After the Russo-Turkish war, the Berlin Congress has been held, ending with the decision that Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was formally still under the Turkish suzerainty, would be occupied by Austria-Hungary and subdued to its jurisdiction. The Austrian-Hungarian units, numbering 82,000 men, met the resistance of weakly organized, predominantly Muslim militia of 40,000 soldiers (along with a number of associated Orthodox chieftains) led by Sarayevo's agitator Hadzi Lojo. The main Austrian forces, so called "occupying units" of 9,400 soldiers under the command of a Croat, baron Josip Filipovic, have quickly broken in through northern Bosnia, conquering Banja Luka, Maglaj and Jajce. After the battle at Vitez in central Bosnia, in which they have decisively defeated the Bosnian Muslim army, Filipovic's forces have taken Sarajevo (breaking the severe resistance of local Muslim population ), and advancing further through Herzegovina and NoviPazar Sanjak have occupied the entire Bosnia-Herzegovina. The conquest has lasted for less than three months, during which the overall losses of the Austrian units amounted to 946 dead and 3980 wounded soldiers. Considering the bad condition of the roads, in accordance with one of the contemporaries it can be concluded that Austria has occupied Bosnia-Herzegovina in a time soldiers needed to tramp it from end to end.
Even as the Muslim-Croat battles raged around Travnik and Novi Travnik, the ABiH intensified its efforts to sweep up the smaller and weaker HVO positions on the periphery of the Operative Zone Central Bosnia area of operations. On June 14, the ABiH overran HVO forces in the Kakanj area, and the survivors of the Kotromanic Brigade as well as some thirteen thousand to fifteen thousand Croat civilian refugees filtered southward to the Kiseljak area or north to Vares.1 The HVO outposts south of Novi Travnik fell in late June and early July: Ravno Rostovo on June 24 and Rat and Sebesic in July. Between July 19 and 23, the ABiH attacked the HVO forces in and around Bugojno, seized control of the town, and killed or captured most of the fifteen-hundred-man HVO Eugen Kvaternik Brigade, which was defending the town. The prisoners fiom the Kvaternik Brigade, as well as the Croat civilians in the Bugojno area were subjected to horrible mistreatment at the hands of the victorious ABiH troops.
|Katarina Vukcic-Kosaca (married King Stephen Thomas of Bosnia)
Death: Oct. 25, 1478
Bosnian Queen Katarina (portrait by Giovanni Bellini, Rome)
Even before Jajce fell, the ABiH appears to have been planning some sort of offensive against the Bosnian Croats in central Bosnia. After October 29, 1992, the increasing numbers of able-bodied military-age Muslim refugees entering the region were organized, armed, and trained for offensive operations; mujahideen, ABiH soldiers, and armed refugees were infiltrated into key villages in groups of three or four men and hidden in Muslim homes or mosques; and by the end of 1992, the ABiH had positioned a number of its combat brigades in key locations throughout the Lasva, Kozica, and Lepenica Valleys.1 In retrospect, the latter actions were particularly significant.