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utorak, 15. ožujka 2011.

Croatia Continues Helping In Fight Against Somalian Pirates & Other Maritime Subversives

Croatian soldiers during joint Nato-EU military exercises before departing for the Afghanistans. (seen pictured with the latest version Croatian made HS Produkt VHS-K2 assault rifles)



Related post: 1500-applicants-in-split-for-pirate-fighting-jobs

Croatian Times

The Croatian Parliament has approved the government’s decision to extend the participation of Croatian armed forces in the European Union "EU NAVFOR Somalia-Atlanta" peace mission.

Croatian Minister of Defense Branko Vukelic has said that the participation in the mission affirms the country’s strategic goal – EU membership – as well as making a contribution to the fight against pirates in Somalian waters and ensuring uninhibited sailing.

Croatian Dubrovnik-based captain Jurica Brajcic miraculously managed to evade Somali pirates from seizing the Oceania Nautica in 2008.

The crew of the Sirius Star were from Britain, Poland, Croatia, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines. The ship was seized by Somali pirates in 2008.

The mandate of the operation includes the protection of the ships under the world food program flag, protection of merchant vessels and undertaking necessary steps – including the use of force – to deter, prevent and intervene in cases of piracy and armed robberies.

French forces from the French navy vessel "Jean de Vienne", capture 19 Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden in this January 4, 2009 photo released by the French Navy. The French navy vessel was on patrol off the Somali coast as part of a European Union anti-piracy force when it came to the rescue of a Croatian cargo vessel and a Panamanian ship crossing the Gulf of Aden.

Examples of 21st century pirates.

A total of 30 ships and more than 660 hostages have been taken in the area of the Indian Ocean. Here 61 Somalian pirates are held on board an Indian Navy ship after they were intercepted and captured after trying to escape. Image AFP.

Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse, accused of hijacking the Maersk Alabama and taking its captain Richard Phillips hostage, is led into a federal building in New York April 20, 2009, he was later sentenced to 33 years in U.S. federal prison. REUTERS.

Croatia is currently contributing two officials to the mission. On June 14, the EU Council decided to prolong the mission for another two years. Up to five Crotians will participate in 2011 and 2012, the daily Vecernji List writes.

Some footage of other missions helping stop Somalian pirates.

An interesting collage themed around the Croatian Military and Special Forces.

.....I decided to update this with some supplementary information from another post. Like I said there, and interestingly for those not in the know since already on the topic of ships, sailors, pirates and sea security, here's an excerpt about the early Croatian Navy, shipbuilding and coastal maritime activities and history (including security) that extends from well before the 21st century, stuff that probably many didn't know...

Movie screenshots from "Croatian Kings" (Hrvatski Kraljevi), a Croatian Television (HRT) produced 7-part documentary series viewed by millions and broadcast to over 30 countries by the Swedish "History Channel" on the Viasat World satellite television network. More information at and viasat-history-channel-to-broadcast-documentary.

...From the time of the Croatian King Petar Krešimir IV around 1066 the Croatian Navy was still an integral part of the overall Croatian military forces and might, during King Petar Krešimir's reign there was a duke Rusin mentioned who assisted with the coordination and activities of the Croatian Navy, some other local dukes and admirals before and after from 835 to 1089 were Družac, Božidar, Berigoj, Jakov, and the fact that the very title of Duke could be borne only by governmental dignitaries and bestowed by the King is proof of the navy importance. Croatia's early political and so maritime history also, has particularly been influenced by its geographical location along the Adriatic sea, a strategically and economically important placement between the Franks, Venice and Carolingian empire to the west and the Byzantine and Bulgarian empires to the east during the Middle Ages, and so the center of mutual struggles for control of the eastern shores of the Adriatic sea. Croatia's early political and so maritime history also, has particularly been influenced by its geographical location along the Adriatic sea, a strategically and economically important placement between the Franks, Venice and Carolingian empire to the west and the Byzantine and Bulgarian empires to the east during the Middle Ages, and so the center of mutual struggles for control of the eastern shores of the Adriatic sea. In 1069, when he donated the island of Maun to the city of Zadar, in the surviving royal charter document King Krešimir did not fail to point out that ancient Dalmatia was rightfully part of the Croatian Kingdom and that it was "...our own island that lies on our Dalmatian sea...". (Latin: nostram propriam insulam in nostro Dalmatico mari sitam) ie: the eastern Adriatic of the Croatian Kingdom, even the Byzantine empire recognized him, along with his maritime naval fleet, as the supreme ruler of the coastal areas and eastern Adriatic Sea. However well before this and already from the year 642 the early Croats are recorded by the Longobard historian Paul the Deacon as having many ships at the city of Siponto across the Adriatic Sea. The same sources speak about Croats as successful ship builders. At the time of Duke Vladislav (821- 835) sources mention a strong navy. Thanks to the Croatian maritime power of Duke Mislav (835-845), he signed a treaty with Pietro Tradonico, Doge of the Venetian Republic in 839, which led to the further growth of Croatian sea power and control of the eastern Adriatic. During the rule of Duke Trpimir (845-864) Croats broke through to Furlania and in front of Venice itself. In 871 as an ally of the Frankish Carolingian Emperor and King of Italy Louis II, the Croatian Navy under Duke Domagoj distinguished itself in the liberation of Bari, Taranto and southern Italy from the Arab Saracens occupation. Interestingly, during the reign of Duke Branimir (879-892) the Venetians were defeated and were even obligated to pay tribute to the Croatians for the freedom of sailing on the eastern Adriatic, the taxes ensured a safe passage preventing attacks or conflict from the Croatian ships, (so besides being independent of not only the Frankish Empire but also the Byzantine Empire and Venice as well, then it also shows that a well organized under command royal maritime naval force existed). In the work of the domestic and foreign policy manual De Administrando Imperio by eastern Roman Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus VII from circa. the year 950, he wrote that after King Tomislav secured peace with the Bulgarian Empire who bordered the Croatian Kingdom to the east, and the Frankish Empire to our west, we had a military of 60,000 cavalry, 100,000 foot soldiers as well as 80 galleys (larger ships with 40 sailors) and 100 cutters (konduras - smaller ships with 10 to 20 sailors), this would then amount to over 5000 sailors counting even just the oarsmen alone...

Movie screenshot.

...Later during the times of Croatian Kings Michael Krešimir II (reign 949-969) and Stephen Držislav (reign 969–997) as well as their powerful Bans/Viceroys Pribina and Godemir, Croatian Navy ships were victorious when in conflict with the fleets of Saracens and Muslim Arabs attempting to cross and invade from the Italian peninsula of Gargano in 968-969. A number of Croatian Navy conflicts during these centuries successfully repelled Muslim Saracen and Moorish pirate raids arriving from Italy whose primary aim was to attempt to carry off women and children as sex slaves. Later the era of King Stjepan Držislav (969-996) was also marked with successful maritime trade and safekeeping of maritime routes and domination of Croatia on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. King Stephen I Krešimirović (988-1058) is known in sources for solidifying the Croatian Kingdom domains of the formerly named Pannonia and Dalmatia, but also for strengthening the military and especially ensuring the coastal defence and rule with the aid of his Croatian Navy fleet, with trade and commerce flourishing afterwards. Later in 1084, when the Normans under Robert Guiscard Duke of Apulia and Calabria conquered southern Italy and Sicily, he invaded the Adriatic Sea and western Balkan provinces of the Byzantine empire, and King Dmitar Zvonimir (1074-1089) even helped by sending troops as well as ships from the Croatian fleet to his aid. It is even precisely for these reasons that the medieval Croatian Kings with their royal courts, Viceroys/Bans and many of their nobility kept their seats and official royal residences near the strategic coastal areas, to much easier personally oversee and direct their maritime fleets. (Nin, Šibenik, Zadar, Biograd, Split, Klis, Knin, Trogir, Solin, Kaštela etc). In 1885, when the Croatian crown lands were a part of the Habsburg crown, 45% of sailors and NCOs and 10-15% of naval officers were ethnically Croatian. Between 1857 and 1918 an Austro-Hungarian naval officer academy was located in Rijeka with an NCO training school in Šibenik. Without getting into the maritime tradition and history including Dubrovnik, events after union with Hungary and the Habsburg Empire, the thousands of Croat sailors who took part in the epic historic Battle of Leponto defeating the Ottoman Empire fleet etc, these are just a few examples of the early Croatian Navy presence and maritime naval history from well over a thousand years ago. Basically in a nutshell, like I said at a previous croatian-navy-25th-anniversary post, the Croatian Navy and maritime shipbuilding tradition and history is then actually much, much longer than just 25 years, which is good to know.

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