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Operation Deliberate Force

NATO’s Intervention in Bosnia 1995

Series : Europe@War

Author : Bojan Dimitrijevic


General - Pages : 72 | Images : 88 photos, 8 maps, 1 diag, 6 tables, 15 colour profiles

Paperback - Size : 297mm x 210mm | ISBN : 9781913336301 | Helion Book Code : HEL1256

During the early 1990s, a series of savage wars was fought in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Jugoslavia (SFRJ). The third of the conflicts in question, the war in Bosnia, was in its third year as of 1995.  Already internationalised by multiple domestic and foreign actors, it was about to reach its peak and result in a major showdown.

The war in Bosnia was foremost fought between Bosnian Serbs, supported by Belgrade; Bosnian Croats, supported by Zagreb; and Bosnian Muslims. It was characterised by widespread atrocities against civilians, which prompted hundreds of thousands to flee. The United Nations attempts at finding a negotiated settlement proved fruitless, despite the deployment of a sizeable contingent of peacekeepers. On the contrary, the Bosnian Muslims began receiving ever larger amounts of clandestine support from Iran, and also from Saudi Arabia and several other allied countries in the Middle East, while the USA began supporting the Croats. Upon constantly increasing popular pressure, the United Nations requested the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) to intervene.

Officially at least, NATO initiated Operation Deliberate Force on 30 August 1995: deploying as many as 400 combat aircraft, over the following two weeks it flew 3,515 sorties against 338 Bosnian Serb targets. The damage caused by this assault forced the Serbs to lift the siege of the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, remove heavy weapons from the UN-declared exclusion zone around the city, and safeguard other UN safe areas.

However, Operation Deliberate Force was only the official part of what was going on in Bosnia during these days. Less-well-known is that Washington and Zagreb exploited the opportunity to run a series of offensives against the Serbian forces in Croatia and in Bosnia, forcing these into a general withdrawal towards the north-east. It was only in this way that Belgrade was eventually forced into negotiations that resulted in the Dayton Agreement, reached in November 1995, which brought the war in Bosnia to an end.

Based on the author’s unique approach to local archives and those in the USA and the European-part of NATO, and illustrated by over 120 photographs and colour profiles, Operation Deliberate Force is the first ever authoritative, inclusive and richly illustrated account of the combat operations run by all of the involved parties during the four dramatic weeks in Bosnia in August and September 1995. 

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