Blago Zadro

Mar 31, 1944 - Oct 16, 1991(47)

Hero of the Homeland War

- Son, my soldiers don't wear body armor, so I won't either! –

Blago Zadro was responsible for ensuring that not a single Serbian tank passed the Trpinj road leading to Borovo. It was then known that if Borovo Naselje fell, the road to Vukovar would be open.

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Zadro, originally from Herzegovina, was employed at the Vukovar factory "Borovo" before the war. He is remembered as an extremely charismatic man, he organized workers' strikes and fought for their rights.

With the beginning of the breakup of Yugoslavia, in the spring of 1990, he was elected president of the HDZ in the municipality of Borovo Naselje. His dream was an independent and independent Croatia. Upon learning of the outbreak of unrest, he immediately joined the defense of the city of Vukovar. He is remembered as a great fighter. Although he had no military education, he led the 3rd Battalion of the 204th Vukovar Brigade.

His comrades respected him. He was always the first to go on missions, and his calmness instilled trust, which is why his fighters followed him faithfully. He was extremely loyal to his homeland, as evidenced by the fact that his sons were also members of the brigade.

He was distinguished by outstanding military intelligence, and more than thirty armored vehicles were destroyed under his command. It is because of him that Trpinjska cesta is called the "tank cemetery". Thanks to his firm leadership and the defense of the Trpinjska road, an attack on Vukovar was prevented on September 14, 1991.

But the fateful October 16 arrived. There was a feeling in the air that something could go wrong. His son, having a premonition that something was going to happen, begged him to put on a bulletproof vest. Zadro refused, saying: "Son, my soldiers don't wear bulletproof vests, so I won't either!" –

On that day, Serbian military forces changed their previous tactics. They decided to attack from the flank and, having crossed the Bobot Canal, deployed their forces along the railroad. With this, they physically separated the village of Borovo from Vukovar and entered Lužac, occupying Vukovarska Street. Serbian forces attacked the defense from behind.

The soldiers did not know that the enemies were holding the entire Kupska Street in their sights. Blago Zadro and his soldiers headed towards Vukovarska Street, thinking that Croatian forces were there. He was mowed down by machine gun fire.

At first, the soldiers did not believe that Blago had died. But the Vukovar hero of that moment left this world forever. Zvonko Mlinarić-Špenac was killed by the same machine gun during the attempt to retrieve his body. Finally, his comrade Ivan Mažar managed to pull him out. Blago was then transported to the Vukovar hospital, where Dr. Juraj Njavro pronounced him dead.

The hero of Vukovar was buried under a code on the coffin that only a few fighters knew. Later, the enemies transferred his remains to a mass grave from which he was exhumed only in 1998. Now he rests at the Vukovar Memorial Cemetery of the Victims of the Homeland War, in the Alley of Croatian Veterans. He was posthumously awarded the rank of major general and is remembered as one of the greatest fighters of the Homeland War.

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