Number of Soldiers: 7,500
Number of Fallen: 1,318
Number of Medal Holders: 160
On the eve of the German invasion Yugoslavia had an outdated and inefficient Army that has hardly developed since the end of World War I. And although it numbered about 1.2 million Soldiers and about a half a million Reservists at the time, it was not an equal opponent at all to the German Army against which it was now forced to fight.
Its Armored Force was meager and numbered only 110 Tanks, of which half were grounded. Furthermore, the Army suffered from problems of low morale and of total paralysis in the face of the German Forces and their allies, who stormed it from all directions. The German takeover of the Country was completed in about 10 days, in the first half of April, 1941, despite the Yugoslav Army’s home-field advantage and the opportunity to exploit the mountainous terrains and manage a more stubborn defense system.
The Yugoslav Air-Force numbered 419 Aircrafts of various kinds – British, French, and even German – some of them new and some old. These were organized in several Fighter and Bomber Air Brigades. In the course of the fighting, 49 Airplanes were downed and 85 more were hit on the ground. Fifty Airplanes were smuggled to Greece, and some of those even reached Egypt later.
The Yugoslav Navy comprised 4 new Destroyers, an old German training Cruiser, 4 Submarines, 16 old Torpedo Boats, and a number of additional Vessels of various kinds, including one Seaplane Tender. Most of the Vessels were seized by the Germans and some of them, as well as several Airplanes from the Naval Air-Force, were smuggled to Egypt.
(See also in the “Partisans” Section.)