From the very beginning the military was given a privileged position in the new state both in military and in political terms. However, the institution faced in the first place immense legitimacy problems. Paradoxically the military’s (Serbian) core consisted of the officer corps with a distinguished war record. Yet the predominantly Serb army and its transformation into a Yugoslav institution met significant obstructions both with Serbs and non-Serbs. Serbs were proud of their army which had completed the historical mission and expected it to guard these achievements in peacetime. The fragile Yugoslav construction had to datingmentor.org/mormon-chat-rooms be protected from both external and internal enemies. thirty-five The latter were not difficult to identify since from the very beginning Yugoslavia was faced with harsh opposition and even violent upheavals. 36 The Serbian army had acquired a rich experience in domestic intervention in the pre-war period, but now the situation seemed very simple since the ‘enemies’ could have been identified through national and alleged political criteria.
The main of one’s Standard Personnel, the brand new famous Vojvoda Misic myself inspected the difficulty in Croatia and provided a depressing declaration during the Belgrade. In his look at the disease having Croats are hopeless and he recommended an answer – to exit Croats so you’re able to secede and mark the newest ‘just’ limitations between them says along cultural and ‘historical’ standards. Needless to say he’d planned the project from a greater Serbia rather than High Yugoslavia which might have been likely to provide the Serbs military superiority. Even when King Aleksandar rejected brand new suggestion the fresh behaviour of one’s army from the ‘new territories’ acquired it a bad name. The fresh tortures and you may severe reprisals of the civil society worsened the new whole opportunity of the the brand new county-building and you can damaged the fresh institutional validity of the ‘new’ armed forces definitively:
Firstly, the officials regarding Slovene, Croat and you may Montenegrin origin had to submit an application for entryway towards army, although it wasn’t demanded on Serb officials
This was a blatant misappropriation of authority, quite contrary to the realities that led to the unification, and endangered great discomfiture, especially since the army applied brutal, coercive, and, as one historian dubbed them, Milos-style punishments, frequently even without the formality of a military court-ous of these was the practice of meeting out corporal punishment by blows with clubs or truncheons. 37
One of the most critical problems of the new state was institution building. While the other political institutions had to be created from scratch, the military was only to be transferred from the Serbian state. The units of the former Austria-Hungarian army were disbanded. The non-Serbs saw the military as a continuation of the Serbian army with the command language, insignia and all other details directly transferred from the Serbian Kingdom. The regime declared that it supported an open-door policy regarding the officers from the former Habsburg army. In reality, however, there were many problems to surmount, the question of loyalty having been in the background in the majority of cases. Furthermore, the position of the non-Serb officers was humiliating. They faced huge obstacles in terms of promotion, subordination, the question of rank etc. The figures show that they were also underrepresented, which does not necessarily imply that it was a result of a planned action. For instance, in 1938 only 10 per cent of the Yugoslav officers and only 31 per cent of 191 generals were Croats. 38
The Croat and Slovene officers felt premium into the academic and you will top-notch words, when you are uneducated Serbian officials got wonderful conflict information
Discover a giant gap within officials raised during the different armed forces social surroundings, sufficient reason for a separate army ethos, ethnic origin and you can, above all, conflict experience. The fresh Serbian armed forces choose to go because of a genuine Golgotha inside the war where every 2nd men didn’t endure. The very first posts into the army hierarchy had come filled because of the battle heroes who were never to call it quits high priced attained ranking. Serbian officials seen the fresh new inclusion of officials in the (former) adversary armed forces both since an insult on their heroic opposition or as the an indication of kindness and you will forgiveness into enemy’s battle sins. The fresh new peasant-like soldiers and you may officials got an enthusiastic inferiority cutting-edge regarding your ‘noble’ and you will better-experienced Austria-Hungarian officers. Many had been poorly hurt, viewing its conflict units’ flags getting replaced from the Yugoslav three-colored banner. Petar Jovic, a combatant regarding the Salonica Front side and you will president of Relationship of one’s 1912-1918 Volunteers said:
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