The Battle of Bastajski Brđani

With much sacrifice, Croatian forces defended Bastajski Brđani on this day in 1991.

On 5 November 1991, it was agreed to cease all hostilities at the Peace Conference on Yugoslavia in The Hague. Accordingly, Anton Tus, Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia ordered a ceasefire on the same day and Commander of the Bjelovar Operational Zone Miroslav Jerzečić suspended the further liberation of the Bilogora region that began through Operation “SWATH 10” on 31 October 1991.

The forces that successfully liberated the southeastern part of the Grubišno Polje municipality were replaced by members of the newly established 55th Independent Battalion of the Croatian National Guard (CNG) from Bjelovar who strengthened the line of defense along the Ivanovo Selo – Munije – Turčević Polje – Dijakovac. However, Serbian forces did not accept defeat and continued their military operations as they attacked the neighbouring positions of the 127th Brigade during the Battle of Kravljak. As the situation did not calm down, the forces of the 55th Independent Battalion of the CNG, together with the Reconnaissance and Sabotage Company of the Bjelovar Operative Zone were given the task of advancing towards Bastajski Brđani.

The troops set off from Mali Miletinac and Veliki Miletinac on 11 November and liberated the villages that same day but faced heavily fortified Serb forces secured by mines at Bastajski Brđani. Those lines were breached on 12 November and Bastajski Brđani was liberated with the help of a reconnaissance platoon of the 77th Independent Battalion from Grubišno Polje. The Yugoslav People’s Army (YPA) air force provided support to Serb forces but mistakenly hit their own troops at Velika Klisa and further lowered the enemy’s morale. It was another blow for the Serb military in the area because this enabled Croatian forces to gain control of part of the road between Daruvar and Đulovac.

On 13 November, Serb forces counterattacked at Bastajski Brđani. The fighting was fierce and resulted in heavy casualties as Croatian forces suffered 8 dead and many wounded. The Bjelovar Hospital received a report that there were wounded who urgently needed help and Dr. Anđelko Višić and his colleagues got into an ambulance and hurried to the front. help the wounded members of the 55th Independent Battalion and the 77th Independent Battalion. Arriving in Bastajski Brđani, the medical team tended to the wounded from the 55th and 77th Battalions and headed towards the base when it encountered an enemy ambush. The vehicle was riddled with machine gun fire and Dr. Višić was killed on the spot.

Anđelko Višić was born on 29 November 1948 in Bjelovar where he finished his elementary and high school education. He graduated from the Medical Faculty of the University of Zagreb in 1972 and upon completion of his internship started working at the Department of Internal Medicine at the Bjelovar Hospital. In 1981, Višić completed his specialization in Internal Medicine in Zagreb as well as postgraduate study in gastroenterology for which he published several professional papers. A married father of two children, Višić volunteered for the 55th Independent Battalion in early November of 1991.

My respected colleague Anđelko Višić was an exceptionally good person, excellent colleague and a complete professional in his work.

Dr. Ali Allouch, colleague
Dr. Anđelko Višić

Sources
Literature
Mijatović, Anđelko. Otkos-10. Zagreb: Udruga dragovoljaca i veterana Domovinskog rata Republike Hrvatske; Hrvatski memorijalno-dokumentacijski centar Domovinskog rata, 2011
Petričević, Ante; Husar, Josip et al. Ratna kirurgija u Domovinskom ratu. Split: Ante Petričević, 2007
Samardžija, Ivan. Operacija Otkos-10. Zagreb: Despot infinitus, 2019

Internet
Kristina Turković: „Odana počast žrtvama u Bastajskim Brđanima“, Grad Bjelovar, access achieved November 9, 2020, https://www.bjelovar.hr/bastajski-brdani-2016/
Bjelovar.live: „DANAS 27. OBLJETNICA Bjelovarčanin Anđelko Višić prvi je liječnik ubijen u Domovinskom ratu“,access achieved November 9, 2020, https://bjelovar.live/danas-27-obljetnica-bjelovarcanin-andelko-visic-prvi-je-lijecnik-ubijen-u-domovinskom-ratu/

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