In late August of 1991, rebel Serb forces with the help of the Yugoslav People’s Army (YPA) tightened their grip on Topusko. On 23 August 1991 Božidar Jagatić, hero of the Homeland War was killed during one of the artillery attacks on that village located on the border between the regions of Kordun and Banovina.
Jagatić was born on 3 November 1963 in Zagreb and was the only son of parents Stjepan and Barbara. He finished primary and secondary school in his hometown and worked for the “INA – OKI” company. Jagatić is remembered as a cheerful, sociable and brave young man who loved motorcycles and Dinamo Zagreb soccer club. He was married to Davorka with whom he had two sons and the family lived in Botinac. At the time of their father’s death, Allen was five years old while Dean was only four.
Jagatić first enlisted as a volunteer in the Homeland War through Civil Defense forces but with the establishment of the National Guard Corps in June of 1991 he became one of the first members of the Independent “Cobra” Company. This unit was comprised of volunteers exclusively from the New Zagreb area of Croatia’s capital city. Upon completion of training on Sljeme Mountain on the outskirts of Zagreb, the “Cobras” were given their equipment (which consisted of hunting weapons and roughly 50 automatic rifles) and sent to the front at Topusko. Although Topusko was surrounded at the time, they broke through to the town via the village of Gređani. Darko Mateša, one of the “Cobra” commanders recalled the mission:
We had to break through forests, vineyards and dirt roads in order to reach unoccupied Gređani. We encountered only desolation and emptiness and did not find a single civilian in Topusko
The “Cobras” suffered their first casualty on that mission. “Kiki”, as Božidar Jagatić was known to his comrades was killed by a mortar shell fired from Serb positions. The journey to the hospital was arduous and Jagatić did not survive as his wounds were too severe. He was laid to rest at the Miroševac cemetery in Zagreb on 28 August 1991.
Šaravanja, Vjekoslav. 10.000 djece bez roditelja u Domovinskom ratu. Slavonski Brod: Obiteljski centar župe Duha Svetoga, 2001.
Turić, Gordana. U viteza krunica (knjiga I). Zagreb: Udruga roditelja poginulih branitelja Domovinskog rata grada Zagreba, 2008.
Mustapić, Anđelka. “Zagrebačke ‘COBRE’ – otrov za neprijatelja, život za Domovinu”. Hrvatski vojnik (1993.), no. 41: 25-26
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.