Bjelovar and the Bjelovar–Bilogora County in the Homeland War Cover Image

Bjelovar i Bjelovarsko-bilogorska županija u Domovinskom ratu
Bjelovar and the Bjelovar–Bilogora County in the Homeland War

Author(s): Davor Marijan
Subject(s): Military history, Recent History (1900 till today), Transformation Period (1990 - 2010), Wars in Jugoslavia
Published by: Hrvatska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti - Zavod za znanstvenoistraživački i umjetnički rad u Bjelovaru
Keywords: Bjelovar; Bjelovar–Bilogora County; Homeland War;

Summary/Abstract: This paper tackles the issue of Bjelovar and the Bjelovar–Bilogora County in the Homeland War 1990–1995. The Bjelovar area is inseparable from the western Slavonian region, with its specific demographic structure and a relatively large Serbian ethnic community. The majority of this community did not accept the new Croatian authority; when the time was right, they rose in rebellion. In 1990, Pakrac became the unlucky centre of the aggressive Serbian community, and the Bilogora and Papuk mountains offered very convenient conditions for organising and expanding Serbian mutiny. In the region, there was a considerable concentration of the Yugoslav National Army, especially in Bjelovar, Virovitica and Doljani garrisons. In the dramatic September of 1991, almost the whole of this potential was – with more or less resistance – transferred into Croatian hands, and they consequently played a major role in the War and the establishment of the Croatian Army. In the autumn of 1991, in a decisive defence action, Serbian forces were disabled in the attempt to sever Croatia on the Okučani–Virovitica stretch, which would have resulted in separating Slavonia from the mother country. This defence was of strategic importance, as well as were the liberation operations that followed since the end of October 1991; major areas were thereby restituted as parts of the legal system of the Republic of Croatia. In the period 1992–1995, the region had experienced the effects of the non-efficient mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Forces. The final solution was reached in 1995 on the battlefield, in the operations Bljesak (Flash) and Oluja (Storm); in both of which a part of the units of the Croatian Army and Police Forces from the Bjelovar–Bilogora County were strongly involved. The topic is presented based on the available documents and literature. Between the summer of 1990 and the end of 1992, no regional division was in force; however, Bjelovar was the centre of the Police Administration that had succeeded the earlier regional division of the communities of municipalities; since the autumn of 1991, it was also the Command of the Operational Zone Bjelovar. The author has taken into consideration this organisational aspect as well, as it is of significance for the understanding of the problem area on the whole.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 8
  • Page Range: 17-44
  • Page Count: 28
  • Language: Croatian