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Yugoslav People's Army

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Yugoslav People's Army
Југословенска народна армија
Jugoslavenska narodna armija
Jugoslovanska ljudska armada
JNA coat of arms: left (1951–1991); right (1991–1992)
Founded1 March 1945; 79 years ago (1 March 1945)
Disbanded20 May 1992; 32 years ago (20 May 1992)
Service branchesYugoslav Ground Forces (KoV)
Yugoslav Navy (JRM)
Yugoslav Air Force (JRV)
Territorial Defense (TO)
HeadquartersBelgrade, Yugoslavia
Federal Secretary of People's DefenceSee list
Chief of the General StaffSee list
Military age15–65
Available for
military service
c. 12,000,000 (1978)[source?], age 15–65
Active personnelc. 275,341 (1990)[source?]
Reserve personnel783,037 (1990)[source?]
Related articles
HistoryYugoslav Partisans
RanksYugoslav People's Army ranks

The Yugoslav People's Army (JNA/ЈНА), also called the Yugoslav National Army,[1][2] was the military of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1992.

It stared with the Yugoslav Partisans of World War II. The People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia was formed as a part of the anti-fascist People's Liberation War of Yugoslavia in the Bosnian town of Rudo on 22 December 1941. After the Yugoslav Partisans liberated the country from the Axis Powers, that date was officially celebrated as the "Day of the Army" in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

In March 1945, it was renamed the "Yugoslav Army" and, on its 10th anniversary, on 22 December 1951, "People's" was added.[3]

There was a Soviet blockade from 1948 to 1955. It is called the Informbiro period. The Yugoslav Army's development stagnated then.[4] Many people attending military academies in the USSR at the time of the Tito–Stalin split never returned to Yugoslavia.[5] Almost all the Air Force officers had Soviet training, and some of them fled Yugoslavia in Air Force planes. The defectors included Major General Pero Popivoda, who was the head of the Air Force operational service. The Batajnica, Zemun, and Pančevo airbases near Belgrade saw several attacks by groups of saboteurs. The Zemun airbase commander and his deputy fled to Romania.[6]

Between 1948 and 1955, the United States gave Yugoslavia US$600 million in direct military grants and an equal amount in economic aid. Yugoslavia could spend more on defence.[7] U.S. weaponry began arriving by late 1951.[8] By 1952 the Armed Forces had grown to 500,000 troops, and defence expenditures was 22% of the gross national product. A Military Assistance Advisory Group of 30 officers commanded by Brigadier General John W. Harmony[9] was set up by the United States in Belgrade in 1951. It operated for ten years. It made military grants and arranged another US$1 billion in arms sales on favorable terms.


[change | change source]
  1. Forsythe, David P. (2003). Central and South-Eastern Europe 2004. London: Europa Publications. p. 180. ISBN 9781857431865.
  2. Ramet, Sabrina P.; Fink Hafner, Danica, eds. (2006). Democratic Transition in Slovenia. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-58544-525-7.
  3. Trifunovska 1994, p. 202.
  4. Dimitrijevic 1997, p. 21.
  5. Banac 1988, pp. 159–162.
  6. Banac 1988, pp. 161–163.
  7. Curtis 1992, p. 231.
  8. Dimitrijevic 1997, pp. 21, 22.
  9. Lieutenant Colonel M.N. Kadick, "How Strong is Tito's Army?," Combat Forces Journal, May 1952.