Petar Stipetić

Petar Stipetić (24 October 1937 – 14 March 2018) was a Croatian general who served as the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Croatia from 2000 until 2002.

Petar Stipetić
Dan OSRH Petar Stipetic 28052011 2.jpg
Petar Stipetić on the anniversary of the Croatian Armed Forces on 28 May 2011
Born(1937-10-24)24 October 1937
Ogulin, Sava Banate, Yugoslavia
Died14 March 2018(2018-03-14) (aged 80)
Zagreb, Croatia
Allegiance Yugoslavia (1956–1991)
 Croatia (1991–2003)
Service/branchYugoslav People's Army (1956–1991)
Croatian Army (1991–2003)
Years of service1956–2003
RankMajor General (YPA)
General of the Army (HV)
Commands heldCroatian Armed Forces
Battles/warsCroatian War of Independence

Bosnian War

AwardsOrder of Nikola Šubić Zrinski
Order of Ban Jelačić

Education and service in Yugoslav People's ArmyEdit

Stipetić was born in Ogulin. In Ogulin, Stipetić attended elementary school and high school. After that, Stipetić entered Army Military Academy in 1956 and graduated in 1959. He said that during his youth he had no intention of joining the army, but the Military Academy was the only one he could afford at the time. After his first year, he considered dropping out of the academy, but changed his mind eventually.[1] In 1967 he entered High Army Military Academy, graduating in 1969, after which he entered War Academy in 1975 and graduated a year later with excellent grades.[2] In 1979, he was teaching tactics on Territorial Defense courses in Karlovac. He obtained the rank of general in 1989, with theoretical thesis "The Defence of Large Cities" and practical thesis "Organisation of a Corps with Reduced Numerical Strength".[1]

Croatian War of IndependenceEdit

After start of clashes in Croatia, in September 1991 president Franjo Tuđman invited Stipetić to cross over to Croatian side. Stipetić agreed, but asked the president for a secrecy for a few days, until he solves some matters in YPA. Tuđman agreed, but contrary to that, on that same day gave a statement to Croatian media about Stipetić's cross-over, which put Stipetić at a very awkward position at a time.[1] He was appointed a deputy to Anton Tus, at the time Chief of General Staff and became in charge of establishing a frontline from Eastern Slavonia towards Dubrovnik, across the length of entire country.[2] He was also a negotiator with rebelled Serbs and soon become commander of the Osijek Military District and Slavonian Front.[2] In December 1992, Stipetić was named commander of the Zagreb Military District[3] and in September 1994 he was transferred to the General Staff as an assistant to the Chief of General Staff for the combat sector.[2] Stipetić participated in liberation of western Slavonia and was one of the commanders of the Operation Storm executed in 1995. During the Operation Storm, Stipetić was initially assigned commander of Croatian forces in eastern Slavonia, where Serbian counter-attack was expected. However, after the failure of Croatian Army offensive in region Banija, he was ordered by president Tuđman to take over command on that line of attack and improve the situation. Upon his arrival, Stipetić modified attack plans and ordered forces under his command to bypass enemy strongpoints which resulted with CA achieving a breakthrough,[4] while 21st Kordun Corps of ARSK subsequently surrendered.[5] Upon surrendering, commander of 21st Kordun Corps, Čedomir Bulat, Stipetić''s former comrade from Yugoslav People's Army greeted him:

Sir, the commander of 21st Kordun Corps - colonel Čedomir Bulat, surrenders the corps to You and I congratulate the Croatian Army on its victory![6]

After the surrender was formalised, Stipetić unsuccessfully attempted to urge fleeing Serb civilians to remain in their homes and allowed all officers of the defeated army to keep their sidearms.[7]

Post warEdit

After the war, on 10 March 2000, he was named Chief of General Staff and served until 30 December 2002, when he was retired. In January 2018, Stipetić suffered a stroke and died two months later in Zagreb.[8]

Decorations and honorsEdit

On 14 September 1998, Stipetić was named honorary citizen of Ogulin.[2] He was also decorated with several decorations:

Ribbon Decoration
  Order of Nikola Šubić Zrinski
  Order of Ban Jelačić
  Commemorative Medal of the Homeland War
  Order of the Croatian Trefoil
  Order of the Croatian Wattle
  Commemorative Medal of the Homeland's Gratitude


  1. ^ a b c Lupiga. "IN MEMORIAM PETAR STIPETIĆ: Činjenica je da smo ratovali u Bosni". Lupiga (in Croatian). Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Petar Stipetić" (in Croatian). Official web site of the Town of Ogulin. 10 April 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-08-13. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  3. ^ Šoštarić, Eduard (10 April 2007). "'Dvaput su me spriječili da presiječem srpski koridor'" [They prevented me twice from severing the Serbian corridor]. Nacional (in Croatian). No. 595. Archived from the original on 21 January 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  4. ^ "'Stipetić nam je spasio život, i ne samo hrvatskim vojnicima'" (in Croatian). Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  5. ^ "Odlazak čovjeka koji je dobio najkrvaviju bitku Oluje: legendarne snimke svjedoče o danu kada je general Stipetić ušao u povijest". Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  6. ^ "Kako se 5000 vojnika RSK predalo Stipetiću: 'Stao Čedo 50 metara od mene, stao i ja...'" (in Croatian). Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  7. ^ "GENERAL DRUGAČIJI OD DRUGIH 'Nije volio masovke, nije mislio da je zaslužan za bilo što posebno, iz statusa branitelja nije iskoristio ništa...'". Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  8. ^ "Preminuo general Petar Stipetić" (in Croatian). Retrieved 2018-03-16.