The first Croatian state was the Kingdom of Croatia, unified from two dukedoms in AD 925. In 1102, Croatia united with Hungary. In 1526, it became part of the Hapsburg-dominated Austrian Empire. With Austria-Hungary's defeat in World War I, Croatia reasserted its independence long enough to become part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. However, this relationship proved detrimental to ethnic Croats, who were persecuted at several levels by the Serbs. The Axis took advantage of the oppression of the Croats and carved out a puppet Croatian state during World War II, which was ruled by the Ustaše, a party heavily influenced by the Nazis.
After the war, Croatia was once again integrated back into the now communist Yugoslavia. With that state's disintegration at the end of the Cold War, Croatia once again became independent.
Bronislav Nedic, a Serbian-American trucker, lived part-time in San Pedro, where large numbers of his people had settled. During one visit, his Anglo lover Vanessa Ferguson made the mistake of confusing a Croatian restaurant for a Serbian one much to Nedic's disgust. He gave her an extensive lecture of Croatian shortcomings, how they jumped into bed with Hitler during World War II, and how the Ustasha had tried to murder any non-Croat then, and still did in the 21st century.
Croatia was an independent principality located between the Grand Duchy of Italy and the Seljuk Empire. Croatians had a notorious historical hatred for their Eastern Orthodox neighbors the Serbs, which was ironic as the two groups were actually closely related to each other.