Actions ahead of Storm
Before the operation Storm, there was the action "Winter 1994" from November 29 to December 24, 1994 to stop the Serbian offensive in Bihać and to create a favourable strategic space for the liberation of occupied parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Serbs were defeated at Dinars and released from the territory of 200 square kilometres. Most of the Livno field was found under the supervision of the HV and the HVO.
There was also a one-day action "Jump 1" on April 7, 1995, when Serbs were again defeated on Dinars. Additional 75 square kilometres was liberated. The Croatian forces expanded laterally, towards the west, so the security of the units on Dinars became more stable, as well as that of the Livno field.
From June 4 to June 11, 1995, a new action "Skok 2" was launched on Dinara. It liberated additional space of 450 square kilometres and the whole Livno field was under control. The Cetina valley and the Vrličko polje, as well as the part of the Glamoci field and the Glamoč-Bosansko Grahovo road, could now be controlled.
By the "Summer 1995" action, from 25 to 30 July 1995, Bosansko Grahovo and Glamoč and the wider area were liberated, totalling about 1600 square kilometres. Serbs in the Northern Dalmatia now had only two possible exits towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prerequisites for the liberation of Knin, northern Dalmatia and Lika were created.
The Storm started in early dawn, at five o'clock. At the same time, electronic media conveyed the message of Croatian President Franjo Tuđman to citizens of Serbian nationality, guaranteeing them all rights, and members of paramilitary units inviting them to surrender, offering them amnesty. Croatian forces broke out the first lines of rebel Serbs on 30 tactical directions. The Croatian Air Force disabled the Ćelavac emitter. The Croatian forces penetrated the depth of 5 to 15 kilometers. Sveti Rok was released. Knin was already near. Serbian rebels attacked civilian targets in Sisak, Šibenik, Otočac, Gospić, Ogulin...
On the second day of the action, around noon news, it was announced that Croatian troops entered Knin! A huge Croatian flag was raised on Knin's fortress. Vrlika, Kijevo, Drniš, Žitnić, Benkovac, Gračac, Lovinac, Ljubovo, Plaški, Hrvatska Dubica were liberated... Despite the calls of Croatian authorities to stay, Serb civilians were leaving Croatia via towns Serb and Dvor na Uni. Next places for liberation were Petrinja, Glina, Udbina and Slunj. Police stations were established in Gračac, Lovinac, Vrlika... Simultaneously, Serbs from Bosnia are bombing Županja, Osijek, Vinkovci and Nuštar from Eastern Slavonia, Karlovac from Kordun and Dubrovnik area from eastern Herzegovina. Croatia is celebrating the liberation of Knin.
On the third day, the HV forces with the HVO and the Fifth Corps of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina joined in Korana at the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bihac was rescued. President Tuđman arrived in Knin this afternoon. There he met with the 4th and 7th HV brigades that entered the city. Tuđman stated that "the liberation of Knin means more than merely the conquest of the Croatian territory and the Croatian city" and that "this means creating conditions for the stability of the Croatian state for centuries in advance". Slunj, Kostajnica, Plitvice Lakes, Obrovac, Glina and many more were liberated. HV invites Serbs "to put down arms and surrender in the name of life and mind". Their military forces are in disarray: the 21st Kordun corps is surrounded, while the 15th and 39th Corps are almost neutralized.
Fourth, last day, Turanj and Tušilović were liberated, so Karlovac finally became safe. Vojnić, Topusko, Gornji and Donji Lapac were also liberated. Serbs attacked several Croatian cities from Banja Luka. In the attacks, two people were killed and 11 injured. The Croatian anti-aircraft defense brought down two Serbian aircraft during the attack on Mačkovac and Savski Bok. At 18 o'clock, Defense Minister Gojko Šušak announced that Storm 95 was completed from a military point of view. He added that there are still police actions and that the rebel Serbs surrender to Banovina. He concluded that Croatian forces came to the internationally recognized borders of the Republic of Croatia.Read more at (in croatian):
Večernji list: Dossier Oluja