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C + 15 : Changing the Flags in Zadar

It is change over day again. Team 2 had tanned so well that we needed to send them back to cloudier parts of Europe and America - too many good looking people - just kidding! Everybody regretted that this week went by so quickly but were happy at the same time having seen so much. Dubrovnik, Korcula, the Blue Caves in Vis, Tito’s U-Boat tunnels, the ice cream in Trogir, the Roman palace in Split, Sibenik with its forts and the box office bureaucrats, the not-any-longer existing coral shops in Zlarin and the arrival in Zadar will remain unforgettable memories. Also, our evenings of philosophical and economical musing on the future of Europe will stay with us. We met Team 3 the night before for dinner in one of Zara's old restaurants - many had not met since my birthday in Avignon three years ago.

At 9.30 am it was time to say good-bye and to lower the flags of last week. Most sailors of Team 2 had late evening flights and used the time to stroll around Zadar and enjoy the town. The new flags: US, Austria and Sweden joined the Philippines, Switzerland and the UK Zadar was since 1202 Venice’s key town in Dalmatia and its crown jewel. Not surprisingly, it was heavily fortified and never conquered by the Ottoman Turks. They simply could not bring their siege artillery necessary as far north given the strength of the Venetian Fleet.

Photo taken by US Air Reconnaissance during World War II Zadar was the object of violent disputes after WW1 when Italy claimed and occupied it. With the capitulation of the Italian Army in 1943, the German Navy occupied it and used it as a base for naval attacks against the Allied Forces on the Italian Peninsula. As a consequence, the town was heavily bombarded and was called the Dresden of the South. 80% of Zadar's buildings were destroyed in the many air attacks on the harbour.

Zadar's main square before (left) and after (right) the bombing in WW2 Zadar also suffered considerably during the Croatian War of Independence in 1991 when the Yugoslav People’s Army tried to cut Croatia into two in the Zadar area. The lightly armed Croatian infantry had to operate behind Serbian lines to disrupt the YPA's logistic to stop the attack. Significant damage from the heavy artillery bombardment are still visible in town

The maximum advance of the Yugoslav Peoples Army into Croatia (area shaded in red)

The charming one-men ferry over to the old town costs 6 Kr per person

Supplies were arriving at the Dragonfly. Captain Mustafa and his team were very busy

And finally Maske arrived - it sailed from Sibenik where it was re-stocked for this week

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