Vasilije Dj. Krestić

Serbian Academy of Sciences and ArtsBelgrade

Croatian Pretensions to Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1848

Abstract: Since the early 1860s many Croat politicians, both prominent (from Ante Starčević and Ante Pavelić to Franjo Tudjman) and little known, have been openly expressing the ambition to annex Bosnia and Herzegovina to Croatia at a favourable moment and under certain conditions, invoking Croatian state and historical right in support of their pretensions. These pretensions, born out of the belief that the unfortunately shaped territory of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia lacks the necessary strategic depth, have led to a fully-fledged strategy for creating an ethnically and religiously pure Greater Croatia and to constant conflict with the Serb side which also lays claims, predominantly ethnic, to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Keywords: Croatia, Greater Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, territorial pretensions,Croatian state and historical right, Serbs, Serbia, geopolitics