-Day War or the Slovenian Independence War was a military conflict between the Slovenian Territorial Defence and the Yugoslav People's Army in 1991 following Slovenia's declaration of independence.-Background:...

    • War in Croatia (1991)
      Croatian War of Independence
      The Croatian War of Independence was fought from 1991 to 1995 between forces loyal to the government of Croatia—which had declared independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia —and the Serb-controlled Yugoslav People's Army and local Serb forces, with the JNA ending its combat...

      • Battle of Vukovar
        Battle of Vukovar
        The Battle of Vukovar was an 87-day siege of Vukovar in eastern Croatia by the Yugoslav People's Army , supported by various paramilitary forces from Serbia, between August and November 1991. Before the Croatian War of Independence the Baroque town was a prosperous, mixed community of Croats,...

    • War in Bosnia (1992)
      Bosnian War
      The Bosnian War or the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between April 1992 and December 1995. The war involved several sides...


See also

  • Yugoslav Partisans
  • OZNA
  • KOS
    Kontra-Obaveštajna Služba
    Kontraobaveštajna služba was the counter-intelligence service of the Yugoslav People's Army.- Founding & structure :KOS was formed in 1946 as one of the...



Militaries of the former Yugoslavia:
  • Military of Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Military of Croatia
    Military of Croatia
    Croatian military is officially called Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia and it consists of three branches:* Croatian Army * Croatian Navy...

  • Military of Macedonia
  • Military of Montenegro
    Military of Montenegro
    The Military of Montenegro consists of an army, navy and air force. Conscription was abolished in 2006; the military is now a fully professional standing army....

  • Military of Serbia
  • Military of Slovenia
    Military of Slovenia
    The Military of Slovenia consists of the Slovenian Armed Forces . The SAF are the armed forces of Slovenia. Since 2003, it is organized as a fully professional standing army...