Sometimes referred to as the Bosnian Serb Republic, or the Srpska Republic, the Republika Srpska(Република Српска) was a breakaway region of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Civil War period (January 1992-December 1995) which contended it would remain a part of the republic of Yugoslavia. Its armed forces were the Vojna Republika Srpska (VRS), or in English the Bosnian Serb Army (BSA). The VRS was largely outfitted by existing stocks of uniforms and equipment left over from the days when Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of the six federal units of the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia. Later the VRS was supplied with war materiel directly from what remained of Yugoslavia itself. Several camouflage patterns were worn by the BSA during the civil war, primarily lizard patterns (they are generally referred to as "tiger" instead of lizard when it comes to Serb/Yugoslav patterns), but also the standard uniforms of the JNA. It should be noted that the terms Srpska Republic and Republika Srpska are somewhat misleading in that the region was never formally recognized as a nation state by any country and were not even waging war to establish sovereignty. Today the terms are still used to refer to the administrative entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Camouflage Patterns of The Srpska Republic
- The standard pattern of the Yugoslavian Army (JNA) - and later of the Serbian Army - the M89 oakleaf, was encountered in large numbers within the VRS.
- Many variations of the "tiger pattern" camouflage were worn by Bosnian Serb units throughout the war, including the grey tiger variants shown here.
- Green tiger pattern camouflage was very common and seen from the earliest conflicts until the end of the war period. The example seen here is from a jacket produced in Brcko 1995.
- Seen here is an example of a green tiger pattern, often associated with officers. The stripes are thicker and less distinct in this design, and it is believed to have been primarily produced prior to and during the beginning of the war. There is a famous photo of General Ratko Mladic wearing this pattern.
- Later variations of the green tiger pattern were of much darker coloration, with less obvious distinction between the stripes from a distance. Nevertheless, careful examination reveals the stripes themselves have more definition and fine detail than the early verions.
- Some variations of the green tiger pattern were made in smaller factories, and illustrate a much wider range of colors and fabric types than those produced by former JNA factories. The version seen here has a yellowish-khaki base, with medium brown and dark green stripes.
- The blue or "purple tiger" patterns were worn by primarily by Special Police Detachments. The version seen here is but one type, of which many variations have been documented.
- Copies of British DPM pattern were produced locally and worn by both sides during the conflict. The version seen below is from a vest taken from a soldier of the BSA.