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The Yugoslav People's Army (JNA, YPA) (Serbo-Croatian, Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Montenegrin, or Jugoslovenska Narodna Armija – JNA, Cyrillic script: Југославенска народна армија or Југословенска народна армија – JHA; Slovene: Jugoslovanska ljudska armada – JLA) was the military of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslaviamarker.


The origins of JNA can be found in the Yugoslav Partisan units of World War II. As a part of the antifascist People's Liberation War of Yugoslavia, the People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia (NOVJ), a predecessor of JNA, was formed on December 22, 1941 in the town of Rudomarker in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the liberation of the country from the Axis Powers occupation, that date was officially celebrated as the Day of the Army in the SFR Yugoslaviamarker.In March 1945, the NOVJ was renamed the Yugoslav Army (Jugoslovenska Armija) and finally on its 10th anniversary on December 22, 1951, received the adjective People's (i.e. Narodna).


Once considered the third strongest army in Europe and fourth in the world(Only USA,UK and Soviet Union were stronger), JNA consisted of the ground force, air force and navy. They were organized in four military regions. The regions were further divided into districts that were responsible for administrative tasks such as draft registration, mobilization and construction and maintenance of military facilities. The regions were: Belgrade (responsible for eastern Croatiamarker, Serbiamarker and Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker), Zagrebmarker (Sloveniamarker and northern Croatia), Skopjemarker (Republic of Macedoniamarker, southern Serbia and Montenegromarker) and Splitmarker Naval Region. Of the JNA's 180,000 soldiers, more than 90,000 were conscripts.

In 1990 the army had nearly completed a major overhaul of its basic force structure. It eliminated its old division infantry organization and established the brigade as the largest operational unit. The army converted ten of twelve infantry divisions into twenty-nine tank, mechanized, and mountain infantry brigades with integral artillery, air defense, and anti-tank regiments. One airborne brigade was organized before 1990. The shift to brigade-level organization provided greater operational flexibility, maneuverability, and tactical initiative, and it reduced the possibility that large army units would be destroyed in setpiece engagements with an aggressor. The change created many senior field command positions that would develop relatively young and talented officers. The brigade structure also was more appropriate at a time of declining manpower.

Industry and Infrastructure

The arms industry took up the majority of Yugoslavia's heavy industries. With annual exports of $3 billion, it was twice as large as the second largest Yugoslav industry, tourism. It had modern infrastructure with underground air-bases and control centres in several mountains. The biggest and best known was the Bihać underground Integrated Radar Control and Surveillance Centre and Air Basemarker also known as "Željava" in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Several companies in Yugoslavia produced airplanes and specifically combat aircraft, most notably Soko of Mostar, with the Soko J-22 Orao being the best known, as well as Utva in Serbia. Regarding ground combat, Yugoslav military-industrial complex produced tanks (most notably, the modern M-84), armored vehicles (BOV-M, BOV-1 M-83, M-80), various artillery pieces (mortars, MLRS, howitzers etc.), anti-aircraft weapons, as well as various types of infantry weapons and other equipment.

Ground forces

[[Image:Tito maneuvers "Sloboda 71".jpg|right|thumb|Marshal Josip Broz Tito duringmilitary maneuvers "Sloboda 71" (Freedom 71).]]

The ground forces led in personnel. It had about 165,000 active-duty soldiers (including 90,000 conscripts) in 1991 and could mobilize over a million trained reservists in wartime. Reserve forces were organized along republics' lines into Territorial Defence Forces and in wartime they were to be subordinate to JNA Supreme Command as an integral part of defence system. Territorial Defence (reserve force) was made up of former conscripts and they were occasionally called up for war exercises.

The ground forces were infantry, armour, artillery, and air defence, as well as signal, engineering and chemical defence corps.

Air Force

JRV – Yugoslav Air Force
The MiG-29s were the newest aircraft in the Yugoslav Air Force.
The MiG-21s were the main fighters in Yugoslav Air Force.
The Yugoslav Air Force had about 32,000 including 4,000 conscripts and operated over 700 aircraft and 200 helicopters. It was responsible for transport, reconnaissance, and rotary-wing aircraft as well as the national air defense system. The primary air force missions were to contest enemy efforts to establish air superiority over Yugoslavia and to support the defensive operations of the ground forces and navy. Most aircraft were produced in Yugoslavia but missiles were produced domestically or supplied by the Soviet Unionmarker.

The Yugoslav Air Force had twelve squadrons of domestically produced ground attack fighters. The ground attack squadrons provided close air support to ground force operations. They were equipped with 165 new Orao-2, Super Galeb and J-21 Jastreb, and older P-2 Kraguj fighters. Many ground attack fighters were armed with AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missiles purchased from the United Statesmarker. Others were armed with Soviet Kh-23 and Kh-28 missiles. The air force also had about ninety armed Mi-8 helicopter gunships to provide added mobility and fire support for small ground units. A large number of reconnaissance aircraft were available to support ground forces operations. Four squadrons of seventy Galeb, Jastreb, and Orao-1 fighters were configured for reconnaissance missions.

The Yugoslav Air Force had nine squadrons of 130 Soviet-made MiG-21 interceptors for air defence. First produced in the late 1950s, the MiG-21 design was largely obsolete in 1990 and represented a potential weakness in Yugoslavia's air defense. However, the bulk of the MiG-21 fleet consisted mainly of the bis variant, the latest production MiG-21 model, and was armed with Soviet AA-2 (NATO: Atol) air-to-air missiles and some more modern AA-8 (NATO: Aphid) missiles as well as twin 23 mm cannons. By 1989, Yugoslavia started developing a new domestic multirole fighter called Novi Avion, which was supposed to replace the MiG-21 and J-21 Jastreb fleets entirely. The design of the new aircraft was influenced by both Mirage 2000 and Dassault Rafale fighter types and it was to enter service by early 2000s. As an interim solution, a modernization package was planned for the MiG-21 and it is speculated that Indiamarker's MiG-21 Bison upgrade was actually intended for Yugoslav aircraft.

In 1987, Yugoslavia acquired 16 MiG-29 interceptors.

Although not officially known at the time, Yugoslavia was rumored to have been interested in the purchase of certain numbers of Su-25 attack-aircraft and Mi-24 gunships. Instead of developing its own fighter plane, the "Novi Avion", the country was offered to licence-build the F-20, but due to unstable relations with the US, the offer was rejected. By late 1980s, the licence-production of Eurocopter Super Puma was also envisaged, but due to the break-up of the country, this idea, like many others, never came to be realized.

The Yugoslav Air Force conducted a large pilot training program with almost 200 Galeb, Super Galeb, and UTVA-75/-76 aircraft. The propeller-driven UTVA trainers had underwing pylons capable of carrying light weapons loads. A new UTVA Lasta trainer was under development in 1990. After practicing instrument and night flying, gunnery, bombing, rocket firing, and aerial maneuvers in the Lasta, student pilots progressed to the Super Galeb. Twenty Partisan helicopters were used for pilot training.

One of the most impressive structures operated by the JNA Air Force was the underground Željava air basemarker near the town of Bihacmarker in Bosniamarker. The structure was made to withstand a nuclear explosion and was destroyed by the JNA in 1992 to prevent its capture. Željava was base of 117th Fighter Aviation Regiment, which has composed of 124th and 125th fighter squadrons equipped with MiG-21Bis fighters and 352nd rece squadron equipped with MiG-21R aircraft.

The Air and Air Defence forces were headquartered at Zemunmarker and had fighter and bomber aircraft, helicopters, and air defence artillery units at air bases throughout the former Yugoslavia: Batajnicamarker (Belgrade), Nišmarker, Slatinamarker (Priština), Golubovcimarker (Titograd), Skopski Petrovecmarker, Sarajevomarker, Mostarmarker,Željavamarker (Bihać), Plesomarker (Zagreb), Divulje (Split), Pulamarker, Zemunikmarker (Zadarmarker), Cerklje ob Krkimarker and many other smaller air bases.


Minor surface combatants operated by the Yugoslav Navy included nearly eighty frigate, corvette, submarines, minesweepers, and missile, torpedo, and patrol boats in the Adriaticmarker Fleet. The entire coast of Yugoslavia was part of the naval region headquartered at Splitmarker (now part of Croatiamarker).

The Partisans had operated many small boats in raids harassing Italian convoys in the Adriatic Sea during World War II. After the war, the navy operated numerous German and Italian submarines, destroyers, minesweepers, and tank-landing craft captured during the war or received as war reparations. The United States provided eight torpedo boats in the late 1940s, but most of those units were soon obsolete. The navy was upgraded in the 1960s when it acquired ten Osa-I class missile boats and four Shershen-class torpedo boats from the Soviet Union. The Soviets granted a license to build eleven additional Shershen units in Yugoslav shipyards developed for this purpose.

In 1980 and 1982, the Yugoslav navy took delivery of two Soviet Koni class frigates. In 1988 it completed two additional units under license. The Koni frigates were armed with four Soviet SS-N-2B surface-to-surface missile launchers, twin SA-N-4 (NATO: SA-8 Gecko) surface-to-air missiles, and anti-submarine rocket launchers.

The Yugoslav navy developed its own submarine-building capability during the 1960s. In 1990, the main combat units of the submarine service were three Heroj-class patrol submarines armed with 533 mm torpedoes. Two smaller Sava-class units entered service in the late 1970s. Two Sutjeska-class submarines had been relegated mainly to training missions by 1990. At that time the navy had apparently shifted to construction of versatile midget submarines. Four Una-class midgets and four Mala-class swimmer delivery vehicles were in service in the late 1980s. They were built for use by underwater demolition teams and special forces. The Una-class boats carried five crewmen, eight combat swimmers, four Mala vehicles, and limpet mines. The Mala vehicles in turn carried two swimmers and 250 kilograms of mines.

The Yugoslav navy operated ten Osa class missile boats and six Končar class missile boats. The Osa I boats were armed with four SS-N-2A surface-to-surface missile launchers. In 1990, ten domestic Kobra missile boats were scheduled to begin replacing the Osa I class. The Kobra class was to be armed with eight Swedish RBS-15 anti-ship missiles to which idea 100 RBS-15 were ordered in late 1989. Armed with two SS-N-2B launchers, the Končar class boats were modeled after the Swedish Spica class but these too were also planned to be upgraded with Swedish-built missiles. Two Kobra missile boats have been, however, built by Croatiamarker as the Kralj class and one Končar class boat has been upgraded to a previously mentioned standard. The navy's fifteen Topcider-class torpedo boats included four former Soviet Shershen-class and eleven Yugoslav built units.

The Yugoslav navy's mine warfare and countermeasures capabilities were considered adequate in 1990. It operated four Vukov Klanac-class coastal minehunters built on a French design, four British Hamclass inshore minesweepers, and six 117-class inshore minesweepers built in domestic shipyards. Larger numbers of older and less capable minesweepers were mainly used in riverine operations. Other older units were used as dedicated minelayers. The navy used amphibious landing craft in support of army operations in the area of the Danube, Sava, and Drava rivers. They included both tank and assault landing craft. In 1990, there were four 501-class, ten 211-class, and twenty-five 601-class landing craft in service. Most of them were also capable of laying mines in rivers and coastal areas.

The Yugoslav Navy had 10,000 sailors (4,400 conscripts, 900 marines). This was essentially a coastal defense force with the mission of preventing enemy amphibious landings along the country's rugged 4,000-kilometer shoreline or coastal islands, and contesting an enemy blockade or control of the strategic Strait of Otrantomarker. The entire coast of Yugoslavia was part of the naval region headquartered at Splitmarker. The naval region was divided into three smaller naval districts and a riverine flotilla with major naval bases located at Split, Sibenikmarker, Pulamarker, Plocemarker and Kotormarker on the Adriatic seamarker, and Novi Sadmarker on the river Danube. The strategic islands of Vismarker and Lastovomarker were heavily fortified and unauthorised entry was denied. The fleet was organized into missile, torpedo, and patrol boat brigades, a submarine division, and minesweeper flotillas. The naval order of battle included four frigates, three corvettes, five patrol submarines, fifty-eight missile, torpedo, and patrol boats, and twenty-eight minesweepers. One antisubmarine warfare helicopter squadron was based at Divulje on the Adriatic sea coast for coastal operations. It employed Soviet Ka-25, Ka-28, and Mi-8 helicopters, and domestic Partisan helicopters. Some air force fighter and reconnaissance squadrons supported naval operations.


The Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) had a unique operational military doctrine for a conventional military force. Yugoslavia based its defence doctrine upon the total war concept of the "Total National Defence" ( ; Croatian: Općenarodna obrana; Slovene: Splošna ljudska obramba; ; abbr.: Latin: ONO, cyrilic: ОНО), which drew upon Yugoslavia's rich partisan history during the Yugoslav People's Liberation War in the Second World War. The Total National Defence gave the JNA the role of defending borders against aggressors with the intention of delaying an invader long enough for Territorial Defence Forces to enter the field and start wearing the invader down with partisan tactics. The entire Yugoslav population under this concept was to be engaged in armed resistance, armaments production, and civil defence. The concept of Total National Defence was believed by the Yugoslav planners to be the best method by which a smaller nation could properly defend itself against a much stronger invader.


JNA tanks in Slovenia, 1991.

During the early stages of the Yugoslav wars, and in general during the breakup of Yugoslavia, there was a great sense of confusion and concern as to the role that would be played by the Yugoslav People's Army.

Due to the fact that roughly 60% of the JNA's upper leadership was ethnically Serbian, when war broke out in Croatia in 1991 (Croatian War of Independence), the Croatians increasingly treated the JNA as a hostile force. During the Battle of Vukovar, the JNA's diverse ethnic composition of lower fighting units with no real stake or interest in the war in Croatia led to instances of desertion and confusion in the area. This was primarily caused by a lack of understanding as to where they stood with both the Croatian defence forces and the Serbian paramilitary units who were promoting a purely Serbian agenda in Eastern Slavonia.

The morale in parts of the JNA became very low as the war intensified. On September 29, 1991, the navy admiral Vladimir Barović committed suicide while stationed at the Vismarker naval base, leaving a suicide letter which stated that he could not reconcile his feeling of honor as a Montenegrin with the aggression of JNA against Croatia. At the beginning of war in Croatia, JNA targeted civilians, killing three children near auto-camp Grabovac at Plitvice Lakes.

By the end of 1991, when both Slovenia and Croatia had practically seceded, JNA was crippled as a joint army of the SFRY, and was deprived of its basic fundamentals as a fighting force.

Further complications arose when Republic of Macedoniamarker and Bosniamarker declared their independence and an already unpopular war caused conscription levels in Serbiamarker to drop to only 13% of what was required to maintain a functioning army. Many in Macedonia or Bosnia and Herzegovina felt that the war was none of their concern and that their people should not have anything to do with the conflicts developing in the region. By mid-1992, war spread to Bosnia.

Serbia and Montenegro now being the sole union, replacing SFR Yugoslaviamarker with the Federal Republic of Yugoslaviamarker, for legality reasons decided that it was best to wash their hands of the conflicts which were occurring in nearby nations. The decision was made to abolish the JNA.

In May 1992, the United Nations Security Council confirmed independence of the new republics and accepted them into the UN. In accordance, the Yugoslav Army was asked to withdraw from Bosnia (as it was now deemed a hostile armed intervention in another sovereign state) or face sanctions. On May 12, 1992, JNA units were split between the FR Yugoslaviamarker army and the Army of Republika Srpska (mostly in accordance with geographical location or place of origin), along with the majority of officer staff. In reality, this meant that many units changed nothing except their names and markings.

After the satellite army forces were officially formed and JNA was officially dissolved, the Army of FR Yugoslavia was re-formed with the new democratic intentions overshadowing the old socialistic fundamentals of the Yugoslav People's Army. Although, the changes to the Yugoslav Army (now Army of Serbia) were very slow and modernization did not begin until near the war's end. The calcification of Army cadre helped keep Slobodan Milošević in power, but when eventually the October 5th overthrow happened, the army did not intervene.

In the end, Serbia and Montenegro inherited most of Yugoslavia's military arsenal, though some of its infrastructure was destroyed or left behind in other Yugoslav republics. Croatians captured some of the arsenal in the Battle of the Barracks, but much of it was extracted. The complete navy was moved to Montenegro.

Exemplary Soldier

JNA Exemplary Soldier Plaque.

If a JNA recruit completes basic training with distinction, he will earn the Exemplary Soldier plaque. This means that the soldier has shown that he has gone above and beyond the call of duty. The plaque's text is addressed to soldier's parents and sent to them upon completion of training. It lists that the recruit has excellent understanding of basic military training, military doctrine and politics. The plaque also states that the recruit has shown excellent commitment to brotherhood and unity and has shown honor in defending the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslaviamarker.

Peacekeeping operations

Structure and Installations

Personnel strength: 236.918 (plus 38.423 civilian employees), wartime: 1.058.378 (1990, numbers include Air Force and Navy, not Territorial Defense with up to 1,5 Million combatants)

Ministry of Defense/General Staff ("Generalstab", like in German), BelgradeNuclear War Command Headquarters ("Atomska Ratna Komanda", ARK), KonjicAlternate Supreme Command Headquarters, Crna Rijeka (near Han Pijesak)Electronic Intelligence and ECM Center ("EI i PED"), Split-DivuljeElectronic Intellingence and ECM Center, Velika Buna (near Zagreb)Electronic Intelligence and ECM Bn, Titovo UziceElectronic Intelligence and ECM unit, Prokuplje

Guards Motorized Brigade, Belgrade, strength: 4000 men – A-1. Tank Bn-1. Motorized Bn-2. Motorized Bn-1. Military Police Bn (included an anti-terrorist company)-2. Military Police Bn-1. Light Air Defense Artillery Bn-Security Guard Bn-Logistics Bn

63. Airborne Brigade, Nis (officially was part of the Air Force) – A

Special Forces Group/General Staff, PancevoAirborne Special Forces Coy, Nis

389. Missile Artillery Brigade, Banja Luka (Luna-M/Frog-7) – B

Technical and Supply Base/General Staff (former 608. Logistics Base)

317. Signal Regiment, Bijeljina398. Signal Regiment, Titovo Uzice

(totals:Three Signal RegimentsOne Engineer RegimentOne Light Air Defense Artillery Group)

  • underground facility known as "Objekat D-O" (object D-O), could host some 350 people and withstand a nuclear explosion of 25–30 ktn

1. Military District ("vojna oblast" = VO), Belgrade-Topcider (former 1. Army)

4. Motorized Division (being disbanded)22. Rifles Division (being disbanded)

1. Mixed Anti-Tank Brigade, Belgrade – B152. Mixed Artillery Brigade, Cuprija?. Special Forces Recce Bn, Vrdnik?. Signal Regiment?. Military Police Bn1. Military District Electronic Reconnaissance Plt ("Elektronski Izvidnicki Vod" = EIV), Batajnica (Air-Force-manned, equipped with 5 to 6 Gazelle-HERA-Helicopters)46. Protection Regiment, Belgrade-Topcider

The River Flotilla, Novi Sad
  • 1. Proletarian Guard Motorized Division, Belgrade-Banjica – B
  • 1. Proletarian Guard Motorized Brigade, Belgrade – B
  • 2. Proletarian Guard Motorized Brigade, Valjevo – B
  • 3. Proletarian Guard Motorized Brigade, Pozarevac – B
  • 1. Proletarian Guard Mixed Artillery Regiment, Kragujevac
  • 1. Proletarian Guard Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment
  • 1. Proletarian Guard Light Mixed Air Defense Regiment
  • 1. Proletarian Guard Engineer Bn, Belgrade-Topcider
  • 1. Proletarian Guard Signal Bn

Belgrade City Military Command
  • 505. Motorized Brigade, Belgrade
  • 151. Motorized Brigade, Belgrade
  • 153. Motorized Brigade, Obrenovac
  • 150. Motorized Rifles Regiment, Belgrade
  • 22. Mixed Anti Tank Regiment, Belgrade
  • 22. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Belgrade

4. Corps, Sarajevo
  • 10. Motorized Brigade, Mostar – A
  • 49. Motorized Brigade, Sarajevo-Lukavica – A
  • 120. Light Infantry Brigade, Sarajevo
  • 651. Motorized Brigade
  • 216. Mountain Brigade, Han Pijesak
  • 13. Partisan Division – R
  • 431. Bridge Bn, Capljina
  • ?. Mixed Artillery Regiment
  • ?. Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment
  • ?. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment
  • ?. Engineer Regiment
  • ?. Signal Bn
  • ?. Military Police Bn, Sarajevo
  • ?. Medical Bn
  • ?. Transportation Bn
  • ?. Replacement Bn
  • ?. NBC Defense Coy
  • ?. Recce Coy

5. Corps, Banja Luka329. Armored Brigade, Banja Luka – B343. Motorized Brigade, Prijedor16. Proletarian Motorized Brigade, Banja Luka40. Partisan Division, Pozega – R10. Partisan Division – R5. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment5. Mixed Artillery Regiment?. Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment293. Engineer Regiment, Nova Topola?. Signal Bn5. Military Police Bn?. Medical Bn?. Transportation Bn?. Replacement Bn?. NBC Defense Coy?. Recce Coy993. Logistics Base, Banja Luka-Krcmarice

12. Corps, Novi Sad18. Proletarian Motorized Brigade, Novi Sad36. Mechanized Brigade, Subotica – A51. Mechanized Brigade, Pancevo* – A-51. Engineer Bn, Pancevo453. Mechanized Brigade, Sremska Mitrovica – B/R506. Rifles Brigade, Zrenjanin16. Mixed Anti-Tank Brigade, Backa Topola – B16. Mixed Artillery Regiment, Ruma12. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Novi Sad?. Engineer Regiment?. Signal Bn12. Military Police Bn, Novi Sad?. Medical Bn?. Transportation Bn?. Replacement Bn?. NBC Defense Coy?. Recce Coy?. Border Bn, Vrsac793. Logistics Base, Novi Sad (or Petrovaradin)

  • at least one source says, 51. Mechanized Brigade belonged to 24. Corps, Kragujevac

17. Corps, Tuzla12. Proletarian Mechanized Brigade, Osijek – A92. Motorized Brigade, Tuzla327. Motorized Brigade, Derventa395. Motorized Brigade, Brcko130. Motorized Brigade11. Partisan Division, Doboj – R38. Partisan Division, Bijeljina – R454. Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment, Derventa12. Mixed Artillery Regiment, Vinkovci17. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Vinkovci?. Engineer Regiment670. Bridge Bn, Slavonski Brod?. Signal Bn, Tuzla?. Military Police Bn?. Medical Bn17. Transportation Bn, Tuzla?. Replacement Bn?. NBC Defense Coy?. Recce Coy51. Border Bn, Beli Manastir904. Logistics Base, Sevarlije-Potocani (near Doboj)

24. Corps, Kragujevac80. Motorized Brigade, Kragujevac169. Motorized Brigade, Loznica9. Motorized Brigade, Zajecar35. Motorized Brigade, Mladenovac24. Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment24. Mixed Artillery Regiment?. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment?. Engineer Regiment?. Signal Bn?. Military Police Bn?. Medical Bn?. Transportation Bn?. Replacement Bn?. NBC Defense Coy?. Recce Coy524. Logistics Base, Kragujevac201. Logistics Base, Paracin

37. Corps, Titovo Uzice252. Armored Brigade, Kraljevo – B544. Motorized Brigade, Sabac20. Motorized Brigade, Valjevo27. Motorized Brigade, Kraljevo37. Motorized Brigade, Raska168. Motorized Brigade, Novi Pazar473. Motorized Brigade, Gornji Milanovac51. Partisan Division, Nova Varos – R?. Mixed Artillery Regiment?. Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment?. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment579. Engineer Regiment, Kraljevo228. Signal Bn, Gornji Milanovac?. Military Police Bn?. Medical Bn?. Transportation Bn?. Replacement Bn?. NBC Defense Coy?. Recce Coy

3. Military District, Skopje (former 3. Army)37. Motorized Division (being disbanded)203. Mixed Artillery Brigade, Nis150. Mixed Artillery Brigade, Vranje326. Mixed Artillery Brigade, Danilovgrad?. Special Forces Group, Skopje?. Special Forces Recce Bn, Pirot?. Signal Regiment, Skopje?. Protection Regiment?. Military Police Bn3. Military District EIV, Skopje-Petrovec (see above)

2. Corps, Titograd5. Proletarian Motorized Brigade, Titograd472. Motorized Brigade, Trebinje – B57. Mountain Brigade, Pljevlja3. Motorized Brigade, Ivangrad179. Motorized Brigade, Niksic23. Brigade, Bileca / Bosnian TO – R3. Partizan Division?. Mixed Artillery Regiment?. Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment?. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment?. Engineer Regiment?. Signal Bn?. Military Police Bn?. Medical Bn?. Transportation Bn?. Replacement Bn?. NBC Defense Coy?. Recce Coy

21. Corps, Nis211. Armored Brigade, Nis – B2. Motorized Brigade, Nis4. Motorized Brigade, Pirot?. Mountain Brigade, Pirot89. Motorized Brigade, Vranje135. Motorized Brigade, Surdulica148. Motorized Brigade, Aleksinac805. Motorized Brigade, Prokuplje?. Mixed Artillery Regiment?. Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment?. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment?. Engineer Regiment?. Signal Bn287. Military Police Bn, Nis?. Medical Bn?. Transportation Bn, Nis?. Replacement Bn?. NBC Defense Coy?. Recce Coy525. Logistics Base

41. Corps, Bitola87. Motorized Brigade, Tetovo – A243. Armored Brigade, Skopje – B?. Mixed Artillery Regiment?. Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment?. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment?. Engineer Regiment?. Signal Bn?. Military Police Bn?. Medical Bn?. Transportation Bn?. Replacement Bn?. NBC Defense Coy?. Recce Coy?. Border Bn, Ohrid

42. Corps, Kumanovo212. Motorized Brigade, Titov Veles592. Motorized Brigade, Kumanovo39. Rifles Brigade, Stip?. Mixed Artillery Regiment?. Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment?. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment?. Engineer Regiment?. Signal Bn?. Military Police Bn?. Medical Bn?. Transportation Bn?. Replacement Bn?. NBC Defense Coy?. Recce Coy

52. Corps, Pristina15. Proletarian Mechanized Brigade, Pristina – A125. Motorized Brigade, Titova Mitrovica102. Mixed Anti-Tank Brigade, Gnjilane – B58. Motorized Brigade, Leposavic549. Motorized Brigade, Prizren52. Military Police Bn, Pristina15. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Pristina52. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Dakovica?. Mixed Artillery Regiment?. Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment52. Engineer Regiment, Krusevac?. Signal Bn?. Medical Bn?. Transportation Bn?. Replacement Bn?. NBC Defense Coy?. Recce Coy53. Border Bn, Dakovica55. Border Bn, Prizren57. Border Bn, Urosevac

5. Military District, Zagreb (former 5. Army), strength: 39.945 men (1990)

6. Proletarian Rifles Division, Karlovac (being disbanded)

202. Mixed Artillery Brigade, Slovenska Bistrica580. Mixed Artillery Brigade, Karlovac – B?. NBC Defense Bn, Zagreb-Borongaj367. Signal Regiment, Samobor308. Signal Regiment, Ljubljana

10. Special Forces Group, Dugo Selo*Special Forces Recce unit, Maribor

65. Protection Regiment, Dugo Selo

5. Military District EIV, Zagreb-Pleso (see above)
  • could have been part of 65. Protection Regiment

Zagreb City Military Command*6. Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment – R6. Mixed Artillery Regiment – R6. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment
  • was probably downgraded – in contrary to the City Command of Belgrade – and subordinated to 10. Corps around 1988

10. Corps, Zagreb4. Armored Brigade, Jastrebarsko – A/B8. Proletarian Motorized Brigade, Karlovac (formed around 1990 after 6. Proletarian Rifles Division was disbanded) – R140. Mechanized Brigade, Zagreb/Dugo Selo* – (planned: A)(140. Motorized Brigade, Zagreb)* – B(31. Mechanized Brigade, Dugo Selo)* – R622. Motorized Brigade, Petrinja – R257. Motorized Brigade, Petrinja (new formation created of 257. and 291. Rifles Regiment and some other units around 1990) – R380. Motorized Brigade, Karlovac33. Partisan Division, Dugo Selo – R4. Partisan Brigade, Karlovac – R10. Recce Coy – R10. Military Police Bn – R10. NBC Defense Coy – R10. Signal Bn – R10. Medical Bn – R60. Medical Coy – R10. Transportation Coy – R10. Replacement Bn – R306. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Karlovac313. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment – R151. Anti-Tank Artillery Battery – R152. Anti-Tank Artillery Battery – R167. Separate Anti-Tank Artillery Group513. Engineer Brigade (new formation created of 10. and 258. Engineer Regiment around 1990)123. Bridge Bn, Dugo Selo – A671. Bridge Bn – R485. Bridge Bn, Karlovac17. Bridge Coy74. Bridge Coy530. Logistics Base

  • 140. Motorized and 31. Mechanized Brigade merged into 140. Mechanized Brigade, year: 1990

13. Corps, Rijeka (former "13. Operational Group")13. Proletarian Motorized Brigade, Illirska Bistrica – A/B6. Mountain Brigade, Delnice – B12. Mountain Brigade, Bihac (existed in the mid 80's, could have been disbanded around 1990)236. Proletarian Motorized Brigade, Gospic (formed of 9. and 10. Rifles Regiment after 6. Proletarian Rifles Division was disbanded around 1990) – R25. Motorized Brigade, Pazin (see also Maritime Military District)8. Partisan Division (probably disbanded around 1990)35. Partisan Division – R43. Partisan Division, Pazin – R13. Recce Coy – R13. Military Police Bn – R13. NBC Defense Coy – A13. Signal Bn, Rijeka – R13. Medical Bn – R13. Transportation Bn – R13. Replacement Bn – R13. Light Air Defense Artillery Bn – R13. Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment – R166. Separate Anti-Tank Artillery Group, Bihac13. Mixed Artillery Regiment – R127. Engineer Regiment – A540. Bridge Bn

14. Corps, Ljubljana (former "14. Proletarian Motorized Division") – peactime strength (1990): 13.900 men1. Armored Brigade, Vrhnika – A/B14. Proletarian Motorized Brigade, Ljubljana-Sentvid – R228. Motorized Brigade, Postojna – A253. Motorized Brigade, Ajdovscina345. Alpine Brigade, Kranj – B15. Partisan Division, Novo Mesto – R-5. Partisan Brigade, Ljubljana-14. Partisan Brigade, Novo Mesto-25. Partisan Brigade, Ribnica30. Partisan Division, Vrhnika – R-13. Partisan Brigade, Rakek-19. Partisan Brigade, Ajdovscina-20. Partisan Brigade, Vrhnika1. Separate Partisan Brigade – R14. Mixed Artillery Regiment, Ribnica14. Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment, Veliki Otok (near Postojna)314. Anti-Tank Artillery Group168. Barrage/Fortress Battery635. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Ljubljana-Sentvid14. Engineer Regiment, Skofja Loka45. Bridge Coy14. Signal Bn, Ljubljana298. Military Police Bn, Ljubljana14. Medical Bn, Ljubljana14. Transportation Bn14. Replacement Bn61. Border Bn, Radovljica62. Border Bn, Tolmin63. Border Bn, Nova Gorica64. Border Bn, Sezana528. Logistics Base, Ljubljana

31. Corps, Maribor (former "31. Infantry Division") – peacetime strength (1990): 6300 men6. Motorized Brigade, Celje145. Motorized Brigade, Novo Mesto195. Motorized Rifles Brigade, Maribor – B325. Motorized Brigade29. Partisan Division, Ptuj – R11. Separate Partisan Brigade, Slovenska Bistrica – R31. Mixed Artillery Regiment, Maribor417. Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment, Ptuj183. Anti-Tank Artillery Battery186. Anti-Tank Artillery Battery31. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Ptuj522. Engineer Regiment, Celje270. Bridge Bn76. Bridge Coy31. Military Police Bn, Maribor31. Signal Bn31. Medical Bn31. Transportation Bn31. Replacement Bn?. NBC Defense Coy?. Recce Coy65. Border Bn, Murska Sobota66. Border Bn, Maribor67. Border Bn, Dravograd699. Logistics Base, Celje

32. Corps, Varazdin (former "32. Mechanized Division")32. Mechanized Brigade, Varazdin – A265. Mechanized Brigade, Bjelovar – A158. Mixed Anti-Tank Brigade, Dakovo* – B288. Mixed Anti-Tank Brigade, Virovitica* – B411. Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment, Krizevci – R73. Motorized Brigade, Koprivnica – B28. Partisan Division, Bjelovar – R32. Partisan Division, Varazdin – R32. Mixed Artillery Regiment, Varazdin?. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment32. Engineer Regiment, Cakovec32. Military Police Bn, Varazdin32. Signal Bn, Varazdin32. Medical Bn, Varazdin32. Transportation Bn32. Replacement Bn32. NBC Defense Coy, Varazdin?. Recce Coy42. Border Bn, Virovitica43. Border Bn, Koprivnica
  • could be direct reporting to the 5. Military District as some sources claim

Maritime Military District ("vojnopomorska oblast", VPO), SplitOperations Center VPO, Zrnovnica108. Coastal Missile Brigade, Radovici (P-20/SS-N-2C Styx)82. Naval Special Forces Unit ("pomorski centar"), Split-Divulje332. Signal Regiment, Sinj290. Military Police Bn, Split

Maritime Military District EIV, Split-Divulje (see above)The Fleet (HQ at Split)

9. Corps, Knin221. Motorized Brigade, Knin – B180. Motorized Brigade, Benkovac11. Motorized Rifles Brigade*62. Motorized Brigade, Benkovac**3. Brigade / Croatian TO – R9. Mixed Artillery Regiment557. Mixed Anti-Tank Regiment, Knin?. Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment594. Engineer Regiment, Sinj9. Military Police Bn, Knin9. Signal Bn9. Medical Bn9. Transportation Bn9. Replacement Bn?. NBC Defense Coy?. Recce Coy405. Logistics Base, Knin
  • could be former 11. Marine Rifles Brigade at Sibenik
    • mentioned at the Hague war crimes tribunal, no other confirmation

REMARK: Several yugoslav sources list a 9. (Separate) Tank Bn for 9. Corps. I trusted them, but the information was incorrect for the timeframe of this orbat, as I found out now. The 9. Bn together with another Tank Bn (10.) was added to the Corps at the end of 1991. The troops came from 1. Military District to reinforce the 9. Corps that was heavily involved in the first military actions of JNA and irregular Serbian forces against Croatia. The example shows how difficult it will be to get a correct JNA-orbat for the last days of cold war and not to mix up facts with the first days of the yugoslav nightmare.

5. Maritime Sector Command, Pula139. (Guard) Marine Rifles Brigade, Pula* (with at least one Bn at Mali Losinj, probably disbanded around 1990)5. Motorized Rifles Brigade, Pula**

  • designations vary from source to source, one source even names both
    • confusing cause there was definitely a 5. Proletarian Motorized Brigade at the 2. Corps at Titograd

One Source says, 25. Motorized Brigade at Pazin (listed here with 13. Corps at Rijeka) was a merger of 139. Marine Rifles Brigade at Pula with a Partisan Brigade (at Pazin and Umag) and was subordinated to5. Maritime Sector

8. Maritime Sector Command, Sibenik12. Amphibious Brigade, Sibenik (with detachment at Molat-Bonaster)*11. Marine Rifles Brigade, Sibenik (probably disbanded around 1990)*

  • Designations vary from source to source, one source even names both. 11. Brigade at Sibenik and 139. Brigade at Pula definitely existed both in the mid 80's and then eventually were reorganized and got new designations.

9. Maritime Sector Command, Kumbor24. Motorized Rifles Brigade, Trebinje107. Mixed Artillery Brigade, Radovici

Separate Naval Base Commands:VisLastovoLosinj

Other installations (Schools, Institutes etc.)

NBC-Laboratory, MostarTechnical Test Center, Belgrade-Kumodraz

Navy Installations:Naval Test Center, Split-LoraNaval Hydrographical Institute, SplitShipbuilding Institute, ZagrebNaval Medical Institute, Split

Operational experience

Modern militaries from territories of former Yugoslavia

See also



  • Trifunovska, Snezana, Yugoslavia Through Documents: From Its Creation to Its Dissolution, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1994 ISBN 0792326709

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