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Subsequent data gathering in the 1980s by historians Vladimir Žerjavić and Bogoljub Kočović showed that the actual number of dead was about 1 million.
Of that number, 330,000 to 390,000 ethnic Serbs perished from all causes in Croatia and Bosnia.
The important elements that fostered the discord involved contemporary and historical factors, including the formation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the first breakup and subsequent inter-ethnic and political wars and genocide during World War II, ideas of Greater Serbia, Greater Croatia, Greater Albania, and conflicting views about Pan-Slavism.
Before World War II, major tensions arose from the first, monarchist Yugoslavia's multi-ethnic make-up and relative political and demographic domination of the Serbs.
More importantly, Yugoslavia acted as a buffer state between the West and the Soviet Union and also prevented the USSR from getting a toehold on the Mediterranean Sea.
The central government's control began to be loosened due to increasing nationalist grievances and the Communist's Party's wish to support "national self determination".
The League of Communists of Yugoslavia dissolved in 1990 along federal lines.
During 1990, the communists lost power to separatist parties in the first multi-party elections held across the country, except in Serbia and Montenegro, where they were won by Milošević and his allies.
The Axis powers installed the Ustaše as the leaders of the "Independent State of Croatia".
The Ustaše resolved that the Serbian minority were a fifth column of Serbian expansionism, and pursued a policy of persecution against the Serbs.
Fundamental to the tensions were the different concepts of the new state.