Most of today’s geographically challenged students would have trouble locating Yugoslavia on a map. In the 1990’s Yugoslavia came to dominate the world news, as one could not turn on the television without being regaled with tragic stories from Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Belgrade, Sarajevo and Kosovo.
Serbian independence from the Ottoman Empire was reestablished in 1878. In keeping with the best traditions of Balkan tribalism and vendetta, for the next 75 years Serbia found itself at odds with most of its neighbors.
During WWI Serbia was occupied by the Central Powers, but thousands of Serb soldiers were evacuated by the Allies and continued to see service in such far flung theaters as Greece, Siberia, Russia and the Western Front. After the war, Serbia formed the core of the new “Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes” which, in 1929, was renamed Yugoslavia. The new kingdom’s population of Serbs, Albanians, Macedonians, Croats, Slovenes, Bosnians and Montenegrins coexisted in a tense atmosphere exacerbated by centuries of ethnic and religious distrust.
In 1941 Nazi Germany invaded Yugoslavia, touching off four years of guerilla warfare interspaced with periods of civil war as the royalist Chetniks vied with the Communist Partisans for supremacy. The post-war communist regime of Marshall Tito managed to keep the ethnic and religious conflicts under control but, following his death in 1980, the centuries-old hatreds once again surfaced, eventually resulting in years of civil war and the disintegration of the state.
In 1927 the Yugoslavian arsenal at Kraguyevac began production of a 98-type Mauser rifle, the Kratka Puška M.1924 (Short Rifle Model of 1924), which was the issue rifle at the beginning of WWII. During the war, Yugoslavian guerillas captured large quantities of German and Italian arms and equipment.
The 7.62mm Metak M67 was adopted, featuring a shorter, flat based, lead core bullet that shifted the center of gravity rearward, which allowed the bullet to destabilize creating a more effective wound channel.