Croatia - 1992

Operation ‘Harmony’: ‘Peacekeeping’, ‘Peacemaking’ and ‘Warfighting’ in the Former Yugoslavia


 Relaxed yet vigilant, 7 of the 16 Seaforth Highlanders who were present at the Battle of the Medak Pocket stop for a group photo in the ruins of a village. L-R: Kim, Deans, Spiess, Lundie, Chow, Tytler, Tolton.

Relaxed yet vigilant, 7 of the 16 Seaforth Highlanders who were present at the Battle of the Medak Pocket stop for a group photo in the ruins of a village. L-R: Kim, Deans, Spiess, Lundie, Chow, Tytler, Tolton.

Operation HARMONY was Canada’s contribution to the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), which was created in February 1992 to ensure the protection and demilitarization of three “UN Protected Areas” in Croatia. Its mandate was soon expanded to include observation activities elsewhere in Croatia: monitoring demilitarization and the implementation of various cease-fire agreements.

During its existence, UNPROFOR was also responsible for ensuring the security and functioning of the airport at Sarajevo, the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Sarajevo and throughout Bosnia- Herzegovina, the protection of convoys of released civilian detainees, the monitoring of the “no-fly” zone in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the “UN safe areas” established by the Security Council around five Bosnian towns and the city of Sarajevo, and the monitoring of the border areas of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Its significance to Canada was that it showed the difficulty of peacetime soldiering. A ‘peacekeeping’ mission became one of ‘peacemaking’, and led to the biggest battle fought by Canadian solders since the Korean War.

 Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal | UNPROFOR (United Nations Protection Force, Yugoslavia)

Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal | UNPROFOR (United Nations Protection Force, Yugoslavia)

 The Citation reads: “The 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group (2PPCLI BG) is awarded the Commendation for courageous and professional execution of duty during the Medak Pocket Operation in the Former Yugoslavia in September 1993. Under conditions of extreme peril and hazard, facing enemy artillery, small arms, and heavy machine gun fire as well as anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, the members of 2PPCLI BG held their ground and drove the Croatian forces back. The exemplary action of the 2PPCLI BG caused the Croation Army to cease their ongoing tactics of “ethnic cleansing” in their sector, without question saving many innocent civilian lives.”  Below them, the Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation

The Citation reads: “The 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group (2PPCLI BG) is awarded the Commendation for courageous and professional execution of duty during the Medak Pocket Operation in the Former Yugoslavia in September 1993. Under conditions of extreme peril and hazard, facing enemy artillery, small arms, and heavy machine gun fire as well as anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, the members of 2PPCLI BG held their ground and drove the Croatian forces back. The exemplary action of the 2PPCLI BG caused the Croation Army to cease their ongoing tactics of “ethnic cleansing” in their sector, without question saving many innocent civilian lives.”

Below them, the Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation

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