KNIN, 5 August 2021 – Croatia is celebrating the anniversary of Victory & Homeland Thanksgiving Day and Day of Croatian Defenders today for the 26th time.
Celebrations on Thursday are being held to commemorate the military victory on 5 August 1995, known as Operation Storm, when the Croatian army took over a self-proclaimed Serb entity in Croatia.
Operation Storm was a combined military and police operation that ended a Serb armed insurgency and restored Croatian sovereignty over occupied central and southern parts of the country, paving the way for the peaceful reintegration of eastern Croatia in January 1998.
The offensive was launched at 5 a.m. on August 4 along the line running from Bosansko Grahovo to the south to Jasenovac to the east, the front line being more than 630 kilometres long. Within the next 84 hours slightly less than 10,500 square kilometres of territory, almost a fifth of the country, was liberated.
The operation culminated on August 5, when the Croatian Army’s 4th and 7th Guard Brigades liberated Knin, the heart of the Serb rebellion, displaying a 20-metre-long Croatian flag on the town’s fortress at noon.
About 200,000 Croatian soldiers and police took part in the biggest operation of the Homeland War. According to the Homeland War Memorial and Documentation Centre, 196 Croatian personnel were killed, at least 1,100 were wounded and 15 missing.
Operation Storm marked the end of the war in Croatia, created conditions for the peaceful reintegration of the eastern Danube River region, helped break the siege of the northwestern Bosnian town of Bihac, and enabled the return of refugees and displaced persons.
The focus of the celebrations today will be in Knin.