Operacija “Burin” – planovi Hrvatske vojske za zauzimanje istočne Hercegovine 1995. godine

Author(s): Jakša Raguž
Subject(s): History
Published by: Hrvatski institut za povijest
Keywords: Eastern Herzegovina; Dubrovnik; Homeland War; Croatian; Army operations

Summary/Abstract: From 1992 to 1995, the Herzegovinian Corps of the Army of the Serb Republic (VRS) continuously carried out artillery attacks upon the Dubrovnik Riviera and along the valley of the Neretva which led to many civilian casualties and extensive material damage, paralyzing the normal life of its citizens. Likewise, the forces of the VRS attempted to breakthrough toward the Dubrovnik Riviera, aiming at obtaining an outlet to the Adriatic Sea for the Serb Republic. In an effort to end these attacks, the Chief of Staff of the Croatian Army (HV) prepared a plan under the code name “Burin” in the autumn of 1995 to liberate a part of eastern Herzegovina. In this operation, units under the Southern Front Command, assisted by the Guard Brigades, were to make a three pronged attack to liberate the Herzegovinian counties of Trebinje and Ljubinje as well as the ring of mountains in central Herzegovina from which the artillery of the VRS was firing its salvos. A military operation to liberate territory from which artillery fire is being directed at civilians is not unheard of, and is an acceptable motive by international standards. A good example of this is the Golan Heights, from which the Syrian army directed artillery attacks against Israeli settlements around the Sea of Galilee, which motivated the Israeli Army to take the Heights in 1967, and hold them to today. Though preparations for Operation “Burin” were carried out in August and September of 1995, the operation was not executed. The main reason for this was the assessment of American diplomatic representatives that the action of the HV in eastern Herzegovina, a borderland with Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), would draw the Yugoslav Army into fight. With this the war would be prolonged, instead of ending sooner, which was contrary to the peace plan of the US. Thus the Croatian leadership was asked to suspend this offensive, which it did. After peace negotiations in Dayton in November 1995 achieved a comprehensive peace agreement for Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Operation “Burin” was entirely quashed. Because the operation was not carried out, it is difficult to speak about what could have potentially been achieved, but it certainly would have significantly changed the geostrategic relations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and southern Croatia. The suspension of “Burin” is an important indication of the influence of the US on the overall result of the conclusion of the Homeland War.

  • Issue Year: 41/2009
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 633-657
  • Page Count: 24
  • Language: Croatian