On 1 November 1992, the 6th Guard Brigade was founded in the city of Gospić and was renamed the 9th Guard Brigade of the Croatian Army six months later. The change of name was explained by General Janko Bobetko in the book “All My Battles”:
The brigade originally wore the number 6 since it was the 6th Guard Brigade. A humorous coincidence was noticed only a week later. Namely, the Guard Brigade from Gospić received the same number as Tito’s 6th Lika Brigade during the Second World War. Thus, jokes about the similarities and identities of Tuđman and Tito were reinforced by the fact that Tuđman just as Tito wore the commander’s formal white uniform, utilized the Island of Brijuni, and above all, was also from the region of Zagorje and President of the country, now “had his 6th Lika Brigade” as well.
Known as the “Wolves”, this brigade was created from units of the Croatian Army that defended the Lika region in 1991-92 and stopped the enemy’s attacks on Gospić. Some of its members came from other parts of Croatia as well and was led by Mirko Norac, the former commander of the 118th Brigade of the Croatian Army.
Immediately after the establishment of the brigade, it faced difficult tasks as small-scale provocations and attacks by rebel Serbs were part of everyday life during the winter of 1992-93. Despite challenging living and working conditions, the “Wolves” immediately proved themselves a respectable unit that Croatia could rightly rely upon. Only two months after its establishment, the brigade was involved in Operation “MASLENICA” in which it liberated the heights of Velebit along with Special Police forces and then had members of the 1st “Wolves” Battalion stationed in the area around Tulove Grede.
A few months later in September 1993, the brigade carried out the extremely successful Operation “MEDAK POCKET” that liberated the villages of Divoselo, Čitluk and Počitelj and pushed the enemy 7 kilometres from Gospic thus relieving the city of constant artillery fire. The crowning glory of this famous unit’s war journey was most certainly Operation “STORM” in which it participated in the liberation of the occupied areas of the Lika region.
About eight thousand people passed through the brigade. Fifty-six members of the 9th Guard “Wolves” Brigade laid down their lives for their beloved homeland.
Graduated with a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Zagreb. He has worked at the Croatian History Museum and as a researcher for the popular TV Calendar program for Croatian Radio and Television. He has authored several books and documentaries about Croatia’s Homeland War and is the creator/producer of the immensely popular “It Happened on this Day – Homeland War” Facebook page as well as the online portal Domovinskirat.hr. Borna also is the host and editor of the daily segment “Patriotic Minutes” on Croatian Catholic Radio. He created CroHis to promote the values of the Homeland War and ensure that the sacrifices of those who defended Croatia’s independence would not be forgotten.