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Mašo Vrbica in 1876

Mašo Vrbica (1833 in Vrba[1] - 10 May 1898 in Banja Luka) was a Montenegrin duke and military commander.

He graduated from the Mikhailovskaya Artillery Military Academy in St. Petersburg, and after his return to Montenegro, he was appointed as a captain in the Njegusi militia, which was part of the Montenegrin army. He commanded a unit at the Battle of Grahovac in 1858, and with the cannon captured there organized the artillery for Montenegrin army. During the war with Turkey in 1861-1862, he commanded the artillery. Between the wars he joined the nationalist "United Serbian Youth" where he met such men as Vladimir Jovanović, Svetozar Miletić, Nikola Pašić, Nikola Petrovic, Marko Popovic Miljanov, and Belshazzar Bogišić.[2]

In 1875 Vrbica was given the title "Duke" (Vojvoda). He was a liaison of Montenegro to the Serbian Supreme Command during the Serbian-Ottoman War (1876-1877), during which he commanded Montenegrin dragoons in the battles of Aleksinac and Deligrad (20–21 October 1876).

He was appointed Montenegrin Minister of Internal Affairs in 1877. He commanded the Montenegrin forces in the attack on Niksic. Strategically, he took Trebješku head, where he placed the artillery that supported the attack on the town. After the fall of Niksic, his main effort was in clearing out the Turkish troops in the area. He took three battalions and on 16 September captured the fort at Bilek, on 25 September he captured the fortifications at Dugskogo Pass. In November 1877 he laid siege to Stari Bar, taking the coastal port and eventually the town in January 1878.

On 16 May 1881, he was awarded the Russian Military Order of Saint George.


  1. in the Njegusi lands near Cetinje, Vrba (Approved) at GEOnet Names Server, United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency 42°15′00″N 18°54′42″E / 42.25°N 18.91167°E / 42.25; 18.91167
  2. Мартиновић, Нико С. (1954) "Валтазар Богишић и Уједињена омладина српска Зборник" ("Belshazzar Bogišić and the United Serbian Youth") Матице српске (Matica Srpska), volume 9, pages 26–44, in Serbian

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