Croatian War of Independence (1991 – 1995) – The Storm Of Victory
Video tribute to Croatian veterans and Operation Storm with “Brothers in Arms” – Dire Straits music:
Today, August 5, Croatia commemorates the Day of Victory and Homeland Gratitude and the Day of Croatian Defenders, the day when 19 years ago its military and police forces regained control of most of the Serb occupied territory in the legendary military offensive Operation Storm.
Operation Storm restored Croatian sovereignty over nearly a fifth of the country’s territory, occupied by Serb terrorising, murderous rebels backed by the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) from Serbia in 1991. Operation Storm, along with Operation Flash (Western Slavonia part of Croatia) successfully launched in May 1995, crushed the Serb forces and thus ended the military part of Homeland War in August 1995.
After the four years of occupation, shelling attacks and ethnic cleansing of Croats and other non-Serbs from the Serb-held areas, and many rounds of failed peace talks and initiatives, Croatia had no other choice but to liberate its sovereign but occupied territory with its own military force.
Operation Storm was launched at 5am on August 4, 1995, and within the next 84 hours nearly 10,500 square kilometres or 18.4 % of Croatia’s territory was liberated. A 20-metre-long Croatian flag was displayed on the fortress in Knin, the heart of the Serb rebellion, at noon on August 5.
The gratitude to the veterans and Croatian leadership at the time championed by Croatia’s first president Franjo Tudjman is immense. They should forever be remembered, celebrated and raised to the pedestal of eternal gratitude of the Croatian nation. Their resolve to fight off communist Yugoslavia venom was astonishing; the kind of resolve and bravery that pours hope and joy of freedom. In that light and in expressing my personal and deep gratitude to all those who fought in the battles for freedom, to all those who worked for freedom in the background, to all those who lost their lives for Croatia’s freedom, I have collected a series of screen shots from Operation Storm documentary films and turned them into photographs (please click on them to enlarge and enjoy). Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)