The Establishment of the 6th “Eagle” Battalion of the 1st Guard “Tiger” Brigade

After the National Guard Corps of the Republic of Croatia was formed in May of 1991 and within it the 1st A “Tigers” Brigade, the organization of battalions within the nascent Croatian armed forces began. On this day in 1991 the establishment of the 6th “Tigers” Battalion under the code name “Eagle” took place at the Petruševec military base in Zagreb.

Krešo Tuškan was appointed as battalion commander and Ivan Rašić as deputy while Gento Međugorac, Ivan Perković, Željko Višek, Zvonko Galić and Vito Ćavar were actively involved in its formation. Initially, four companies and a Special Operations and Reconnaissance Unit were formed. Upon completion of accelerated training, members secured the Pleso airport and then served on battlefronts in Western Slavonija, Banovina-Pokuplje and southern Croatia.

Members of the 6th “Tigers” Battalion, whose base was at Tomislav’s Home on Sljeme Mountain overlooking Zagreb, had a baptism by fire on the battlefields of Nova Gradiška and Novska. They held positions at the highway toll booths near Okučani and monitored the predominantly Serbian villages of Gređani and Čovac. The first casualties fell in fierce clashes and the loss of company commander Darko Presečki was particularly tragic. Despite misfortune and losses, the 6th Battalion withstood all attacks and went on leave where they were fired upon by enemy planes that bombed the transmitter tower near their base on Sljeme Mountain.

After reorganization and arrival of reinforcements, three new companies were created out of the original four. Two were sent to Pokupsko and one to the Novljan battlefront. The companies from Pokupsko briefly went to eastern Slavonija where they took part in an unsuccessful attempt to break through to the besieged city of Vukovar. Then they moved to Novska where the entire 6th Battalion participated in the defense of Stari Grabovac and the military operation “ORKAN 91” in which Popovac, Brezovac, Livađani and other occupied villages in the area were liberated. After the signing of the Sarajevo armistice at the beginning of 1992, members of the 6th “Tigers” Battalion were withdrawn to Zagreb.

In April 1992, the battalion was deployed to the front in southern Croatia where they took part in operations to end the blockade of Dubrovnik and liberate occupied territory. At the end of 1992, the “Tigers” were reorganized and members of the 6th Battalion were absorbed into newly established units. By the end of 1992, the 6th Battalion had suffered losses in the amount of 52 killed and more than 220 wounded.

Monografija 1. gardijska brigada Hrvatske vojske Tigrovi, Zagreb: Znanje, 2015.

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