1991-06-27 to 1991-07-07
SloveniaThe Ten-Day War, or the Slovenian Independence War, was a brief conflict that followed the Slovenian declaration of independence on 25 June 1991. It was fought between the Slovenian Territorial Defense and the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA). It lasted from 27 June 1991 until 7 July 1991, when the Brioni Accords were signed. It marked the beginning of the Yugoslav Wars.
The Slovenian government resisted these moves and successfully ensured that the majority of Slovenian Territorial Defense (TO) equipment was kept out of the hands of the JLA. It also declared in a constitutional amendment passed on 28 September 1990 that its TO would be under the sole command of the Slovenian government.
In the early hours of 27 June the Slovenian leadership was told of the movements of the YPA. The military leadership of the Fifth Military District, which included Slovenia, was in telephone contact with Slovenian president Milan Kučan, telling him that the troops' mission was limited to taking over the border crossings and airport. A meeting of the Slovene presidency was hastily convened at which Kučan and the rest of the members decided on armed resistance.
A few hours later, a column of tanks and armoured personnel carriers of the YPA 1st Armoured Brigade left their barracks at Vrhnika near the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, heading for the airport at Brnik.
Despite the confusion and fighting, the YPA nonetheless successfully accomplished much of its military mission. By midnight on 27 June it had captured all of the crossings along the Italian border, all but three crossings on the Austrian border and several of the new crossing points established along Slovenia's border with Croatia.
The border crossings were a major source of revenue. In addition, by taking control of the borders, the Slovenians were able to establish defensive positions against an expected JLA attack. This meant that the YPA would have to fire the first shot. It was fired on 27 June at 14:30 in Divača by an officer of YPA.
Additional fighting took place throughout the day. The YPA tank column that had been attacked at Pesnica the previous day was blocked by impromptu barricades of Slovenian trucks at Štrihovec, a few kilometers short of the border with Austria, where it again came under attack by Slovenian TO personnel and Slovenian police. The SFR Yugoslav Air Force mounted two airstrikes in support of the YPA forces at Strihovec, killing four truck drivers. At Medvedjek in central Slovenia, another YPA tank column came under attack at a truck barricade, where air raids killed six truck drivers. Heavy fighting broke out at Nova Gorica on the border with Italy, where the Slovenian Special Forces fired two armburst antitank rockets and fired 700 rounds from infantry weapons. Slovene troops destroyed two YPA T-55 tanks and captured an additional three, plus a BTS-1 racked buldozer. Three YPA soldiers were killed and 16 wounded, among them the commander of the armored column, and 98 surrendered. By the end of the day, the YPA still held many of its positions but was rapidly losing ground. YPA was beginning to experience problems with desertions — many Slovenian members of the YPA quit their units or simply changed sides - and both the troops on the ground and the leadership in Belgrade appeared to have little idea of what to do next.
the YPA's leadership sought permission to change the tempo of its operations. Defense Minister Veljko Kadijević informed the Yugoslav cabinet that the YPA's first plan – a limited operation to secure Slovenia's border crossings – had failed, and that it was time to put into operation the backup plan of a full-scale invasion and imposition of military rule in Slovenia. >>the collective presidency (Yogoslavia)– headed at the time by Serbia's Borisav Jović – refused to authorise such an operation. The YPA Chief of Staff, General Blagoje Adžić, was furious and publicly denounced "the federal organs [which] continually hampered us, demanding negotiations while they [the Slovenians] were attacking us with all means".
The YPA 306th Light Air Defense Artillery Regiment's column retreated from its exposed position at Medvedjek and headed into the Krakovo Forest (Krakovski gozd) near the Croatian border. It ran into a blockade near the town of Krško and was surrounded by Slovenian forces, but refused to surrender, probably hoping for help from a relief column.