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21st Anniversary of the Operation "Maslenica"

Foto: OSRH/S.Brigljević
Foto: OSRH/S.Brigljević

On the occasion of the 21st Anniversary of the Operation "Maslenica", on 21 January 2014 the  delegations laid wreaths for the fallen defenders at the Zadar cemetery.

The Anniversary was opened by a march-past of members of the Armed Forces through the town of Zadar, displaying the 148 war-time flags of the units combating in the Homeland War and accompanied by the Orchestra of the Croatian Armed Forces.
The marking ceremonies were attended by Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, General Drago Lovrić as Envoy of the President of the Republic of Croatia, the Croatian Parliament Speaker, Josip Leko, the Minister of the Croatian Homeland War Veterans, Predrag Matić and the Envoy of the Defence Minister, Assistant Minister Viktor Koprivnjak.
A wreath was laid jointly by the delegations of the Croatian Armed Forces and of the General Police Directorate of the Republic of Croatia. The Armed Forces were represented by the Croatian Navy Commander, Commodore Robert Hranj, Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of the Croatian Army, Brig.Gen. Mladen Fuzul and the Commander of the Motorised Guard Brigade, Brig. Gen. Boris Šerić.

Wreaths were also laid at the Memorial Monument of the 3rd Battalion (known as «Imotski sokolovi») of the 4th Guard Brigade, which was followed by the Holy Mass served for the fallen Croatian defenders.
The Operation «Maslenica» was the first major liberating operation in the Homeland War and was undertaken jointly by the Croatian military and Police. It was launched on 22 January 1993 at 6 am and within three days some 15 villages in the Zadar hinterland along with some key strategic points (e.g. the Novsko ždrilo strait and the Air Base at Zemunik) were liberated. The Operation was of vital importance for the defence of Croatia from aggression and ushered future defensive operations by the Croatian forces culminating in the Operation «Storm».  The first three days of combat took lives of 19 Croatian defenders and 70 were wounded, and due to the heavy artillery, tank and occasional infantry attacks by the aggressors in retaliation for the Operation  "Maslenica" the total toll by the end of January 1993 rose to 127.
The Operation saw the engagement of the units under the responsibility of the then Split Army District – the 4th Guard Brigade, tactical groups of the 112th, 113rd and 126th Brigades respectively, 7th HomeGuards Regiment,  40th  Engineer Battalion, 72th Military Police Battalion, special Police units, components of the 9th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st Guard Brigades and of the General Staff respectively, and several other units (Electronic Reconnaissance Unit of Split, land, demolitioner and naval components of the Croatian Navy and the Helicopter Squadron of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence).

Foto: OSRH / S.Brigljević 

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