Operation COASTLINE 91
(Operacija Obala 91)
Forces of 9th Corps also included garrisons (plus Yugoslav navy installations) located in cities including Sibenik which come under siege from Croatian forces once fighting started.
Defense of Sibenik was responsibility of 113th Sibenik brigade of Croatian army (at that time named ZNG - National Guard Corps) which had around 1400 soldiers equipped only with infantry weapons lacking any kind of artillery or armor. Brigade was spread out to cover three possible attack routes Vodice, Skradin and Drnis. Also available to defenders were some 1380 armed police officers, also in Drnis besides 4th Battalion of 113th was 4th Battalion from 4th Guard Brigade which previously fought in Kijevo and Vrlika.
From 11 to 13 September 1991 strong attack was carried out in Skradin region leaving city of Sibenik without water and electricity. Croatian army suffered four killed Bozo Pajic, Srecko Sokota, Mladen Protega and Ante Goles and large number of wounded.
YPA started tank attack on 16 September from Bribir towards Sibenik simultaneously attacking Drnis from Oklaj and Tepljuh forcing defenders, lacking anti-tank weapons to fall back finally stopping tanks in the evening hours on the west side of Sibenik bridge effectively cutting road link towards southern Dalmatia. For the next seven days city was heavily shelled and in order to reinforce defense decision was made by Croatian authorities to capture YPA installation inside the city which were alredy under siege in order to get heavier weapons.
Drnis was cut-off from both Sibenik and Split forcing defenders to retreat to new defense line Pakovo selo - Sedramic - Unesic abandoning Drnis resulting in mass exodus of Croatian civilians, YPA 9th Corps also lifted siege of its barracks in Trbounj and Zitnic. 9th Corps advance in Drnis area was finally halted during battle of Pakovo selo in which it had 1 tank and 1 armored personnel carrier destroyed, 3 tanks damaged, 10 soldiers killed, numerous wounded and major Stevo Krkljas and 30 soldiers captured.
On 22 September 113th Brigade together with support of Sibenik police pushed back YPA away from Sibenik bridge to Gacelezi village reestablishing road link towards rest of Croatia.
Orders of Battle
- Petar Simac: Svjedocanstva o Domovinskom ratu u Dalmaciji 1991.
- The Yugoslav Wars (1): Slovenia & Croatia 1991-95 by Nigel Thomas, Darko Pavlovic
- The Yugoslav Wars (2): Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia 1992 - 2001 by Nigel Thomas, K. Mikulan, Darko Pavlovic
- The Collapse of Yugoslavia 1991-1999 by Alastair Finlan
- The War in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina 1991-1995 by Branka Magas, Ivo Zanic
- Conflict in the Balkans 1991-2000 (Osprey Combat Aircraft 24) by Tim Ripley, Mark Rolfe
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