i thought it was that picture when Canadian UN trooper poses with a gun on the head of a, to the blood, beat up africanOriginally Posted by Johnny_H
Well it could be said that only re-iterates my initial point, Canada dosnt seek "War Glory" I never said that Canadians stacked 30 bodies, and its less flak for the guys on the ground to take from the liberals if it was the serbs, especially so close to the Somalia incident, Canadian troops had to tread very carefully.Originally Posted by cro-mag
i thought it was that picture when Canadian UN trooper poses with a gun on the head of a, to the blood, beat up africanOriginally Posted by Johnny_H
who shot up the white unarmoured cdn iltis(jeep) in 92--93 and shot the 2 cdn soldiers, the truck is in the war mueseum with i think over 100 holes in it or something... and the 2 lads have a few nice scars to show for it.
That was in Croatia. No?
Yup, take the moral high ground mate. A couple of canucks commited a crime. The response of the Canadian government was quite telling...they disbanded the whole bloody regiment!
Don't get all high and mighty defending your lot by making out that Canadian peacekeepers were criminals. They were there, risking their own arses, to sort out YOUR ****. It was YOUR lot who shot at them (for whatever reason) and Skaman only started this thead to bring light to an incident where Canadian peacekeepers were yet again risking thier lives. We were there to protect those without weapons from ALL sides who were being murdered by the warring factions.
Personally, I think we should have just left you lot to slot eachother if this is all the appreciation we get. Then we could move down to the balkans once you were all dead and had ourselves a nice holiday spot.
Hopefully, you're just being a bit of a d*ck and not all Croatians are as ignorant as you. I hope not as I hear it's quite a nice country you have there, and I wouldn't mind visiting sometime.
Man are you serious?Originally Posted by cagey veteran
You are asking us who shot the white jeep?
How can we know where it was shot and who shot it. Maybe it were the croats, maybe serbs maybe some canadians got drunk and tought they were shooting a white elephant....
word x2Originally Posted by Sabre
MICHAEL SNIDER with SEAN M. MALONEY
In September, 1993, Canadian troops stationed in an area of Croatia known as Vojna Krajina engaged in a fierce battle with Croatian forces attacking a predominantly Serb enclave. The engagement, little known outside of military circles, was not publicized by the Canadian government, which was hesitant to draw attention to the increasing dangers the country's troops were facing abroad. But this December, Ottawa will finally honour the soldiers who took part in that firefight by presenting them with a unit commendation. Maclean's tells the story of the battle:
PTE. SCOTT LeBLANC'S machine gun jackhammered against his shoulder as he fired at the Croatian troops dug in 150 metres away. Grenades exploded around him; bullets and orange tracer-fire screamed through the smoky air. The Croatians hammered the Canadians for 15 hours straight -- thinking the 30 soldiers from the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry would buckle and run like other UN peacekeepers had often done. But the Canadians, members of one of three platoons making up the Patricia's Charlie Company, held their ground. "They're trying to flank us," LeBlanc's section leader barked, sending a jolt of adrenalin through LeBlanc's exhausted body. Standing halfway out of his trench, the 19-year-old reservist swung his gun around and opened fire on the Croatians. "We could see muzzle flashes and threw everything we had at them," recalls LeBlanc, now a 28-year-old lieutenant who has just returned from Afghanistan. "After that, everything got real quiet."
The fierce battle took place in September, 1993, about a year and a half after Canadian peacekeepers had first arrived in the former Yugoslavia. Vicious fighting and appalling acts of ethnic cleansing made their task of disarming and separating the various combatants nearly impossible. Especially volatile was one mountainous region of Croatia called Vojna Krajina, or Military Frontier, home to an isolated pocket of some 500,000 Serbs. Fiercely nationalistic, the Krajina Serbs began to drive out Croats. But on Sept. 9, Croatian Commander Rahim Ademi launched an attack to capture an area of Serb-controlled territory in Krajina called the Medak Pocket. The UN, fearing that 400 Serbs living in four unprotected villages in the area were at risk of being slaughtered by Croatian troops, ordered the Patricia's into the area -- and into the biggest firefight Canadian forces had been involved in since Korea.
Five months into a six-month tour of duty, the Canadians were led by Lt.-Col. James Calvin, 41. The 875-man battle group was a patchwork of regular and reserve soldiers. In fact, 70 per cent of the front line soldiers were reservists -- a makeup that, Calvin says, could prove dangerous in a war zone. "Reservists are just as long on valour and courage," the now-retired Calvin told Maclean's from his home on Wolfe Island, Ont., near Kingston. "But you can't expect one to do the same things you expect from a regular soldier."
Still, after four months in the region, Calvin considered his force seasoned, especially with his hand-picked group of platoon leaders, including reservist Lt. Tyrone Green. The morning of Sept. 9 started nicely enough for the Vancouver native in charge of 9 Platoon, Charlie Company, with sunshine poking through the cracks in the boarded windows of the platoon's quarters, a two-storey concrete building on the outskirts of the Serb-held town of Medak.
But as Green dragged a razor across his chin, his morning shave was interrupted by incoming artillery shells. With soap still clinging to his face, Green, who is now a captain in charge of a Canadian Forces recruiting office in Vancouver, grabbed his helmet and raced to his M-113 armoured personnel carrier. At one point he was knocked down when a shell landed in a nearby ditch. He wasn't hurt, but four Canadians were injured in the shelling. "We counted 500 or more shells by the end of the first day," says Green. "About a dozen fell in our compound and one landed about 10 metres from the front door."
Not knowing where the shells were coming from, Green sent Sgt. Rudy Bajema to establish an observation post. For the next five days, Bajema watched as the Medak Pocket was attacked by more than 2,500 Croat troops, backed by tanks, rocket launchers and artillery. The Serbs finally slowed the Croatian advance on Sept. 12, but it was not until they launched rockets into a suburb of Zagreb, Croatia's capital, that the Croats relented and accepted a UN ceasefire.
Calvin, who didn't really expect the Croatians to live up to the agreement, ordered his troops to occupy the Croat positions. "We started taking fire almost immediately from the Croats," recalls LeBlanc. The battle raged for the next 15 hours. It was so intense that at night the light from burning buildings reflected off the soldiers' blue UN helmets, prompting them to wrap them in khaki-coloured T-shirts. Finally realizing the Canadians would not back down, the Croats sent word to Calvin that they wanted to talk. They had good reason to call a truce: the Canadians had killed 27 Croats while not taking a single casualty.
Joined by Col. Michel Maisonneuve, a Canadian officer from the UN headquarters in Zagreb, Calvin met with Ademi at his headquarters in a town near the fighting. Ademi sat on one side of the table, blustering and yelling at the Canadians. "He looked like he was enjoying the role he was playing," says Calvin. "Emotions were very high and I was irate my men were getting shot at." But after an hour and a half, Ademi finally relented and promised to pull his troops out at noon the next day.
The Croatian commander, however, was determined to terrorize the Serb civilians living in the area before he left. By 10 a.m. the next morning, a thick umbrella of smoke covered all four towns in the Medak Pocket as the Croats tried to kill or destroy everything in their wake. The Canadians witnessed scenes that still haunt many of them. "They could see what was happening from their foxholes," says Calvin. "My soldiers knew their role was to protect the weak and the innocent and they were absolutely incensed." But fearing the ceasefire agreement with Ademi would collapse if they advanced, the Canadians could do nothing but hold their ground.
Finally, when the noon deadline passed, the Canadians raced ahead, but immediately encountered a company of Croat troops behind a barricade -- and supported by missiles launchers and an ominous Soviet-era T-72 tank. Calvin approached the senior Croat brigadier; their conversation quickly became heated. The large, bearded Croat ordered his men to **** their weapons and point them at the Canadians. "We knew they were stalling so they could clean up evidence of their ethnic cleansing," Calvin recalls.
Calvin did not order his troops to fight, and instead tried another gambit. With the Medak attack almost a week old, the international media had converged on the area. As negotiations with his bearded counterpart deteriorated, Calvin held a news conference in front of the barricade and bluntly described the atrocities he believed were being committed by the Croatians. Realizing his country's reputation was in jeopardy, the Croat commander suddenly stepped aside. "The transformation was instantaneous," says Calvin. "He made a big show of removing the barriers."
The Patricia's then pushed on. Every building in their path had been demolished and many were still smouldering. Corpses lay by the side of the road, some badly mutilated and others burned beyond recognition. "We knew it was going to be bad," says Green, "but the things we found there were worse than anything we expected."
The Canadians documented everything they saw. Calvin's subsequent report helped convince the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to issue an indictment in 2001 against Ademi, charging him with crimes against humanity. Made public one year ago, the report is a brutal list of murder and torture. Among the victims: Sara Krickovic, female, 71, throat cut; Pera Krajnovic, female, 86, burned to death; Andja Jovic, female, 74, beaten and shot. In all, the Patricia's found 16 mutilated corpses -- some with their eyes cut out.
The soldiers rotated home four weeks later, but there was no hero's welcome. At the time, Canadians were focused on the disturbing revelations that a teenager named Shidane Arone had been tortured and killed by Canadian peacekeepers in Somalia. Kim Campbell's Conservative government was also facing a federal election and didn't want the increasing dangers Canadian troops were facing in the Balkans raised as an issue. "When we got back to Canada a couple of weeks later, the first thing I did was call home," says LeBlanc. "My folks hadn't heard anything about the battle."
The force did receive high honours from the United Nations in 1994, when its members were given the United Nations Force Commanders' Commendation -- the first of its kind and only one of three ever awarded. And, this December, the Canadian government finally plans to honour the troops by presenting them with a unit commendation. But the honours only go so far. With vivid memories of the battle, many of the soldiers still suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome.
As for Ademi, his case rests in legal limbo. After the indictment, he voluntarily turned himself over to the war crimes tribunal, proclaiming he had a clear conscience because "I did not order any atrocities." Last February, the UN granted him a provisional release on condition he return to The Hague when the trial proceeds, likely next year. Calvin may be called to testify. "Ademi should be called to account," he says. "No soldier should be able to get away with that."> The Medak Massacre: Canada's trial by fire
By SCOTT TAYLOR and BRIAN NOLAN,
THE SUNDAY (TORONTO) SUN,
November 1, 1998
Untold story of this nation's largest military action since Korean War
During Canada's UN peacekeeping stint in the Balkans, prior to taking a more aggressive role with NATO, some 100 soldiers became casualties, and were often put in impossible situations - taken hostage, mined, fired at, resented, threatened - all the while with imprecise orders on whether they could, couldn't or shouldn't fight back.
Perhaps the closest the Canadians came to war, or battle, was in the Croatian invasion of the Medak Pocket in the Serb-held Krajian area of Croatia in the fall of 1993. Yet, for political reasons, virtually no publicity was given to the Canadians' trial by fire.
Here, in the first of three excerpts of a starling new book focusing on Canada's UN peacekeeping in the 1990s, is the little-known story of Canada's role in the battle of the Medak Pocket.
The book, Tested Mettle, published by Esprit de Corps books, is by Scott Taylor and Brian Nolan whose previous book, Tarnished Brass, was a national bestseller.
At 6:05 a.m., on Sept. 9, 1993, the Croatian artillery bombardment rolled into the Medak Pocket like a wave of thunder. All along the 25- km valley geysers of earth and flame shot skyward. Lieutenant Tyrone Greene of the 2 PPCLI (Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry) was heading out the door on his way to the morning order's group when he observed a shell explode about 5 km away. He turned to go back inside to report the shot when a 152-mm mortar round impacted behind him and threw the big officer flat.
Seconds later, the rest of the Croat mortar battery opened fire in earnest.
Greene's platoon was to witness firsthand a devastating barrage that would crumble Serb defenses. From the outset, the town of Medak was the primary target for the Croat gunners. It was the Serb headquarters and a vital transportation hub.
Back at battalion headquarters in Gracac, LCol. Jim Calvin anxiously wondered what was happening north in the Medak Pocket. He could feel the ground shake and saw the plumes of smoke.
As the day progressed, Calvin was pressured by his anxious UN commanders in New York to provide them with a clear assessment of the deteriorating situation. He went forward in his APC to liaise with Lt. Greene and ordered the subaltern to set up an observation post to keep track of the battle. For the next three days, the men of Greene's Nine Platoon were the sole eyes and ears of the international community. It was essential that they hold their ground.
That evening, there was a significant shift in the Croat bombardment. The change in the fire plan signified the next phase of the Croat attack: Atop the ridgeline, Croat special forces and dismounted infantry launched a lightning pincer advance, rolling up the surprised Serb pickets in a series of deadly, one-sided firefights. Croatian armour columns then rolled down the valley.
Calvin was constantly calling Lt. Greene for updates as the UN Headquarters tried to plot out the political ramifications of the offensive. Every time Greene radioed in his reports, his position was immediately bombed by Croat mortars. It dawned on the young lieutenant that the Croats were using their radio "direction finding" equipment to zero in on his broadcasts, apparently mistaking his signals for those of the Serbians (who were, in fact, using land-line field telephones to communicate messages).
From then on, Greene only used the radio in emergencies, and tried to switch locations when he did so.
By the evening of Sept. 11, the tide of the battle began shifting as a major Serbian counter-attack was mounting. The gaggle of wounded soldiers and fleeing refugees along the main road in Medak was replaced by determined Serb reinforcements pushing forward into the pocket.
Buses, tanks and even armoured trains began pouring into the region from all over the Krajina. For the next 72 hours, the Serbs and Croats fought a pitched battle. The counter-thrust blunted the Croat offensive and both sides began digging in along their new front lines.
With the combat situation temporarily stalemated on Sept. 14, the UN began to press the warring sides for a ceasefire. International pressure was for the Croatians - clearly the aggressors in this instance - to pull back to the Sept. 9 ceasefire lines. To help force the issue, the Serbs soon demonstrated their resolve to escalate the strategic stakes. On the afternoon of Sept. 14. They launched a Soviet-built Frog missile at the suburbs of the Croatian capital of Zagreb. The heavy-calibre tactical rocket plunged harmlessly into a field, but Croatians quickly agreed to remove their troops from the Medak valley. The "buffer zone" created as the Croats withdrew was to be occupied by UN peacekeepers.
French General Jean Cot, the UN commander in Sector South, knew that for the ceasefire to take hold, oeacekeepers would have to be deployed, quickly and in as much strength as could be mustered. LCol. Jim Calvin and his Patricias were ordered to prepare to advance within the next 24 hours. To reinforce his two rifle companies (Charlie and Delta) which were already in the Medak Pocket, Calvin was to receive two companies of well-equipped mechanized infantry from the French army.
Calvin was uneasy that he might have to forcibly oust the Croat forces. The magnitude of this possibility weighed heavily on him.
At 2 p.m. the next day, Lt. Greene gave the order for his APCs to advance into the killing zone. As they moved forward, the troops could see how close the Serbs had been to losing the town of Medak itself. Battle debris and bodies indicated that the Croats had even established a foothold in the northernmost buildings before being beaten back.
Calvin's plan was for a two-****ged push up the valley. The Canadian companies would provide the left-hand column and the French army the right. Greene's Nine Platoon was the centre of Charlie Company's formation, with Seven Platoon right and Eight Platoon on the far left. Major Dan Drew's Delta Company would follow Charlie's advance and take up position to prevent any subsequent Serbian advances.
On the afternoon of Sept. 15, 1993, Private Scott Leblanc, an artillery reservist from Nova Scotia, was humping a C-9 light machine gun, as Eight Platoon advanced toward the little village of Sitlik. Off to their right flank, they heard the developing fire fight between Greene's men and the Croat defenders. Leblanc's section, commanded by Sgt. Rod Dearing, had just reached a low hedgerow when Capt. Dan McKillop signaled them to halt. McKillop had heard Greene's situation report on the company radio net and had spotted the Croat rifle pits about 200 metres to their front. The troops began digging in. Fire- team partners took turns shoveling. Leblanc was pumped up as gunfire continued to erupt across the Medak Valley floor and crept ominously closer.
Capt. McKillop yelled to Sgt. Dearing that combat engineers were on the way with heavy equipment to assist with the trench digging. A Croat machine-gun burst cut short McKillop's comments. Dearing took cover behind his APC and started pumping rounds back at the opposite hedgerow. The burly sergeant radiated; his example was infectious. Young Leblanc switched his C-9 to automatic and loosed a long, withering burst toward the Croat muzzle flashes.
At dusk, with the firefights still raging across the valley, Maj. Drew shouted for Warranr Officer Matt Stopford to prepare a section of soldiers. Calvin had received a telephone call from the local Croatian commander, who seemed to want to negotiate a peaceful UN passage of no-man's-land.
The meeting was heated, with Calvin matching his Croat host's bluster and rhetoric. It was agreed that Stopford's and Drew's protection party would remain at the Croatian lines to ensure that the main battle group would cross without incident the next day. Calvin returned to his headquarters while Stopford set up a duty roster for his six soldiers and two APCs deployed in the middle of the road.
Almost immediately the Croats began moving into fire positions around the Canadian detachment. At point blank range, they set up heavy machine guns and Russian-made anti-tank missiles. "I guess we're not going anywhere for a while," quipped Stopford.
Throughout the long night, Stopford remained uneasy about his situation. He could see tracer fire being exchanged between Sgt. Dearing's men and the Croat forces in the village of Sitlik. Despite the intensity of that combat, he was more concerned about the activity of the Croat troops to his immediate front. They appeared to be a special forces unit, unlike anything he'd seen thus far in the Balkans. Well equipped, with an assortment of modern weaponry, these guys were all young, fit and extremely intense. The men Stopford was observing were part of the new Croatian army - equipped and trained by U.S. "advisers."
These Croats were unconcerned by the Canadian presence. Muffled explosions could be heard up the valley and occasional single shots rang out. From a cluster of buildings just to his front, Stopford heard sudden screams, punctuated by a burst of gunfire. A moment of silence followed by raucous laughter.
Moments later, a nearby explosion shook the ground and a farm building burst into flames. Stopford raced back to his APC and radioed headquarters. His voice cracking with emotion, Stopford said the Croats had begun "ethnic cleansing" of the Medak Pocket. "You've got to move now, " he yelled. "They're killing people. We can't wait..."
Four kilometers to the rear, LCol. Calvin didn't need Stopford's report to understand what was happening. Fires were visible everywhere in the valley. He radioed UN headquarters in Zagreb and requested permission to advance immediately. He was ordered to remain in location and gather evidence for use at a future war crime trial.
Stopford was furious. Leaving his APC, he walked towards the Croat position, where the little village was burning furiously. Gunshots still echoed, along with drunken laughter.
A drunken Croat soldier emerged from a building and staggered toward Stopford. A girl could be heard screaming inside the house. Draped on the drunken soldier's head was a pair of blood-soaked panties.
The Canadian stepped forward, chambered a round in his rifle and flicked off the safety catch. Shaking with horror and rage, Stopford wanted to kill the Croat so badly he could taste it. The Croat smiled, threw down his assault rifle and held up his hands - empty now except for the undergarment. To shoot him would be cold-blooded murder. Stopford couldn't do it. As he walked slowly back to his carrier, he could hear the drunken rapist laughing.
As the sun rose over the horizon. It revealed a Medak Valley engulfed in smoke and flames. As the frustrated soldiers of 2PPCLI waited for the order to move forward into the pocket, shots and screams still rang out as the ethnic cleansing continued.
Sharp at noon, Major Drew's Delta Company began to roll forward. The long line of white UN APCs bristled with rifles and machine-guns as infantry rode topside with the cargo hatches open. For the weary, embattled soldiers of Charlie Company, the armoured column with large, blue UN flags fluttering from the radio antenna was a welcoming sight.
However, the Croat defenders weren't impressed. Their special forces company that had deployed behind Stopford's detachment concluded their extra-curricular activities and took up fire positions to block the main road. Somehow the Croatian general's agreement had not been passed along to his forward troops. The Croat company commander was adamant that any attempt to cross his lines would be resisted with "all available force."
Calvin played his one trump card to avoid a slaughter.
About 20 members of the international press had tagged along, anxious to see the Medak battleground. Calvin called an informal press conference at the head of the column and loudly accused the Croats of trying to hide war crimes against the Serb inhabitants.
The Croats started withdrawing back to their old lines, taking with them whatever loot they hadn't destroyed. All livestock had been killed and houses torched.
French reconnaissance troops and the Canadian command element pushed up the valley and soon began to find bodies of Serb civilians, some already decomposing, others freshly slaughtered. In one village, Calvin saw the bodies of two young girls who had been repeatedly raped, tied t ochairs and then set on fire.
Rain fell steadily through the night as those few soldiers who had deployed into no-man's-land waited for a possible counter-attack from either Serbs or Croats. Finally, on the drizzly morning of Sept. 17, teams of UN civilian police arrived to probe the smouldering ruins for murder victims.
Rotting corpses lying out in the open were catalogued, then turned over to the peacekeepers for burial.
The emotional effect on the Canadians was incalculable. They had seen the decomposed bodies and lived with the putrid stench of death, and had helplessly listened to people dying and being killed.
However, as details of the casualties inflicted on the Croat forces by the Canadian "peacekeepers" became known, morale was roused. Officially, the Croats admitted to 27 of their soldiers being killed or wounded by the UN troops in the Medak. Unofficially, the tally was pegged at 30 dead and over 100 wounded.
It was the most severe action Canadian troops had been involved in since the Korean War. Yet they had sustained only four wounded and no one killed.
Senior defence bureaucrats back in Ottawa had no way of predicting the outcome of the engagement in terms of political fallout. To them, there was no point in calling media attention to a situation that might easily backfire. Besides, a general election was underway in Canada with former defence minister Kim Campbell now the prime minister. So Medak was relegated to the memory hole - no publicity, no recriminations, no official record. Except for those soldiers involved, Canada's most lively military action since the Korean War simply never happened.
Reprinted with permission of Esprit de Corps Books
Just shake my head here in disbelief over the Croatian comments. Fortunatly that was not what I heard from Croat war veterans when I was there in 1995 outside Omis.
The men that died, died of serb gunfire on the first day. Trust me on this.Originally Posted by Skaman
I don´t know how many were wounded.
Actually, Croatia is pretty cool to visit. Zagreb is an excellent city to go hang out. The great thing about it was you can have a great time and it won't cost you an arm and a leg. I was there for four days and it only cost me 200 Euros. I spent the same amount of time in Vienna and it cost me 500 Euros! Someday I'll go back again.Originally Posted by Sabre
You heard... I heard... diffrent stories.Originally Posted by Ichhabe
The Canadian opposition, antipathy, even hostility against one side came as no surprise, because from earlier experiences in eastern and western Slavonia, the mistrust and lack of respect the Croats and Croatian Army had received was visible. Expressions like “****ing Croatia” and “bastards” used by Canadian soldiers were relevant to the Croats and to clashes Canadians had with Croats in Garešnica, Daruvar and later in Bosnia and Herzegovina. To illustrate this point: the part of the Ministry of Defence liaison office with the UN and EU (in the Short Analysis of the UNPROFOR engagement plan realization) under the title “UNPROFOR members misconduct” – on August 2nd/3rd 1992 members of CANBAT tore down and destroyed the flag of the Republic of Croatia; on August 4th 1992 two members of UNPROFOR belonging to the same unit had under the influence of alcohol tried to steal an official Ministry of the Interior vehicle; on September 20th 1992 at 13:00 hours in “Papiga” bar in Pakrac Canadian members of UNPROFOR started a fight with civilians; on the same day at 14:10 hours the members of CANBAT returned to the bar seeking revenge. They cocked their weapons and tried to take prisoner a reserve member of the Croatian police; on September 20th 1992 at 17:15 hours at a checkpoint, Canadians stopped civilian Josip Stvara, beat him, gagged him and locked him in a UNPROFOR bunker. The use of force and capture had taken place out of the UNPA perimeters; on September 22nd 1992 at 21:45 in Pakrac, two Canadians, slightly drunk, had insulted civilians and offered dollars to the girls calling them whores; on September 22nd at 23:00 hours in Pakrac, Canadians beat up Croatian citizen Robert Osterman a reserve policeman. The preconceptions with which Canadians first came to keep the peace – the negative ones about the Croats, “German allies”, and the positive ones about the Serbs “pro-Commonwealth - allies in two wars,” defined the relationship with the country they found themselves in.277
Correction--Shot by serbs in croatia, over 50 times one with 5 wounds other with 2.
now you admit that the national dress is an addidas track suit....lol
As a serving member of the Canadian army reserve I have had the opportunity to listen to a few soldiers who were in the Medak pocket, one of whom is in my unit. Numerous publications by reputable Canadian news agencies and authors validate these articles. Dado, are you suggesting that the sustained UN and Croatian firefight brought NO casualties? Secondary sources and individuals who were engaged in the conflict claim French and Canadians were injuresd by intensive artillery fire, while the Canadians inflicted numerous fatal casualties upon the Croatians. Following the engagement, Canadian soldiers discovered the bodies of Croatian soldiers who had previously been firing upon UN soldiers from these positions.
They entered in order to stand in between the two sides, and the 9th mobile brigade was stationed less than 100 metres away. Some soldiers first hand accounts, as quoted by authours describing the event (“Tested Mettle”, “Chances for Peace”), were filled with the event’s excitement. The reports of battles being waged are contradicted by the nature of the firefights. The “baptism by fire”, “the soldiers initiation”, “soldiers’ bragging”, the excitement of experience re-lived (the experience of live ammunition fire or the experience of the battle being waged between the Croats and the Serbs) where Canadians were by-standers – is to be recognized in their overstatements. It is difficult therefore, to conclude from these “soldiers’ accounts” that a real battle had been waged in which the Croats undertook several offensives, used 20 millimetre cannons, larger calibre guns and mortars, with which they plowed Canadian positions (Rod Dearing, 7th platoon)293. “Tracer fire lit the sky” or “Scott LeBlanc woke with the start, then himself cocked his C-9, fired short bursts at the base of the tracer arching over his trench…which made the Croats flee…” (?!)294. This account comes from someone who puts on a brave face, it does not speak of a witnessed event. It comes from someone who would humiliate his adversary, paints the events in black and white, makes his judgement who the courageous and who the cowardly side was (“…cocked his C-9…fired a short burst” versus “Croats who started fleeing”). Only by bragging, could that “scuffle” turn into a fierce, dramatic battle in which “everything depended on Canadian courage and military capability. Even an anonymous officer of the Yugoslav Army admitted, “…this was not a conflict according to Western standards.” He could not refrain from adding that: “in terms of the Yugoslav wars, it represented extraordinarily large fighting…”295 As evidence, he listed the number of Croatian soldiers being killed as between 20 and 50. The data itself makes us conclude he referred to the Croat and the Serb forces conflict. According to official Croatian data which the Canadian and Serb side would question, 10 Croatian soldiers were killed, which is half of the lesser number listed. According to the Serb officer’s characterization of the ferocity of the conflict, it had not applied to the alleged Canadian/Croatian clash, but to the fight of the Croats against the Serbs. The only trustworthy Serb source, General Milisav Sekulić of the Srpska Krajina Army, does not play the numbers game. He considered them untrustworthy, but that does not prevent him from demonizing the Croats and accusing them of the crime of genocide.