The Motorization in Royal Yugoslav Cavalry Units Cover Image

Моторизација коњице у Краљевини Југославији
The Motorization in Royal Yugoslav Cavalry Units

Author(s): Dalibor Denda
Subject(s): Governance, Military history, Political history, Military policy, Pre-WW I & WW I (1900 -1919), Transport / Logistics
Published by: Institut za strategijska istraživanja
Keywords: Kingdom of Yugoslavia; Royal Yugoslav Cavalry Units; motorization; transformation of units; military history;

Summary/Abstract: This paper deals with motorization process in the Royal Yugoslav Cavalry. The first ideas on this topic among high ranked Yugoslav officers has appeared in the same time as the process of transformation and motorization of cavalry unites started in the armies of the great European and World powers. The first initiative of this has been shown by general Milan Nedic, at the beginning of 1934. Short time after that he had taken position of the Chief of Main General Staff . The main reasons why Yugoslav cavalry units’ motorization process has been late was in the consequences of the great economic crises, and partial security of Kingdom of Yugoslavia borders, because it was part of two military alliances (Little Entante and Balkan Treaty). Yugoslavia also didn’t have its own Motor Car Industry. General Nedic as a reform maker had lost his position in March 1935, very soon after King’s Alexander assassination. First light cavalry tanks were bought in Czechoslovakia in 1937, but only for the experimental purposes. At the same time, the state was surrounded by very weak unfriendly neighbors (except Italy) until 1938, when the Third Reich reach Yugoslav borders on the North, and the Little Entante was terminated. After that the plan on motorization of one Cavalry Brigade in each of three Royal Yugoslav Cavalry Divisions had been appeared. The contract was signed with the Italian industry in the end of 1939, and the fi st small shipments of the transport vehicles started to come in Yugoslavia during 1940. In the period when all European nations were preparing for war, this state didn’t buy all armament and motor vehicles which were needed for the transformation of the cavalry unites, even thou it was enough money for this purpose. There was also not enough time for the training of the troops for the future mechanized Cavalry unites. Until the war in Yugoslavia had been started, Yugoslav Royal Army achieved to include the motorization only in one cavalry brigade (Third Cavalry Brigade of Third Cavalry Division), but not having the armored cars, heavy motorized artillery and tanks. Because of that this unit didn’t achieve any success during short episode of war in Yugoslavia in April 1941, although its offi cers and soldiers had showed a lot of courage.

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 38-65
  • Page Count: 28
  • Language: Serbian