Serbian Krajina

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Republic of Serbian Krajina

The Republic of Serbian Krajina (Република Српска Крајина, or Republika Srpska Krajina,) was created in 1990 within the borders of present day Croatia and supported by the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Croatian War of Independence. The unrecognized state ceased to exist in 1995 after Croatian forces overran the majority of its territory and declared itself the Republic of Croatia.

Aside from the Yugoslavian National Army (JNA), there were two primary Serbian Krajina forces opposing the Croatian bid for independence: the Serbian Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina (Srpska vojska Republike Srpske Krajine - SVRSK) - or Krajina Serb Army - and the Krajina Police (Milicija Krajine - MK), the latter of which included Special Police units (Specijalne jedinice milicije - SJM). Although Serbian Krajina units wore distinctive insignia, they were outfitted by Yugoslavia and used the same equipment as the JNA and Yugoslavian Police. This extended to the use of camouflage uniforms, nearly all of which were Yugoslavian in origin (although there were some exceptions).

Camouflage Patterns of Serbian Krajina

  • The Krajina Territorial Defence Force, the short-lived predecessor to the Krajina Serb Army, was initially outfitted in tiger stripe or lizard pattern camouflage uniforms of the JNA and MUP. The green variants illustrated here were the most commonly seen. These designs were also worn by some units of the Krajina police.

Bsa green tiger pattern.jpg Srpska2.jpg Serbiankrajina1.jpg

  • Seen less commonly were "grey lizard" pattern variants, such as those seen here.


  • The most common camouflage pattern worn by the SVK was the M89 oakleaf pattern seen here, the standard pattern of the JNA.


  • Unique, it seems to the elite Kninjas unit under Kapetan Dragan, were domestically-produced, one-piece combat coveralls made from Soviet m82 TTsKO three-color camouflage fabric obtained from Russia. The pattern gained the local nickname dazdevnjak, which means "fire salamander."


  • Krajina Police units often wore blue tiger or lizard pattern camouflage, the same as used by the Yugoslavian police. There are several colour variations, including some called "purple tiger".

Serbiapol1.jpg Serbiapol4.jpg

  • Less commonly encountered was the blue puzzle pattern used by the Yugoslavian Special Police. This is essentially a blue colorway of the Army M89 pattern. Although produced in limited numbers, this pattern was encountered within the Krajina Territorial Defence Force as well as the Krajina Police.


Non-Military Designs worn by Serbian Krajina Forces

  • There is some photographic evidence indicating the pattern seen here was worn on a limited basis by the SVRSK. Close examination reveals it is not really a camouflage pattern at all, but consists of overlapped images of Orthodox churches in subdued colours. There is no evidence suggesting this design was actually developed for military purposes, but in many cases during the civil war period civilian or non-standard items were put to military use due to limited availability of more appropriate gear. This is probably one such example.