The Collapse of Yugoslavia

The Collapse of Yugoslavia


Essential Histories
  • Author: Alastair Finlan
  • Short code: ESS
  • Publication Date: 17 Mar 2022
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With updates from the author, specially commissioned maps, and 50 new images, this is a concise overview of the tragic conflict in former Yugoslavia and its significant consequences.

In 1991, an ethnically diverse and peaceful region of Europe descended into violence, lawlessness, bitter hatred and chaos, almost overnight to the bewilderment of international observers. Communities fractured along lines of ethnic and religious affiliation, and the ensuing fighting was deeply personal, resulting in horrific brutality, rape, torture and genocide, causing the deaths of thousands of people. In this book, Alastair Finlan examines the internal upheavals of the former Yugoslavia and their international implications, including the failure of the Vance-Owen plan; the first use of NATO in a combat role and in peace enforcement; and the war in Kosovo, unsanctioned by the UN but prosecuted by NATO forces to prevent the ethnic cleansing of the region.

Updated and revised, with full-colour maps and all new images throughout, this is an introduction to the brutal and bloody conflict in the former Yugoslavia, one of the greatest yet least understood tragedies of the 20th century.

Biographical Note

Alastair Finlan is a Professor of War Studies at the Swedish Defence University. He is the author of numerous books on military culture, Special Forces and modern warfare, including Contemporary Military Strategy and the Global War on Terror: US and UK Armed Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq 2001-2012 (Bloomsbury, 2014).


Background to War
Warring Sides
The Fighting
The World Around War
How the War Ended
Conclusion and Consequences
Further Reading
List of Abbreviations
Glossary of Names

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