The Storm of Victory
Price: 150,00 kn
The Storm of Victory is a photomonography on the days of pride and glory which Croats owe to the Croatian soldiers and policemen who took part in the legitimate and liberating military-police operation Storm. By this victorious operation Croatia established in August 1995 the conditions for the successful conclusion of an extremely turbulent, dramatic and bloody period of its history which started in August 1990 with the terrorist actions of Serbian extremists and the armed insurgency of the Serbs in Croatia, and mushroomed in July 1991 into ruthless aggression by the armed forces of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (JNA and territorial defense units from Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Serbian paramilitary units against the Republic of Croatia. An impartial and scientific analysis would probably conclude that the operation Storm, because of a number of problems in its preparation and execution, was not so irreproachable and brilliant as it has mainly been claimed in the media, which is understandable considering the great number of hurriedly mobilized people in the reserve brigades and Home Guard regiments, incompletely prepared for such a demanding operation. But for Croats Storm is the “mother of all battles”, and it deserves the attribute “brilliant” already for its result, of extraordinary and maybe even crucial significance for the destiny of the Croats and Croatia, but also for the destiny of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or at least of its western part. It freed almost the entire occupied part of the Republic of Croatia and thereby secured the conditions for the reinstatement of legitimate and democratically elected Croatian authorities within the internationally recognized state borders of the Republic of Croatia, and for the return of tens of thousands of citizens displaced since 1991; it also broke the blockade of the UN safe haven of Bihać and saved thousands of its citizens from certain death. Of course, the consequences of Storm include tens of thousands of ethnic Serbs, Croatian citizens, who left Croatia. However, Croatian authorities were unable to influence that development due to the uncompromising, irrational and criminal policies of the leadership of the insurgent Serbs in Croatia. Knin was liberated on 5 August 1995. Because of the geopolitical and symbolical significance of Croatia’s “royal town”, this date has quite appropriately been proclaimed the Day of Gratitude and Victory in the Homeland War. Every year on that date, Croatia’s beloved tricolor is hoisted throughout Our Beautiful, celebrating Croatia’s victory in the war forced upon it and expressing particular gratitude to the Croatian veterans, who have many reasons to be proud of their involvement in the defense and liberation of our homeland. On that day we must also pay particular homage to the Croatian soldiers killed in the war, and all innocent victims of war on either side. They include the Serbian civilians killed after Storm; this, and the homes set on fire, cast a shadow on the glory of the operation. This also has to be mentioned in the days of pride and remembrance: we must face the negative sides of our own past so that crimes committed by individuals do not defile the purity of the idea and of the event as a whole, and so that the winner does not become a moral loser. It is also because of the victims that Croatia has the right and the obligation to celebrate 5 August 1995 and the military-police operation Storm with dignity. In particular, it is obliged to safeguard the historical truth about the Homeland War from the onslaught of biased comments and interpretations we have been witnessing. We believe that this photomonography is also a contribution in that direction. This is why we are grateful to all those who often faced mortal danger in order to record Storm and perpetuate the memory of the warriors to whom Croatia is greatly indebted. We owe particular gratitude to the artists who have made their work publicly available. Of course, this book presents only some photographs shot during Storm, and the names of their authors are mainly listed. Since the Centre obtained some photographs without any signatures, I apologize in advance to all whose names have not been mentioned.
Ante Nazor, Ph.D.
Translated by Željka Križe Gračanin