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Milan Tepić

Milan Tepić
Milan Tepic.jpg
Born(1957-01-26)26 January 1957
Komlenac, Yugoslavia
Died29 September 1991(1991-09-29) (aged 34)
Bjelovar, Croatia
Resting place
Miroševac Cemetery, Zagreb, Croatia (disputed)
AllegianceSocialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia SFR Yugoslavia
Service/branchYugoslav People's Army Yugoslav People's Army
Years of service1980–1991
RankMajor
Battles/wars
AwardsOrder of the People's Hero

Milan Tepić (Serbian Cyrillic: Милан Тепић; 26 January 1957 – 29 September 1991) was a Major in the Yugoslav People's Army. He was the last person to be awarded the Order of the National Hero of Yugoslavia, given to him posthumously for blowing up an ammunition depot during the Siege of Bjelovar Barracks.[1]

Bjelovar events

In July 1991, members of the Yugoslav People's Army, who were doing their military service in the barracks named after Božidar Adžija in Bjelovar, came under siege by members of the newly formed Croatian National Guard. Located in the barracks was the 265th Motorized Brigade of the YPA as well as the newly arrived recruits.[2]

Colonel Josip Tomšić, who defected from the YPA to become the commander of the defense of Bjelovar, prepared an attack on the barracks, in which the remaining soldiers and officers who have not fled to the Croatian side remained, some of them along with their family members (some families remained outside, in the city). The barracks, without water and electricity for several days, was attacked by approximately 2,000 troops. During the battles, the center of the city was targeted by YPA, both churches (Catholic and Orthodox) were damaged, and several civilians were killed by shells. The majority of the battles took place in the near vicinity of the army barracks (Vojnović) where a single tank T-55 destroyed almost all the houses in Visočina Matije Gupca street; the tank was destroyed later on and its crew killed. Most of that part of the city was damaged to a certain extent.

Since the YPA did not send any help, brigade commander Colonel Rajko Kovačević ordered surrender and the disposal of weapons.[2] Upon entering the barracks, the President of the Bjelovar Crisis Staff at the time, Jure Šimić, ordered the captured members of the YPA to remove their upper clothing. He then segregated the Commander Kovačević along with his aides Miljko Vasić and the First Class Captain Dragiša Jovanović, took them 50 meters away and shot them.[2]

Major Tepić was in charge of the defense of the ammunition storage in the village of Hrgovljani just outside Bjelovar, where large quantities of explosive devices were stored. On 29 September 1991, unwilling to leave the weapons to the enemy, Major Milan Tepić blew up the warehouse, sacrificing his own life in the process. At a certain point, before the detonation, the YPA soldiers were ordered to withdraw from the main building to a safe distance. This order, issued by Tepić, was disobeyed by a conscript, Stojadin Mirković,[3] who opened suppressive fire at the enemy from an armored personnel carrier, until he was hit by an anti-tank missile.

Despite Tepić's sacrifice, Croatian forces captured over 100 armored vehicles as well as great quantities of other weapons and ammunition at Bjelovar. This was only exceeded by their haul from Varaždin.[4][5]

Aftermath

Hero Milan Tepić street sign in Belgrade, Serbia

Major Milan Tepić was declared a National Hero of Yugoslavia. He was the last person that received this title.

Streets in Belgrade, Serbia, Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kozarska Dubica, Bosnia-Hezegovina[6] Vršac,[7] Zrenjanin,[8] Sremska Mitrovica[9] are named after him. There is also a monument of Milan Tepić in his street in Belgrade. One street in Novi Sad was also named after him until being changed in 2004.[10] Army of Republika Srpska introduced Order of Milan Tepić for bravery in Bosnian War.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Sjećanje na majora Tepića" (in Serbian). Radio-televizija Republike Srpske. 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2015-07-27.
  2. ^ a b c "Dvije decenije od zločina u bjelovarskoj kasarni" (in Serbian). Radio-televizija Republike Srpske. 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2015-07-27.
  3. ^ Forgotten Hero from Povlen ("Politika", 30 April 2013)
  4. ^ "ZLOCINAC IZ BJELOVARA IMA ULICU U BEOGRADU". Vecernji List. 2006. Archived from the original on 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  5. ^ Antun Tus, Rat u Sloveniji i Hrvatskoj
  6. ^ "Oficijelna internet prezentacija grada Banjaluke". Retrieved 2008-08-27.[dead link]
  7. ^ "Mapa: Narodnog heroja Milana Tepića". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  8. ^ Subić, Petar. "Kompletni spisak ulica u Zrenjaninu". Nazivi ulica u Zrenjaninu. Istorijski arhiv Zrenjanin. Archived from the original on 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
  9. ^ "Sremska Mitrovica, Milana Tepica 6a". Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  10. ^ Pančić, Teofil (2004-07-15). "Tehnološki višak istorije". Vreme. Retrieved 2008-08-27..

External links