The moon of November always wakes up memories in me. Vukovar memories, memories of Bogdanovci, memories of the people I spent with those heavy days of pride and glory. They gave pride, and again, sad and sad days. Sad when I remember the faces of many of my subordinates, HOS, young men who are no longer there:

(Ante Šarić, Zoran Antunović, Roberto-Rore Šilić, Ivana-Iće Krajinović, Rudolf-Senzena Vuković, Dragan-Šilje Peše, Tihomir-Tihice Tomašić, Željko-Đere Hercega, Jean Michel-Nicolier Francis, Duško-Bosanac Smek, Dragana Granić, Vida Ivanić, Ohran Merić, Pavla-Dade Spudić, Tomislava-Doka Lesić, Jadranka-Šnicle Annić-Antić, Zdravko-Papundek Špalja, Ivana Brdara, Žarka-Crvenkape Manjkasa, Željko-Švice Delic, Mladen-Grofa Amstrong -Dugog Nidže Bogojević, Anđelka-Nigera Sakača, Zdravko Bezuka, Dubravka Ruseka, Željka-Žaca Špiljar, Velimira-Velje Kvesić, Tihomir-Piða Ivete, Vijolete - Vicky Antoliæ, born Zagrecki)

Heroes-vukovara
The late Vukovar heroes, photos taken from the Facebook group "Heroes of Vukovar"


I feel equally sad when I recall the faces of their mothers and fathers, their husbands and children, their brothers and sisters with whom I have been dating for years, searching for the bones of their neighbors and in the difficult Croatian bureaucracy, resolving their fate, their Croatian soldiers status so their families could to continue as many normal lives without their closest, without family caregivers.
And almost that we have succeeded in all this. But we did not. More!

Because we are still looking for the remains of our dead subordinates killed in Ovčari, Jean Michel Nicoliera or in breaks, Duška Smeka - Bosanca, Vida Ivanić and Žarka Manjkasa Crvenkapa.
It is a sad day when the eyes of those rare moments of surrender come out in front of us when we were kidding, and among us there were always some robbers who would bring the dead man to his feet with his jokes as our Švico often did.
And the days are pride every time, every day ... because I know that we all survived (though wounded several times) as our dead cousins ​​were willing to pay for their newly-released freedom of our country.
... which may not be what we dreamed of these days, but I believe that one day some new politicians will come to know their work and likewise love the country they are managing, thanks to the confidence that we have shown them in the elections.

Jean-Michel-Nicolier
Jean Michel Nicolier, author: Tomislav Radnić

Breach
One week before the "fall" of Vukovar "fallen" were Bogdanovci, they were occupied. IN
Sunday, 10. November 1991., about 17 hours, three Vinkovčan Josip Jozanović (late), Bogdanovčan Zdenko Grgić and I from Zagreb, we left Bogdanovci and started to break through Vinkovci (Nuštar). After the 40 days of heavy and exhausting battles with a multi-strong enemy, we were left without anti-arms, no ammunition, and with little power, and after all-day battle we were forced to leave our positions.

Explosions were heard in the pelvis, and the flames were lifted up into the air. The whole village was burning! From the direction of the church, fire from the pedestrian weapons was still heard, and the roads were driven by tanks and conveyors. They were robbing the already devastated houses that were burning after that.
Without the right hand, but with the help of the fence I supported my wrath (both first and second), I managed with my left hand and I did not know what eye to look at and destroy one and stop another T-55 and a few white-footed pedestrians (or they were VP or Beli orlovi), but I did not have the time or the will to celebrate because it was our end.

Bogdanovci-October-1991
Defenders of Bogdanovac, photo uploaded by Damir Radnić

I still had a gun of about ten bullets, a "Gypsy" with maybe a bullet box and a hand bomb. A man I never traveled at least with 25 kg of weaponry, no anti-aircraft, few grenades and at least 500 bullets!
Sometimes, near me, behind the houses in the direction of Petrovac, two war veterans were created, the Vinkovčan "Zenga" Josip and the domestic man, or the shepherd Zdenko, mentioned. Almost without words, in a matter of seconds we agreed to move - in a breakthrough.
Turning to the cornfield, I turned several times toward the village, perhaps even in my intention to come back. But Joseph always pulled me to his shoulder and just quietly said, "Let's go, almost, there's nothing left there." At one point, he caught my shoulder again, and I kinda angrily turned to him, wondering what he was doing, what he wanted again from me. And he pointed to my left leg with a tight wire. By stopping me, he saved all of our lives - because it was my wire.
We continued on and almost bumped into a tank that stood on the white road in corn, and whose crew apparently watched the developments in the village. We managed to bypass it inevitably and continue our journey in the direction we thought was the direction toward Cerić, whose cemetery we should turn to west and Nuštra.
The darkness has already fallen, in the distance behind us the Bogdanovci were burning and we heard the creeps of the explosion, sorrow caught in our hearts, we no longer talked about, but we were silent and continued our path to uncertainty - Grgic pastor in charge, for him and Josip in the end.

Bogdanovci
Bogdanovci eight months after the battle, author: Ivo Kelić


Č
it was inevitable for me to walk all the time, I burned under the temperature over the 40 degrees from the wound on my right hand, which was fiercely switched on and quite overcame. They had aching my back and legs, and at one point I told the boys that apartment, that I would not go any further. I started with my left hand to marvelously shake corn and throw it to the crowd, and they wonder and wonder what I'm heading for. I tell them that I can not go further and that I will stay there in corn until morning and then I will continue, even if I am alone.
I suppose I was caught bitter at that moment, and at that moment I was not fully aware of my actions, but then I did not know.
But right from the moment when I was already persuaded to stay there (somewhere in the cornfield between Ceric and Nuštra) from somewhere, the enemy VBR fired a full charge towards our direction (probably on Nuštar) and when the grenades fell one after the other the mud, maybe twenty meters away from us (fortunately, did not explode, probably because of the soft ground), releasing a weird sound, suddenly my pains stopped, I got up and went further.
After another few hours of wandering around the corn field, we finally got to some place. That was supposed to be Nuštar, at least Zdenko thought so. But when we got into the place, he was no longer sure that we came to Nuštar, and Joseph and I were even smaller.
We walk by the place, we call, we are lurking at the door of rare unfinished houses - no one anywhere. We find ourselves on a broken tank, and Zdenko is even more confused now and confesses that he has no idea where we are. At one point I say - "if this is Nuštar, where, in what direction would the Vinkovci". Zdenko showed me the direction and I say - "Let's go in that direction and we will rest in one of the last houses towards Vinkovci, and in the morning we will try to move on."
And just when we were going to do it, after at least an hour of village wandering and unsuccessful pursuit of anyone, some lights began to move around.
We took a little leisurely to negotiate what to do, hide or try to stop, still not knowing where we are.
My hand began to hurt again, and my back even more, so I said, I stopped it, but it was the last thing I did in my life.
So I ran to the car and stopped him. Luckily, they were our guys, guards who quickly explained that we were in Nuštra and that Nuštar was full of our army. And they are ready for an enemy attack, but they also wait for survivors of the Boganovians and civilians.
And we were over an hour licking on the doors and windows of the house and cried and woke up trying to find anyone in the place ?!
As it was very cold, probably all the defenders of Nuštra were at that moment in the basements in the hot and dry.

Defenders-Bogdanovac
Photograph by Damir Radnić

Country
N
two new friends just caught us in our basement where I first handed down their very poorly-needed nicotine and caffeine needs with more cigarettes as well as a big joke of coffee. After we came down to them, I asked them to drive us to Vinkovci and leave the boys safe and to take me to Commander OG Vukovar-Vinkovci-Županja to dopednik Dedakovic Jastreb, what the guys did.
The commander was located in the Hotel Slavonia and immediately received me to hear my report on the occupation of the Boganovci. I think we both let go of a tear at the moment, just as they crossed each other. At least I am.
At that time, I also heard from Jastreba what they all encountered in Vinkovci, and among other things realized that besides the lack of personnel and weapons, one of the biggest problems our media blockage in Zagreb was, so I offered to solve it as soon as I get back to Zagreb. Because I am an old one, and I do not have to be difficult to solve.
Later because of that my wish ended in the report of the so-called. "Manolic Commissions" marked (marked) as "HOS-s's with Rebra" in charge of killing Antun Vrdoljak. Šit really was one of the bigger fools of Manolis and his bag!
Much of his report on the battle for Vukovar is probably only his latest book that "writes" these days at a surprising speed of "two books per 500 page per year" and in which the little boy, with almost a hundred years of age, recalls not only the events but also the nicest detail of almost 80 years ago ?!
Although it is completely irrelevant to whom or what he recalls so well in his years of affairs as long as there are his highly positioned followers in Croatia, which (I do not know why) are still so afraid of all the authorities of this state.
And left and right ... and everything else !!?
To say that I was talking to Antun Vrdoljak a few months ago, for the first time in these 25 years, I called him and introduced him by his name and surname, but also with the addition of "Manolić's report", so after a short introduction and my explanations later comfortably talked for almost two hours. For many, even Manolić.
Let's go back to the story, the first one. So, n
he gave an order to take me to his command, which was a few hundred meters away, in the basement of the Vinkovci MUP, from where I phoneed my family in Zagreb, but despite my great desire and numerous attempts, from my mouth could not hear words. I just mumbled. Which is otherwise impossible for me.
Seeing I can not speak, Zorica Mrnarević (today Crnjac) she turned the attention of Ljiljana Toth, so she passed on to my family that I was alive and almost healthy and that I would come home to Zagreb during the day.
After that they drove me to the Mikanovce at the war hospital where they finally got my wounded and wounded hands and gave me painkillers.
They told me in the hospital that another group of Bogdanovcans had just arrived and I was looking for them, and my luck was not over when I saw among them their HOS-men, then Zagreb's students of medicine, but also the phenomenal Bogdanovska war " Dr. " Zoran Milas i Dražen Đurović.
The boys told me how they were able to break through the stationers and occupied Bogdanovci to the freedom, and details of their bravery they did not want to talk about themselves, told one of their wounded survivors, Branko Krajina. But this is a special, beautiful and long story!

After crossing and talking to my boys, Nikola Toth Fenix ​​gave me a car and a driver who moved me to Zagreb, first to my family in Trnsko, and later to the hospital. Of course, at the Rebro hospital, where they treated me for the next month, and for a month they returned to my right hand.
After leaving the hospital for the next two and a half months I was the inspector of the HOS units and I went to almost all the battlefields where the boys fought. Both in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the HOS units were organized.

204-Vukovar-brigade
Retrieved from the facebook group "Heroes of Vukovar"

But, on the last day of February, 1992. I was in the barracks "Rakitje" near Zagreb, where we Vukovar defenders of our "Tigers" took over the barracks and founded 204. Vukovar Veterans Brigade.
But this is again a new, interesting and long story.

Damir Radnić