(This is a translation by me of a Swedish soldiers experiences in Vares- As always, everything wrong is my fault!) There are some refrasing, cut-outs and editing. Mainly because of translating problems, and I have left out some of the text because I thoght it did not get the story anywhere; but also because of the sheer volume of text. This is a story written by Unicorn- and he is the one to be credited for it!
"I served in the fall of 1993 as a heavy machingunner with Nordbat 2, guard and escort platoon. By the end of September our outfit vere sent acutely to aid 8:th pskkomp (Mechanized company) to their area at Vares. This because several APC.s had been intermingeled in fighting with units from the HVO. Also the camp had been under fire several times.
The atsmosphere there were frightful and threatening. No civilians moved about at all in the outsides. Ant it was alway close, very close that we lost controll over the situation. (If we had any to begin with.)
We were a couple of hundred Swedes facing a whole Croatian brigade.
Houses were on fire every where in Vares and the surroundings, but from one of the battalions OP:s we discovered (saw) the light of fire from one of the mountainsides that could be something even worse. It seemed that a whole village was burning. Croatian forces though, had roadblocks, hindering any access to the village.
Units from the Swedish battalion had been attacked on a number of times by "unnkown combattants". Sometimes fire where exchanged. The whole situation was like balancing on a line. Most of the SISU- APC:s had tyres taken from lesser prioritised vehicles. The tyres had been shot and blown up so many times, that there were no spares. Now there were trucks standing at the camp without wheels.
The "feelings" between the Swedish forces and the Croatian ones was not really the best! But yet there were no "formal" fighting taking place. But to enter the burning village would mean an open confrotaition with the HVO. The Swedish forces, was as I erlier stated, just a couple of hundred strong. Facing the whole Croatian Bobovac brigade!
A refugee took himself to the Swedish camp, and told us that the burning village had been faced with tremendous atrocities. The villages name was Stupni Do. Rumors said that some 40 villagers had run into the forest. Right into the frontline.
Together with the commander of the battalion and some staff members, we took our SISU to go and look for the villagers. It was dark, houses were burning around us, and we were going to the frontlines. A couple of times, we managed to negotiate us through HVO checkpoints.
We looked for the villagers with night goggles, but could'nt find them. After a while, we thought that we had found the place were thy were hiding- a spooky cemetary- placed on the steep mountainside. But we did'nt find anyone and could'nt do much more in the pitch- black darkness. So we went back to the base to catch a couple of hours of sleep.
At the camp, we found everybody at their combat stations (eldställningar). 8:th company had dug in in a valley. A nightmare to defend! A letter during the day had been delivered, where threats were made "to attack the base". It was freezing cold outside. The only thing that had not frozen over was the mud, which reached up well over your ankles. The fog was thick. Making it impossible to see more than 50 meters or so.
... To be continued