We are even when it doesn’t suit others !

I find it fascinating in this era of WOKE awareness that ideologies can be rehabilitated to the point where they become moral piers in what I’m calling a renewed world order within a new world order.

Take for example the transition of the Australian Greens, the foundation of which can be tracked back via its family tree and DNA to the Australian Communist Party of the 1970’s, and who have captured the support of what we term as the millennial generation which enables it to become a south paw swinger in the ring deciding the fate of the long term standing political parties here.

Like the major political parties or not, for all their faults, and their gradual movement to the central position in the ring from their left and right corners, you only need to step outside your doors, away from the mayhem beamed into you rooms via you 90” inch smart televisions, to appreciate that we don’t live in such a bad global neighborhood and these two street brawlers have done a half reasonable job of it up till now.

But it’s the Green faction that’s punching above its weight, if you can call it punching, and their anti-everything mantra fits well with a youth of our own making that feel entitled, are happy to accept everything the establishment will offer, but by the same token believe they should be dictating to the same.

That’s enough on the topic of the Greens, any further waste of time on them would equate to the same theft of oxygen by myself on a group that are in fact the greatest thieves of the same life-giving resource, what I’m here to discuss is Ustaštvo.

Yes you read correctly, Ustaštvo and how it fits in historical and contemporary terms within the Croatian identity.

So as to develop a lexicon of translatable words that fit within the narrative, lets isolate and define some of them.

Ustani    – Stand up.

Ustanak – An Uprising of more than one individual in Opposition, Defense, Rebellion, or Insurrection against oppression.

Ustaša/e – A member or members of a group which rises, or rise up, in Opposition, Defense, Rebellion, or Insurrection to matters which negatively affect or jeopardize their rights.

Ustaštvo – The act of standing up in Opposition, Defense, Rebellion, or Insurrection to matters which negatively affect or jeopardize a groups rights.

Apply any of the above to Croatians and the Croatian nation through history, and the circumstances they faced, and we now have a problem, in every event you can bring to mind the terms in speech and description have validity, yet referring to either of the two latter in the first person is perillas because of their association with the second world war.

So why and where exactly did Ustaštvo start? What was its intent? Did it have merit and was it recognized by others other than Croat’s as being legitimate in its intent and conduct? For this we need to travel to a time well before 1941.

Another word exists that belongs to the family of words already mentioned, a word which was attributed to a group that also raised up against attack and servitude, that word is Uskok.

Uskok –   Ambusher.

The plural of this word attributed to a group of Croats was Uskoci, or ambushers who between 1520 and 1618 fought a guerrilla war for Croatian rights and freedoms, both on land and at sea, predominantly against the Ottoman’s, and consequently the Republic of Venice under the then jurisdiction of the Habsburg monarchy and empire.

In fact, the Uskoks were not only officially deemed as being part of the Habsburg regular armed forces, but also served under the same abroad. The Uskoks eventually faded into history, but not memory, as treaties between the Venetian’s, Ottoman’s and Austrian’s eventually saw the cleansing of these forces and their families from the Coastal territories predominantly in Klis and Senj to the Croatian interior lands.

These capable guerrilla’s adapt in both maritime combat and land based cavalry capabilities nevertheless integrated into what was known as the Croatian Frontier forces eventually morphing into what would become the “Husari” who fought in countless campaigns during the Napoleonic wars across Europe.

19th Century Croatian Husari of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces

The ancestral branch on my fathers side via his mother, of the Sertić clan, have their roots in history and testimony in Senj, The Sertić clan migrated inland to Lika and a prominent figure of that clan in WW2, General Tomislav Sertić served Croatia, so within me part of the Uskok legacy continues and my DNA results show strong clear markers from not on Primorije but interestingly the Venice region.

In modern Croatia, the Uskok’s are still celebrated, within the Croatian armed forces in the form of the “Historical (ceremonial) unit of Kliski Uskoci” and within the mainstream Croatian special armed forces known as the “Commando Uskok Company”

So could the Uskoci, and Cravat Husari (From whom the French adopted the concept of the Tie or Cravat) all be considered Ustaše? Id dare say they are, but the term Ustaše came into full being not long after the demise of these historic military units within the prevailing Hapsburg empire in which Croatia was embedded and played a crucial geopolitical role.


From my private collection – A Pučko-Ustaška military ID Booklet

The “Pučko-Ustaška Pukovnija” (The Peoples Ustašha Regiments, the term Ustašha best interpreted as in readiness “Spremni” to respond or rise in a preparatory state) was made up of conscripts aged between either 36 and 50 years of age, and those that had not yet served in the Croatian armed forces between the ages of 18 and 21. These pukovnije served as the reservist arm of the Croatian Home Guard (Regular armed forces) between the latter part of the 1800’s up until the conclusion of WW1 and end of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

These regimental reservists saw action in the opening volleys against Serbia in WW1 and consisted of the following.

  1. Pučko-Ustaška Husarska Divizija (Varazdin)
  2. Pučko-Ustaška Pukovnija (Zagreb)
  3. Pučko-Ustaška Pukovnija (Karlovac)
  4. Pučko-Ustaška Pukovnija (Sisak)
  5. Pučko-Ustaška Pukovnija (Osijek)
  6. Pricuvna Topnička Bitnica


WW1 Croatian Veterans, Zagreb 1941. Note the uniform collars,

breast pockets and Leg “Puttee” (Leg Wraps) from the WW1 era.

Were the Pučko-Ustaške Pukovine, Ustaše? I’d say they were and once again the continuation of a formalized military, based on a cultural ideology and consensus stretching back centuries rather than a short period in world events.

So do we totally negate the terms, Ustaštvo, Ustaša and Ustanak from our vocabulary due to the perceptions of a WOKE world hell bent on political correctness even though that correctness to the silent majority is incorrect in its motives? Or do we embrace their historical relevance in the fabric of our cultural heritage and existence as terms that define us as a people historically and consciously across centuries?

Herein lays the problem, I was recently told that during the 1980’s my generational counterparts in the former Yugoslavia were brainwashed on a daily basis that any Croat outside of Yugoslavia was an Ustaša, at first this alarmed me, an entire generation, and others before it just before the homeland war being indoctrinated into a collective that viewed their own people globally as Ustaše and enemies of the state and people. It obviously didn’t work because by the time the 1990’s came the same children who underwent this torment themselves became Ustaše and Ustaštvo as a collective objective in physical terms resulted in an uprising and defiance against those that would wipe us from the European map, just as it had always been during the preceding centuries.

Were the combatants across all the varied Croatian forces during the homeland war of the 1990’s Ustaše? Again, yes simply because they rose against a tyranny, they found themselves within situations, and fought as their forefathers did for their inalienable rights.

The use of the word Ustaša once again, from the Croatian perspective, a fighter for their rights, from the enemies perspective of the 1940’s and 1990’s, insurgents against dictatorial rule.

We cannot escape the events of WW2 in this discussion, Ustaštvo began well before WW2 and the initial campaigns of 1939, Ustaštvo rose from a situation that rendered the Croatian people and homeland as slaves to a royal dictatorship perpetuated by Serbia and its Karadordevic dynasty. It was a result of persecution and murder at all levels of Croatian society, the literal wholesale rape and genocide of the Croatian people and our culture.

The fact that by April 1941, some 200,000 troops of the German armed forces had crossed into predominantly Croatian territory on their way to Belgrade as a detour to Greece, and another 100,000 Italian troops swarmed into Dalmatia, there was very little the Ustaša forces of A.Pavelić, numbering some 500 could do other than capitulate to the invaders demands and enter into a non-aggression treaty and hope for the best. We found ourselves on the eventual losing side, and as we know, being at the scene of a murder with an accomplice in law condemns you to being an accessory after the fact, and so we were no matter the circumstances.

General Tomislav Sertić

But even so, Ustaštvo was not indifferent to the overwhelming situations we as a people and country had found ourselves in for centuries prior and need I say even at this juncture in history. The Croatia of today is not perfect, it is still dominated by what I would call Pan-Slavists which would most likely subscribe to a 3rd Yugoslavian confederation tomorrow, while in the meanwhile are happy to serve masters unlike those who invaded us in April 1941, each with visions of a unified single European government, we will never know how A.Hitlers Europe would eventually have looked or felt and to what degree the preservation of each countries culture would have fared in the new thousand year Third Reich , but the new contemporary Union’s objectives are becoming clearer by the year and the demise of individual national and cultural identities is becoming apparent.

I mentioned the Greens at the start of this diatribe of mine, how they reinvented themselves, changed their outward color to the world from Red to Green, yet maintain their mantra of perpetuating decent in democratic environments by introducing conflict into the narrative which splits the citizenship on increasingly baseless argument and innuendo.

I don’t believe we need to re-invent Ustaštvo, it is what it is, what we need to do is rehabilitate ourselves in two ways, first to stop denying who and what we have been for generations, and the second to come to the realization that if we are called Ustaše, the accusers using the term have good reason to as they are obviously poking the Croatian bear with a stick of some sort without justification and with probable malicious intent.

It seems history will show that when it suits them, we are, and when it doesn’t, we shouldn’t be.

In the end, We are even when it doesn’t suit others!

John Ovčarić

2 thoughts on “We are even when it doesn’t suit others !”

  1. We are what we are!!! Thankyou Mr.Ovcaric it’s people like you that change the 🌎 for the better…

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