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Yugoslav Peoples Army Marines

Yugoslav Peoples Army Marines

Yugoslav Marines (Serbo-Croatian – Mornarička Pešadija) were elite special forces of the Yugoslav People’s Army. The unit, distinguishable for its blue berets, represented one of the best-qualified, most educated, and trained YPA units.



 Yugoslav Marines were formed in late 1944, after the beginning of the reorganization of the Yugoslav partisan units. Throughout the years, Yugoslav Marines developed into one of the most respected military branches in the Yugoslav People’s Army. They were formed to operate within the coastal zone and perform amphibious assault operations to gain an advantage in the distribution of power and faster development of the entire operational unit.



Unlike other YPA branches, the soldiers that had mandatory military service in the Yugoslav marines underwent a 12-month long training process. The first six months of the training were classic infantry, while the other six were dedicated to acquiring specialist skills. During the training, the soldiers spent 150 days on unaccessible terrain on the Croatian coastline and in the Bosnian mountains. The military drill was very demanding, and only the most physically fit soldiers could pass it. During the specialist phase of the training, the soldiers went through anti-terrorist assault training, martial arts practice, parachute jumps, training with mines and explosives, and amphibious assault practices.



Yugoslav Marines numbered 500 soldiers, organized in a battalion. The battalion had several companies, organized into three platoons, consisting of three firing squads, an M53 machinegun squad, and an anti-armor squad, armed with rocket launchers and recoilless rifles. Each firing squad had a sniper and a submachine gunner. The soldiers were generally light-armed because mobility was an important feature of the unit. The unit used Yugoslav assault boats ( desantno-jurišni čamac) in performing its tasks. The unit was under the joint command of the Yugoslav People's Army and Yugoslav War Navy.



Yugoslav marines were disbanded after the beginning of the Yugoslav Civil War. The former Yugoslavian Republics Montenegro and Croatia continued the tradition of Yugoslav Marine Units. The Croatian Satnija Mornaričkog-Desantnog Pješaštva and Montenegrin Pomorski odred, perform delicate divers, special and anti-terrorist tasks, and provide aid to civilians in times of emergency.