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The Army of Republika Srpska ( sr, Војска Републике Српске/Vojska Republike Srpske; ВРС/VRS), commonly referred to in English as the Bosnian Serb Army, was the military of Republika Srpska (1992–95), Republika Srpska (RS), the self-proclaimed Serbs, Serb secessionist republic, a territory within the newly independent Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina (formerly part of Yugoslavia), which it defied. Active during the Bosnian War (1992–95), it continued to exist as the armed forces of RS, one of two entities making up Bosnia and Herzegovina, until 2006 when it was integrated into the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Forces of the VRS engaged in a number of campaigns including Operation Corridor 92, Operation Vrbas '92, Operation Bura, Operation Spider and the army also perpetrated the siege of Sarajevo from 1992 to 1995 and the Srebrenica massacre in 1995.


Personnel

The Army of the Republika Srpska (VRS) was founded on 12 May 1992 from the remnants of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from which Bosnia and Herzegovina had seceded earlier in 1992. When the Bosnian War erupted, the JNA formally discharged 80,000 Bosnian Serb troops. These troops, who were allowed to keep their heavy weapons, formed the backbone of the newly formed Army of the Republika Srpska. Aside from being made up largely of ethnic Serbs from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the VRS also included ca. 4,000 foreign Eastern Orthodox, Orthodox Christian volunteers. 1,000-1,500 of whom came from Russia, and Bulgaria, with 700 volunteers originating from Russia specifically. 100 Greeks also volunteered to fight on the side of the Bosnian Serbs, forming the Greek Volunteer Guard which allegedly participated in the Srebrenica massacre.


Post-war status and abolishment

After the war, the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina had two armies, that of the VRS and the Army of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (AFBiH). AFBiH was itself composed out of two elements, the ARBiH and HVO. The two armies functioned without a common command, on the principle of "non-intervention in the affairs of the other". Bisera Turković noted that it was 'therefore questionable whether in say a foreign attack on Sarajevo [...the VRS] would defend this capital city'. The existence of the two separate armies was one of the factors impeding civil-military relations development. The VRS conducted demining. In 2003 the army began to integrate into the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2005 a fully integrated unit of Serbs, Bosniaks, and Croats was deployed to augment the US-led coalition forces in Iraq. On 6 June 2006, it was fully integrated into the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina controlled by the Ministry of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Leadership

The supreme commander of the VRS was General Ratko Mladić, later indicted at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for genocide, as were other high-ranking Serb officers. Mladić was Ratko Mladić#Arrest and trial, arrested in Serbia on 26 May 2011.


Military operations

*Operation Corridor 92 (24 June – 6 October 1992) against Croatian forces; victory *Operation Vrbas '92 (June – October 1992) against ARBiH and HVO; victory *Mitrovdan offensive (8–13 November 1992) against HVO, HOS, HV; victory *Operation Spider (December 1994) against ARBiH; victory *Battle of Orašje (5 May – 10 June 1995) against Croatian forces; defeat


Special units

* Panthers Guard Special Brigade (Garda Panteri) (), East-Bosnian Corps * Wolves from the Drina, or Drina Wolves (), Drina Corps * Special Unit "Mando" (), East-Bosnian Corps * Special Unit "Osmaci" (), Drina Corps * Serb Guard Ilidža (), Sarajevo-Romanija Corps * White Wolves ()


Organization

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia stated that:
"In July 1995, the Armed Forces of the Republika Srpska were under the command and control of the Commander-in-Chief, Radovan Karadzic. His headquarters was in Pale. Within the framework of the VRS, immediately subordinate to the Commander-in-Chief, was the Main Staff of the VRS, headquartered in Han Pijesak and commanded by General Ratko Mladic. It was the responsibility of the Commander of the Main Staff to issue regulations, orders and instructions regarding the implementation of orders by the Commander-in-Chief, and to discharge the command duties delegated to him by the Commander-in-Chief. The Main Staff of the VRS consisted of staff officers and staff support personnel, as well as some specialised military units such as: the 65th Protection Regiment, designed to provide protection and combat services for the Main Staff; and the 10th Sabotage Detachment, a unit trained for operations behind enemy lines and other special combat assignments. The vast majority of the fighting force of the VRS itself was divided into six geographically-based Corps, all subordinate to, and under the command of, General Mladic and, in turn, the Commander-in-Chief, Radovan Karadzic. In July 1995, the six Corps were the Drina Corps, the 1st Krajina Corps, the 2nd Krajina Corps, the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, the Hercegovina Corps and the East Bosnia Corps."


1993

* 1st Krajina Corps – Banja Luka * 2nd Krajina Corps – Drvar * 3rd Corps – Bijeljina * East Bosnia Corps – Han Pijesak * Herzegovina Corps – Bileća


1995

* 1st Krajina Corps – Banja Luka * 2nd Krajina Corps – Drvar * East Bosnia Corps – Bijeljina * Sarajevo-Romanija Corps – Pale, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Pale * Drina Corps – Han Pijesak * Herzegovina Corps – Bileća


2001

* 1st Corps – Banja Luka * 3rd Corps – Bijeljina * 5th Corps – Sokolac * 7th Corps – Bileća


Equipment


Tanks and armoured vehicles

* M-84 * T-54/55 * T-34 * BVP M-80 * OT M-60 * BTR-50 * BOV (APC), BOV


Towed artillery

* M101 howitzer, M-56 * 122 mm howitzer 2A18 (D-30), D-30 * 122 mm howitzer M1938 (M-30), M-30 * 130 mm towed field gun M1954 (M-46), M-46 * 152 mm towed gun-howitzer M1955 (D-20), D-20 * Gun-howitzer M84 NORA, M-84 * 120 mm M1 gun, M-1 * ZiS-3


Self-propelled artillery

* 2S1 Gvozdika


MLRS

* M-63 Plamen * M-77 Oganj * M-87 Orkan


ATGM

* AT-3 Sagger, AT-3 "Sagger" and 9M113 Konkurs, AT-5 "Konkurs"


Antitank guns

* T-12 antitank gun, T-12


Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Guns (SPAAG)

* ZSU-57-2 * M53/59 Praga * BOV-3 * ZU-23-2


MANPADs and SAMs

* SA-7 * 9K38 Igla, SA-18 * SA-6 * SA-9


Infantry weapons


Pistols

* Zastava M88 * Zastava M57 * CZ-99


Assault rifles

* Zastava M70 * Zastava M80 * Zastava M90


Battle rifles

* Zastava M77B1


Submachine guns

* Zastava M56 * Zastava M85 * Zastava M92 * Heckler & Koch MP5


Machineguns

* Zastava M53 * Zastava M77 * Zastava M72 * Zastava M84 * Zastava M87 *M2 Browning


Sniper rifles

* Zastava M76 * Zastava M91


Anti-tank weapons

* M79 Rocket Launcher * M80 Zolja


Republika Srpska Air Force

Formerly known as ''Ratno Vazduhoplovstva i Protiv Vazdušna Odbrana Vojske Republike Srpske'' or ''RV i PVO RS''. Beginning on 1 June 2004, the Republika Srpska Air Force was officially called, ''Prvi Puk Vazduhoplovstva i Protiv Vazdušna Odbrana Vojske Republike Srpske'', also known as 1st Aviation Regiment and Air Defence Force of the Republic of Srpska's Army.


See also

* Military ranks of Republika Srpska


References


Books

* * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Army Of The Republika Srpska Army of Republika Srpska, 1992 establishments in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2006 disestablishments in Bosnia and Herzegovina Military of Republika Srpska Military units and formations established in 1992 Military units and formations disestablished in 2006 Military units and formations of the Bosnian War Serbian nationalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina Rebel militia groups