Second Yugoslavia - Military


The armed forces of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia consists of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), Territorial Defense (TO), Civil Defense (CZ) and Milicija (police) in war time. Much like the Kingdom of Yugoslavia that preceded it, the socialist Yugoslavia maintained a strong military force. Soon after the end of World War II, the Yugoslav Peoples Army was considered to be the 3rd strongest in Europe.

The Yugoslav People's Army or JNA/JLA was the main organization of the military forces. It was composed of the ground army, navy and aviation. Most of its military equipment and pieces were domestically produced.

The regular army mostly originated from the Yugoslav Partisans and the People's Liberation Army of the Yugoslav People's Liberation War in the Second World War. Yugoslavia also had a thriving arms industry and sold to such nations as Kuwait, Iraq, and Burma, amongst many others (including a number of staunchly anti-Communist regimes like Guatemala). Yugoslavian companies like Zastava Arms produced Soviet-designed weaponry under license as well as creating weaponry from scratch. SOKO was an example of a successful design by Yugoslavia before the Yugoslav wars.

As Yugoslavia splintered, the army factionalized along cultural lines, by 1991 and 1992, Serbs made up almost the entire army as the separating states formed their own.

Beside the federal army, each of the six republics had their own respective Territorial Defense Forces. They were a national guard of sorts, established in the frame of a new military doctrine called "General Popular Defense" as an answer to the brutal end of the Prague Spring by the Warsaw Pact in Czechoslovakia in 1968. It was organized on republic, autonomous province, municipality and local community levels.

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