The Monarchy annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1878. The occupation was not without conflict. The local population organized themselves into self-defense groups according to historical traditions. They confronted the advancing military in several places. Of course, in the end the occupation was completed, the paramilitary groups went home, but they survived. It is not my aim to discuss the Monarchy’s Bosnian policy here. However, it should be mentioned that by the time of the Great War, a large part of the population with a militant spirit had been won to serve the empire. Among the Serb population of the new province this could by definition be less successful, since the Kingdom of Serbia was established in the neighborhood. Bosnian Serbs then and still feel that they belong to the Serbian “mother state”.
In any case, military administration was established in the Balkan area and regular military units were formed. Four regiments were created in 1894. Of these, the territory of the 2nd was the Banja Luka district. As a result, it could have had a mixed crew of Croats and Serbs. The regiment was stationed in Graz assigned with the 6th division in the III. corps. Following the division, from May 1915 they fought sometimes in the Isonzo army, sometimes in the 11th army protecting the Tyrolean wing of the Italian front.
The “Bosnian” regiments were among the best troops of the Monarchy. This obviously stemmed from the crew’s past experiences and heritage. The insignia included with this post depicts a soldier of the 2nd Regiment holding a weapon and a victory laurel. The name Mte Meletta that can be read at the bottom commemorates the scene of the regiment’s outstanding military deed. This mountain was attacked by the Bosnian regiment in June 1916 during the Monarchy’s great South Tyrol offensive. The attack on the mountain lasted seven days and claimed the lives of more than 200 soldiers of the regiment.
The city of Graz, home to the regiment, preserves the memory of the regiment even after 100 years. They erected a memorial plaque on Mount Meletta in Italy. A ceremony is held every year in honor of the regiment. According to today’s description, most of the officers were born in the city. The heroes’ cemetery on Meletta is also well cared for.