Medak Pocket - Page 3

June 1st, 2012  
here is the United Nations Secourity Councile Final Report on Medak Pocket, 28th December 1994. - Full Document.
Investigation is made by Major J. C. Holland, Canadian Armed Forces and William J. Fenrick

I'll quote some key findings :

However, the majority (71%) of the located dead were military. Although not strictly comparable, this was a higher percentage of military casualties than the global figures in WWII, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War.

Further, the examinations done by the Serb authorities were unsatisfactory. They were extremely undetailed and were conducted in an unprofessional atmosphere, i.e., the supervising judge's drunkenness and corruptness.

Thus, conclusions reached in the preceding examinations are unreliable. As earlier mentioned, an independent examination of what material remains (Dr. Kirschner's report) also fails to disclose any convincing pattern.

Many civilians were fleeing in the company of retreating Serb soldiers, armed Serb civilians or were themselves armed. Thus, the actions of many Croat soldiers were possibly lawful and, at least, ambiguous. Much of the firing was at night. They may have believed they were firing on retreating non-surrendering enemy forces, which remain lawful targets. The law of war does not impose a standard of perfection on soldiers. It accepts that unfortunately civilians near military objectives may be incidentally killed without necessarily breaching the law of war. The inherent ambiguities surrounding this aspect of the Medak Pocket Operation make building a prosecution for unlawful targeting of civilians difficult. The evidence is not sufficiently reliable or clear to obtain a conviction.
Yet, even using a stringent standard, it is obvious from the many witnesses' experiences that Croatian forces fired on fleeing civilians, killing some. However, this action cannot be proved to be illegal.

Care must be taken in relying upon local witnesses. They tend to be unreliable due to their extremely emotional attachment to their own community's cause and their demonization of the enemy. Witness "9" has given several versions of her experiences. While her versions are not inconsistent, they do not cover the same material, some of which it is surprising not to hear in all versions. Her testimony should be confirmed and carefully considered before presentation.
One or even two local witnesses may be insufficiently reliable to obtain a conviction.

The irrationality of the parties to this conflict is shown by the absurd excuse given by the Croat authorities for the deaths of the two elderly women. They say one was killed while operating anti-aircraft artillery and another used a grenade to kill herself rather than face capture.
(here is one of those two killed eldery , baba Danica on Serb TV prior action witch proofs they were not civilians

All this being said, some dead were probably murdered. However, no individual can be proved to be directly responsible. Further, there is no strong unambiguous pattern of willful killing emerging from the evidence available to this point. Without such a pattern, it is impossible to affix criminal responsibility upon the Croat commanders.

Clearly, assignment to command military troops is accompanied by broad authority and heavy responsibility. This has been true of all armies throughout recorded history. It is absurd, however, to consider a commander a murderer or rapist because one of his soldiers commits a murder or a rape.╗

There are some suspicious circumstances and even some probable murders. However, no convincing pattern can be proved such that a commander can be held indirectly criminally responsible using the doctrine of command responsibility.

Please note this the most relevant UN document does not mention any canadian "the battle"
June 1st, 2012  
now let see what Jim Calvin , the canadian comander and other canadian soldiers said just after "the battle" in September 1993 :

UNTV Medak Pocket

Interview with Colonel Calvin who says that UNPROFOR have been successful in the first 24 hours of the mission. After a few difficulties they managed to cross the crossing point onto the Croatian side and the first company moved into the front lines of the Croatian forces. The Croatians then withdrew so within two and a half hours there was a buffer zone in place. There has been sporadic fire at UNPROFOR from the Croatian side. There continues to be resentment from that side at the role of UNPROFOR and they were held up from moving into Citluk even though they could see that the town was being destroyed while they were on its outskirts. Colonel Calvin says that he has seen the results of systematic destruction of property and bodies of civilians killed within the last 24 hours. He says that although the situation is still tense, UNPROFOR are on schedule to reach the 9th of September line by 9pm tonight . They just have to move a further 2km forward. Colonel Calvin reports that a dismounted patrol are attempting to make contact with a small Serb enclave who have been caught on the wrong side of the line. He says that by 6pm tonight he will have moved to the final ceasefire line. Tomorrow UNPROFOR will carry out a systematic sweep of the area to make sure all Croatian soldiers have withdrawn. After this the usual checkpoints will be set up to control access to the area, followed by more thorough sweep of the area. At this time they have not begun to receive civil affairs requests from Serbs who want to return to this area.


Interview with three CANBAT soldiers. They explain that they arrived 48 hours ago and that their task was to observe the area and take up a position on the earth embankment fifty metres from where they had first come in between the opposing sides. They explain that in process of replacing the Serb lines, they came under direct and indirect fire from the Croatian lines and, following the UNPROFOR rules of engagement, they did return fire but with small arms only. The soldiers say that there were no casualties on their side, that the Serbs have a couple of casualties, and they have no knowledge of any Croatian casualties.

UNPROFOR military observer Vagn Ove Moebjerg Nielsen on Norac/Ademi trial
There was no armed conflict between HV and UNPROFOR, although, Croatian side stalled retreat, was been said by ex officer of UNPROFOR Vagn Ove Moebjerg Nielsen during the Rahim Ademi and Mirko Norac trial, for war crimes in Medak pocket 1993.
Despite Canadian claims that their forces fought against Croats in the biggest battle since Korea war, and despite that they decorated whole infantry battalion, there was only one minor incident, said colonel Nielsen, ex military observer. He had taken command of peace corps in ex Krajina in July 1993, and he claims that there was no any fighting.
"When Canadians were positioned in front of Serbian forces, i think it was at 15th september, there was shooting on Canadian by Croat forces before we entered Medak pocket, but during the operation, there was no problem, all went smooth. I think that Croats stopped shooting, when they realised that they were shooting at UN.
Nielsen also said that Canadians were not shooting back, and he remembered that Cro side stalled their retreat, and that they during the first entrance in are did not alow passage, because as they claimed it was too dangerous.

John John McGuinnes, Canadian army officer on Norac/Ademi Trial

After question about battle betveen Canada batt. and HV, he said that there was one or two shootouts, but there was no injured.
He also said that decorations were awarded for whole employement in Croatia, not only for participation in Medak pocket activity.
awarded for whole employement in Croatia, not only for participation in Medak pocket activity.

CANBAT SITREP 1993-09-15/ 1600h - 1993-09-16/1600h
„ ..lots of shooting and explosions alogn front line NW to Medak…most of shooting registered as firefights…5 serb arty shells on Croat forces on Debela glava …5 croatian arty shells on Medak (serb HQ is in Medak)…CA shoots heavy machine guns on Medak …

UNPROFOR daily Report for September 15th :
…both sides, croatian and serb, had SA (small arms) fire on front CANBAT lines. CANBAT returned fire so agressors stoped…no casulaties …
June 1st, 2012  

Topic: 2PPCLI : Part 1

Now, let see who were thease canadian soldiers in 2PPCLI :

Of its 875 soldiers (2PPCLI) , only 375 came from the regular unit: the rest were augmentees, 385 militia citizen soldiers and 165 from other regular force units. In fact, reserve soldiers made up 70% of rifle company strength during the mission due to the requirement for highly skilled and experienced regular soldiers in support and technical trade positions . This includes 7 out of the 12 platoon commanders who came from militia battalions as Reserve Entry Scheme Officers (RESO). Nevertheless the 2 PPCLI Battlegroup in Croatia contained the highest concentration of reserve soldiers on an operational mission to date. There was no time to properly exercise the companies, let alone the whole battalion...No one could know that the 2 PPCLI platoons would be called upon to gel together and go into action as a full battalion.
Alpha and Bravo Companies, arrived in the area (Sector South's Medak Pocket) from Sector West on September 7th 1993. just 48 hours befor Croatian ofensive started.

One Regular Force sergeant from ROTO 2 provided a view from platoon
level: “I had ten personnel in my section, including myself, two of which were Reg Force, seven of which were reservists. Six of those seven, it was the very first time besides their general military training with the
reserves that they ever encountered any sort of operation with the military. So in actual fact I had civilians in my section that worked as soldiers with minimal training. And I was only one of many section commanders with the same responsibility
.” Sgt Chris Byrne, testimony to Croatia BOI, 25 November 1999, p.15. - LINK

Platoon 7 Rod Dearin Commander, Cpl. Bill Ray, Pte. Scott Leblanc, a 19-year-old reservist, Pte. Mike Daigle - seven men, five of them reservists, part-time soldiers. The average age of the group was 21.Nine months ago the reservists' soldiering had consisted of two days a week at the local armory. Now they were fighting for their lives. Before deploying to Croatia, the unit had spent several weeks in Fort Ord, California, getting in shape and practising combat skills. The guys may have been scared and pumped on adrenaline ... (about firefight)

There is actualy the picture of the whole 7th platoon in trenches taken in the morning around 8.00 hrs September 16th . Some questions needs to be raised : how could they take picture of them selfs sitting on top of the trench with "enemy" shooting on them just 150 - 400 meters away ? If the "firefight" was over how could they know they are safe enough to take "tourist" pictures in the midlle of combat zone just after "the battle" . On the picture , were they faces to croats, or the croats were behind their back ?

Platoon 9 Lieutenant Tyrone Green Commander
- observation and gathering intelligence on the developing battle. On first day of shelling had alredy four Canadians wounded during the shelling. This sugests they were not trained well in basic combat and military skills and expirenced not enough. This also raises question about their CO ?

Matt Stopford D Company Platoon 11 Officer says 31 of 36 men under his command were from the reserves.

June 1st, 2012  

Topic: 2PPCLI : Part 2

Unlike units from most other international contingents, Canadian battalions operated with their full compliment of war-fighting weaponry and equipment. Rifle companies travelled in M-113 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) with the powerful Browning .50 calibre machine-gun. The companies also carried along with them C-6 medium machine-guns and 84 mm Carl Gustav anti-tank rocket launchers to add to platoon weaponry consisting of C-7 automatic rifles and C-9 light machine-guns. Rifle company firepower was amplified by the heavy weapons of Support Company, including 81mm mortars and Tube-launched, Optically- tracked, Wire-guided (TOW) anti- armour guided missiles mounted in armoured turrets aboard purpose- built APCs. Canada was among the first member nations to deploy blue- helmeted soldiers with this kind of firepower when UNPROFOR first deployed to Croatia in 1992. This sort of stance was not initially well received in UN Headquarters in New York where the traditional notion of lightly armed blue-bereted peacekeepers prevailed.

2PPCLI and Jim Calvin
Colonel Calvin also, on his own initiative, developed a procedure to deter Croat and Serb patrolling and raiding within the Protected Area /Sestor West). Previously, belligerent soldiers detained by the UN after engaging in such a activity would be returned to their own authorities for punishment. Calvin began releasing detainees to the opposing forces with UN civilian police keeping a close eye to ensure punishment was not “terminal.

The part of the Ministry of Defence liaison office with the UN and EU (in the Short Analysis of the UNPROFOR engagement plan realization) under the title “UNPROFOR members misconduct” – on August 2nd/3rd 1992 members of CANBAT tore down and destroyed the flag of the Republic of Croatia; on August 4th 1992 two members of UNPROFOR belonging to the same unit had under the influence of alcohol tried to steal an official Ministry of the Interior vehicle; on September 20th 1992 at 13:00 hours in “Papiga” bar in Pakrac Canadian members of UNPROFOR started a fight with civilians; on the same day at 14:10 hours the members of CANBAT returned to the bar seeking revenge. They cocked their weapons and tried to take prisoner a reserve member of the Croatian police; on September 20th 1992 at 17:15 hours at a checkpoint, Canadians stopped civilian Josip Stvara, beat him, gagged him and locked him in a UNPROFOR bunker. The use of force and capture had taken place out of the UNPA perimeters; on September 22nd 1992 at 21:45 in Pakrac, two Canadians, slightly drunk, had insulted civilians and offered dollars to the girls calling them whores; on September 22nd at 23:00 hours in Pakrac, Canadians beat up Croatian citizen Robert Osterman a reserve policeman.

Followed by this incidents, it was discovered that number of CANBAT solders were organised in continous and planed poisoning of their Senior CO Matt Stopford during ROTO2 in Croatia, using number of toxic supstances for a period of time. CO Stopford had sufered serious life long healt defects as a result of poisoning.
Further more , an investigation led by then RCMP Insp. Russ Grabb (now superintendent) showed soldiers talked of planting a landmine in front of the major's tent, and that foreign ammunition was acquired to kill superiors in a future firefight.T he Grabb investigation found that some 30 individuals in the chain of command knew of the poisoning but never told Stopford. Stopford doesn't blame "regular" soldiers of the 2PPCLI, but partially trained reservists. He says 31 of 36 men under his command were from the reserves.
Here is what says his collegue from A Coy in Medak Pocket 1993. on a Internet forum:
Because of how we were (mis)treated by our own people, in Battalion and higher, many of us were left wondering about our actions on that tour. The moral in the unit plummeted and I don't think it was recoverable-at least not in the foreseeable future.

June 1st, 2012  
The most interesting of all is , there is no single official evidence, report or document from


UN Security Councile
UNPA civil police,
UN millitay observes,
Serb army (general-major Milisav Sekulić -,
Croatian army
FREBAT (FRench - also in buffer zone with canadians during "the battle") ,
Major-General J.O.Michel Maisonneuve,
or Jean Cot himself

that prooves "the canadian battle". There was no even radio communication of CANBAT 2PPCLI's C company to a HQ during „the battle“ or CANBAT SITREP regarding "the battle". This incident was not even mentioned in official report on negotiations with HV officers that evening
On other hand there is a bunch of public official documents, books or statements even UNTV films from highest UNPROFOR ranking officers in Croatia , US State department reports and even Final report of UN Security Councile in 1994 on Medak Pocket , all of them completly neutral in this matther wich clearly says there was no "the battle" or even does not mention niether a "minor incident".

Even Jim Calvin and canadian soldiers said there was only "minor sporadic firefight" in September 1993.
Why they radicaly changed their story years after ?
Is it OK to belive story of military unit that was poisoning and trying to kill their CO wwith land mine, and lied for years about that , lied they saw an ethnical cleansing witch never hapened ?
Are they reliable on
story of "the battle" or they did that to cover their selfs and gain some army career privleges and financial benefits , to become all-canadian heroes ?