Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day

Quick Facts

AKA Name:Day of the Croatian Defenders, War Veteran's Day, pobjede i domovinske zahvalnosti i Dan hrvatskih branitelja
Hashtags:#Horvaatia, #Rapska
2019 Date:5 August 2019
2020 Date:5 August 2020
Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day

Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day History

Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day, also known as Day of the Defenders and War Veteran's Day, commemorates the military victory known as Operation Storm. On 5 August 1995, the Croatian army took over a self-proclaimed Serb entity in Croatia, a move recognised as Operation Storm. On 7 August, it was announced that Operation Storm was complete and that 10,500sq km had been liberated from Serbian rule.

Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day is celebrated annually on 5 August, the same day as the military victory in 1995. In recent years, the holiday has caused some tension between Serbia and Croatia as Serbs consider it to have been a large scale ethnic cleansing.

Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day Facts & Quotes

  • Operation Storm began at 5am on 4 August 1995.
  • It took the Croatian Army only 84 hours to liberate the 10,500sq km area.
  • It is estimated that about 200,000 Croatian soldiers took part in the operation. A total of 174 Croatian soldiers lost their lives during the operation. There is controvesy about how many solidiers entered the area. Serbs claim nearly 250,000 while Croatians claim around 100,000.
  • The Serb entity was called the Serbian Autonomous Region of Kranija. It was proclaimed in 1990 and the inhabiting Serbs opposed Croatia's independence from Yugoslavia.
  • The consequences of Operation Storm are severe and lasting… According to a 1995 UN report, around 200,000 Serbs fled the country. This resulted in three times fewer Serbs in Croatia now than their number was in 1991 - Sasa Obradovic, head of Serbian legal team

Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Attend the wreath-laying mass in Knin, the former capital of the Serb entity. The mass commemorates those who died in the war.
  • Indulge in traditional Croatian dishes to celebrate the day. Some of our favourites are:  Ajvar, Brodet, Burek, Buzara and Cevapcici.
  • Take part in the parades and concerts in Knin. These celebrations are attended by high political officials. Before the activities, you can see the Croatian flag ceremonially lifted atop the Knin Fortress.
  • Spread awareness for the day on social media using hashtags such as #CroatianDefenders, #VictoryHomelandThanksgiving and #OperationStorm.
  • Read a book about the operation. Some of our favourites are: Operation Storm, Operation Storm: Croatia, the War and the Future, Actions of the Croatia Special Police in Operation Storm and The Last Genocide of the Kranija Serbs.

Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day - References and Related Sites

Veterans Day
No Proof of Genocide
Croatian Remembrance Day
8 August
Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving

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