The Unstoppable Advance of Croatian Forces on Day Four of Operation “STORM”

On this day in 1995, the 9th Guard Brigade liberated Udbina during the fourth day of Operation “STORM”. Donji Lapac followed in the early afternoon as troops from the Gospić Military District, advancing from several directions, were joined by special police forces that attacked from Bruvno as well as the 4th Guard “Spider” Brigade on the Otrić pass.

Otrić pass

The special police continued towards Boričevac and Kulen Vakuf and in the evening reached the state border on the Una River. At the same time on the other end of Lika, the 9th Guard “Vukovi” Brigade and the 154th Home Guard Regiment merged on the Bunić-Debelo Brdo-Pećani-Jošani-Udbina Airport route to gain complete control of the Krbava plain.

Celebration in Udbina

That same day, the defensive lines of the rebel Serb army were broken at Turanj near Karlovac by the Croatian military aided by the Army of the Republic of Western Bosnia and units of the 110th Home Guard Regiment and 104th Brigade of the Croatian forces continued to advance towards Vojnić which they entered in the early afternoon.

In the evening Gojko Šušak, Minister of Defense of the Republic of Croatia announced the following during a press conference:

Operation ‘STORM ’95’ in former sectors North and South has been completed today with constitutional order and control over these Croatian areas fully restored as of 6 PM.

This was the final confirmation that the victory of the Croatian forces was unquestionable even though places such as Vrginmost and Dvor na Uni were liberated the following day, Despite the order of General Zvonimir Červenko, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia, to cease fire in the area of Vojnic-Vrginmost-Glina-Kostajnica-Dvor na Uni, the 21st Kordun Corps of the Serbian rebel army did not surrender and the order was withdrawn. A heavy price was paid by Croatian troops in the ensuing battles. Six members of the 145th “Dubrava” Brigade of the Croatian Army – Željko Blažević, Božidar Dodig, Tihomir Klobučar, Ivica Naglić, Damir Vuzem and Mladen Bošnjak died in battle between Kostajnica and Dvor na Uni while five soldiers from the 17th Sunja Home Guard Regiment – Rada Majkić, Josip Karaga, Stanislav Nikolić, Peja Čosić and Ivan Zebić were captured and killed in Dvor na Uni. Their remains were not found until years later.

Title photo
Croatian soldiers in the liberated Vojnić (photo by Dubravko Halovanić)
Marijan, Davor. Oluja. Zagreb: Croatian Memorial-Documentation Centre of the Homeland War, 2007.
Monograph 145. brigada Hrvatske vojske. Zagreb: Reprocolor, 2011.

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