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Thread: Yugoslav civil war '90s non-intervention aspects

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    Default Yugoslav civil war '90s non-intervention aspects

    I am looking for good (prefer excellent) books on the purely military aspects (i.e., ORBATs, doctrine, war plans, strategy, tactics, resupply, communications, topography, etc.) of the Jugoslav civil war (1990s) either as a whole or the various forces, militias, factions involved...any suggestions?

    I have an article from Armo(u)r magazine published around 1992 which covers a Croatian composite tank Bn's operations against a Serbian Bde. Can't remember the title but that's sort of the thing I'm looking for. Not really interested in the NATO/UN/Intervention side of it.

    Any assistance would be much apreciated.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default T asks for help

    This initially appeared in the 'What are you reading' thread and had no response. Moved here at author's request.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-17-2010 at 02:49 PM.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    A recurring statement about that conflict is how important RPG/Bazooka/Panzerfaust-type weapons were (especially for small raids) and how very well the Armbrust worked (the Armbrust is a kind of overweight LAW with a piston technology which eliminates flash and backblast troubles).
    I am especially interested in info about the latter's application.

    Most other info known to me is about typical positional warfare harassing actions.

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    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
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    Osprey Books has had several different uniforms/units series over the years that addressed the Yugoslav conflicts in the '90s.

    The Collapse of Yugoslavia has a lot of what you're looking for

    Yugoslav Wars I covers Slovenia & Croatia

    Yugoslav Wars II starts with Bosnia and goes thru Kosovo


    The second 2 are probably closer to what you want, but the first one is also good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BayonetBrant View Post
    Osprey Books has had several different uniforms/units series over the years that addressed the Yugoslav conflicts in the '90s.

    The Collapse of Yugoslavia has a lot of what you're looking for

    Yugoslav Wars I covers Slovenia & Croatia

    Yugoslav Wars II starts with Bosnia and goes thru Kosovo


    The second 2 are probably closer to what you want, but the first one is also good.
    Thanks for the hint but I already downloaded those from somewhere or other. They're ok but they're thin on details, TTPs, ORBATs, chains of command, stratgeic and tactical decision-making (did operational art exist during the "troubles"?). That sort of stuff. Thanks anyway.


    Just found this e-article which claims;
    investigators of the Serbian Institute for Strategic Research of Defence Ministry said, commenting the master thesis of Slovenian researcher Marko Prešeren about the outbreak of hostilities and armed insurrection in Slovenia in 1991, which recently stirred the public in a former Yugoslav republic.

    Using CIA reports and analyzing cases from the mock trials Slovenian leadership staged for Yugoslav Army members in political purpose, Marko Prešeren found that Yugoslav civil war — which first broke up in Slovenia — was instigated by the Slovenian paramilitary formations called Territorial Defence and not by the Yugoslav Army, commonly regarded as an “aggressor” and the main culprit, allegedly instrumentalized by the Serbian political leadership, for all the evils, death and destruction Yugoslavia was engulfed in since the ill-fated 1991.
    I know from the research I did at Uni that something along these lines was the case (the demonise Serbia school ultimately won out over a fair and balanced account. Note also the story in the right margin regarding the KLA terrorist).
    Last edited by Tukhachevskii; 10-18-2010 at 07:15 PM. Reason: Additions...

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    Yeah, it's hard to find specific information, in English at least. Here are a couple of things that might give you some leads:

    A bibliography from Ft. Leavenworth.

    There's a Yugoslavian defense magazine called "Vojno Delo" published in Belgrade (not to be confused with one published in Russia). I've run across a few article translations, but most focus on recent strategy and doctrine.

    That's really about it, good luck.
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default A few late thoughts

    Try the publications of the IISS and RUSI for the Bosnian War time. Quite a few books were published on the intervention and they will contain comments on the opposition.

    Have a look at the military sites of the surrounding countries who had good reason to watch closely, notably Austria and Italy.

    Did any of the PMC active in Croatia later publish comments?
    davidbfpo

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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. The problem I am having is finding sources for actually combat. There are plenty of studies which address the politics of the war, the external funding, arms smuggling etc. But nothing approaching "Tank Warfare Balkan Style" which does a prrtty good job, albeit in a short article, of examining one battle between Serbian and Croatian forces. Apart from that I have found nothing approaching a "pure" military analysis. I suppose I could always go and ask the Embassy miitary attaches?

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    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
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    You might want to look for issues of S&T and/or Command Magazine from that timeframe.

    Also (I can't believe I'm saying this...) check the mid-90s issues of Soldier of Fortune. They were never short of writers (I hesitate to call them "journalists) who were adrenaline junkies and willing to get into Yugoslavia and talk about the actual fighting on the ground.
    Brant
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    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
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    I queried some wargaming buddies about articles, and here's what I got back

    Command magazine had some stuff -

    #35 Balkan Hell - The War in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1993-95

    #37 Operation Storm & the Rise of the Croatian Guards Corps -37:56

    #39 Peacekeeper into Peacemaker - The UN Rapid Reaction & NATO Implementation Forces in Bosnia

    #23 War Returns to Europe - Military Aspects of the Conflicts in Yugoslavia, 1991-93

    #27 Current Military Forces in Former Yugoslavia

    May be a little dated and or speculative, since it was published almost during the conflicts themselves, but one ought to find at least some OOB data. From what I can remember of what I read, the tactics used in the war were pretty rudimentary: get off the pickup truck, wait for the artillery to shell the village until the armed defenders withdraw, walk into the village and round up anyone your side doesn't like, get on the pickup truck, drive to the next village. Repeat until someone bigger and with actual guns opposes you.
    Brant
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    Quote Originally Posted by BayonetBrant View Post
    I queried some wargaming buddies about articles, and here's what I got back
    Thanks. Command magazine is apprantly now defunct and the only aritcles avalibale online are smamples (none of which interest me). Any idea where I might find copies elsewhere? )My resources are scarce I'm afraid so unless its internet locatable or avaliable through my local library, g-d bless them, I doubt I'll find em)

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    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
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    ^ you could try contacting Ty Bomba, the former editor, at whiterook -at- att -dot- net

    he can probably point you toward someone who can help.
    Brant
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    Quote Originally Posted by BayonetBrant View Post
    ^ you could try contacting Ty Bomba, the former editor, at whiterook -at- att -dot- net

    he can probably point you toward someone who can help.
    Wilco, thanks

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    Sounds like you'd be best served with first person accounts or news snippets like this -

    In the Bosnia war, the Pakistan-made HJ8 ATM destroyed a large number of M84 (T72) tanks of the Yugoslavia army. (Kanwa News for full story, see Kanwa Jan 10 Issue)
    http://www.kanwa.com/free/2002/01/e0114a.htm

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