ZAGREB, March 20, 2018 – A commemoration was held at the Croatian Defence Ministry for General Petar Stipetić who died last Wednesday, with speakers describing him as an exceptional man who gave an invaluable contribution to the establishment of the Croatian Army and the defence and establishment of Croatia’s independence and freedom.
Defence Minister Damir Krstičević recalled the early 1990s when, he said, chances for the establishment of a Croatian army and the country’s defence were slim, saying that in those crucial moments, General Stipetić did not hesitate to make himself available to the homeland. He used his experience and competence to help build and develop the victorious Croatian Army, and his contribution to Operation Storm and the final liberation of the homeland was invaluable, said Krstičević.
After losses in Sector North, President Franjo Tuđman called General Stipetić back from western Slavonia and ordered him to continue with attacks that led to the final success. The image of the surrender of the Serb forces’ 21st Kordun Corps remains in the memory of many as a symbolic end of our greatest liberation operation Storm, said Krstičević.
General Stipetić was a real authority, soldier and commander, a man of morality and principles, an example to all soldiers, said Krstičević, adding that the central barracks of the Croatian Army in Karlovac and the operational command there would be named after General Stipetić.
The commemoration for General Stipetić was also addressed by Armed Forces Main Staff Director Robert Hranj, General Pavao Miljavac, former defence minister Ante Kotromanović, and retired generals Marijan Mareković and Mate Laušić.
Attending the commemoration were former senior army officials, government ministers and former presidents, incumbent ministers and members of parliament, the chief state prosecutor, retired generals, the mayor of Zagreb, a presidential envoy, active officers, admirals and generals and many others.
Acting on a call from President Tuđman, Stipetić left the Yugoslav People’s Army in September 1991 and joined the Croatian Army, where he held senior command positions, including Deputy Chief of Staff of the Croatian National Guard, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces and Commander of the Croatian Military Academy.
Stipetić served as Chief of Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces from 2000 until his retirement in 2002. He received many decorations for his role in the 1991-1995 Homeland War, including medals for his participation in 1995’s military operations Flash and Storm, and for his contribution to the creation of the Croatian Army.