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The history of the special forces of Serbia and Yugoslavia
Material posted: -Publication date: 09-06-2013

Serbia and Yugoslavia have a long tradition of the use of special forces. The first unit of force in the execution of special tasks, known as "comity", was formed in 1912, shortly before the outbreak of war with Turkey.

Four separate group headed by talented, qualified and experienced officers: Vojislav Tankosic, Dusan Simic, Dusan sekulich and Paul Blaskic.

All four units were subordinated to the command of the Third Army of Serbia. Of course, the divisions had no special weapons at their disposal, and hardly then small arms special purpose existed.

The troops were armed with Mauser rifles - 7 mm and a Mauser - 7.63 mm pistols like the Luger - 9 mm. they also used knives and hand grenades Vasic-VTZ.

The main tactical task of the new Serbian special forces were carrying out operations in areas controlled by Turkish troops. Similar raids behind enemy lines was effective not only militarily but also as a psychological demoralizing the enemy a means.

Quick, unexpected attacks on trains and columns of the enemy created chaos and disorder in his rear, and helped regular Army in the conduct of large operations.

Remembering the numerous successful operations forces in July 1914 the Serbian military command decided to organize four new special forces units.

However, despite all their skills and maneuverability, these units suffered extremely heavy losses in action against the numerically superior regular forces of the enemy.

In order to strengthen the role of special forces in mid-1917, the Serbian military command organized two volunteer special battalion.

Two years after that, probably impressed by the actions of the Italian "Arditi" and the Austrian "Sturmtruppen", the battalions were preparirovannyh in the assault company.

According to the order of military personnel assault groups were armed with guns of caliber 7.65 and 8 mm and semi-automatic carbines Winchester. Widely used OF hand grenades and F1 (model 1915) and combat knives model 1916, made in France, General Coutellerie et Orfeverie a Thiers".

After the First World war, the Yugoslav special forces was loose.

In April 1940, when Nazi troops had occupied most of Europe, the Yugoslav Ministry of the army and Navy were forced to hastily revive the special Forces, creating six attack battalions in 210 men each.

Why six? The idea was to send a shock battalion in each of the five armies, and one battalion to pass in subordination to High command.

Soldiers of special battalions had a new officially registered distinguishing mark - the silver skull and two crossed bones.

Their armament consisted of a 7.92 mm mazurovskoe carbine, combat knife and hand grenades razlichnogo type.

When on 6 April 1941, German paratroopers made a landing on the territory of Yugoslavia, 1st attack battalion first made against the enemy. Fighting near the airport Bijeljina was heavy, and many of the Yugoslav soldiers were killed during the battle. The bravery and the courage of his comrades inspired his troops in the fight against the Nazis. It is well known that the Yugoslavs have caused huge numbers of problems to the Germans and their allies in the Balkans during the Second World war.

However, after the Second world war in Yugoslavia was not given due attention parts and divisions of special purpose.

From 1953 to 1959 the only YUNA part which could be attributed to the special forces – was 63 parachute (airborne) brigade. This brigade was formed 5. February 1953, but in 1959, it was disbanded and recreated again in 1967 in Niš.

In 1959 he published the first "manual on the military use of guerrilla and sabotage groups (detachments), which determined the order of execution of combat tasks in the enemy rear. In July of the same year, began the formation of partisan brigades and sabotage groups.

In the Primorsky military district on 19 February 1960 was established 82 subversive group (the group) of the naval forces which were frogmen and underwater saboteurs.

Terrorism, which appeared in the seventies of the twentieth century,in the form of action ustashskaya emigration, accelerated the process of formation of the anti-terrorism (PT) units. Immediately after the end of the operation "Ragusa 72" (code name "Phoenix"), caused by the arrival from abroad of the terrorist group of the ustashe in Yugoslavia, Supreme commander of the Armed forces of the SFRY Josip Broz Tito, July 21, 1972, issued a Directive demanding the Ministry of defense and Ministry of interior of Yugoslavia to form a special unit designed to deal with saboteurs in the rear and capable of conducting counterinsurgency actions.

Then on 21 June 1972, an armed group composed of 19 Croatian extremists have infiltrated into Yugoslav territory in a mountainous district Radusa. As the Yugoslav authorities had no other forces capable of resisting the armed fighters in addition to police forces,the clashes of 15 Croatian militants were killed and 4 captured alive while militia lost 13 men killed and a large number wounded.

The first special purpose units were formed within the Ministry of internal Affairs of the SFRY in December 1978. Through these innovations, the Ministry of internal Affairs of Serbia were organized as a special service, authorized to fight against terrorist activities on the territory of Serbia.

Later this service was given the abbreviated name of the SAI(in Serbian SA-Specialna antiteroristicka jedinica).

"CY" had three divisions, located in Belgrade,Novi Sad and Pristina. Icon Chevron and its employees were depicted Serbian double-headed eagle and the sword, smashing in the head of the serpent.

The Yugoslav people's Army for several years relied only on existing buildings and armies of subversive groups and military police units.

The Federal Secretary of national defence of the SFRY(Minister of defense), army General Nikola ljubičić only April 14, 1978, ordered the formation of an anti-terrorist unit consisting of 282 battalion of the military police,later called the platoon of special purpose "Cobras".

On 12 June 1992 was formed the 72nd assault (special) brigade. The brigade consisted of two reconnaissance and sabotage battalion (RDB) and anti-terrorist battalion "Falcons" (Sokolove). Each reconnaissance and sabotage battalion consisted of two reconnaissance and sabotage his mouth, company support, paratroopers company and platoon of frogmen-saboteurs.

Anti-terrorism battalion and a platoon of a special purpose military police 'Cobra' was a part of the brigade although it was often separate from it.

In the same year, 72 brigade, together with the First tank brigade Guards mechanized brigade (consisting of two mechanized battalions and the 25th battalion of the military police) and the 63rd parachute brigade.

Outside the body remains the following units specialnogo purpose: one company of the 5th battalion of the Military police special purpose of the 1st Army, a company of the 3rd battalion of the 3rd Army, company a 4th battalion 2nd Army, a company of the 52nd battalion of the Pristina army corps, one platoon of the Military police special purpose 65 battalion of the Belgrade army corps, a platoon of the 12th battalion Novosadskog army corps and 82 sabotage detachment of the Navy.

When in 1999 was the reform of the Armed forces of Yugoslavia (Model 21),KSN disbanded, and its special part came under the command of the General staff.


In may 1992 the Yugoslav Ministry of the interior organized a police unit of special purpose PIP (in Serbian "PP", Posebne jedinice policies).

In may 1993, the above units were converted to maneuver forces of the Ministry of internal Affairs of Serbia. The main task of these units was to arrest suspects in crimes,in the fight against the riots in securing mass events and other similar tasks in the interests of maintaining law and order.

The emblem of employees PIP was a picture of a Laurel wreath, a sword and a shield with the Serbian "tricolor" in the background: red, blue and white.

During the Yugoslav wars 1991-1999, the state security of Serbia has formed special forces unit wore from 1991 to 1996 the name "Red berets",while from 1996 to 2003 bore the name of the Unit of special-purpose ISO(in Serbian Jedinica for specialne operatie-SO').

"SO" was disbanded by the decree of the government of Serbia on 25 March 2003. 28 June 2001 of the Ministry of interior of Serbia, is PIP,created the gendarmerie.

In the gendarmerie on 7 may 2003 was sformirovan Counterterrorist unit-PTI (in Serbian Against Teroristicke Edinica-PT') — a special police unit of Serbia on fight against terrorism. This special unit was intended for anti-terrorist operations, as well as to ensure the safety and support of public security in Serbia.

This unit is often used in such circumstances in which the use of other police units of Serbia is considered to be too dangerous. Well-trained and equipped fighters PTI are used to perform tasks to free the hostages, to ensure the carrying out of operations on the fight against corruption and terrorism,rescue operations, bomb disposal, to ensure public safety and for many other tasks.

After the collapse of Yugoslavia and the creation of the Armed forces of Serbia, 29 September 2006 from parts of the 72nd special brigade, 63rd parachute brigade, the 82nd sabotage detachment of the Navy and platoon ITSN "Cobra" was formed one of the Special brigade.

Currently, the Special brigade consists of the headquarters battalion, 63 parachute battalion (the"Celestial otters"), 72 reconnaissance and sabotage battalion, antiterrorism battalion and company support.

In the army of Serbia also maintains the important role of the military police,having in its composition the anti-terrorism unit.

Continues to exist a detachment of special purpose-SAI stationed in Belgrade,as detachments in Pristina and Novi Sad were reformirovan in the early 90s.

As the role of special units play units of the gendarmerie(four) and interventnye police units of the interior Ministry of Serbia,used to ensure public safety,riot control and combat crimes.



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