Towards the end of the First World War, Kragujevac, a Serbian town on the river Lepenec, witnessed the eruption of the biggest mutiny in the Austro-Hungarian army. The participants were members of the 71st regiment of foot, traditionally known as the "wireworkers' regiment", the trade of tinker and wireworker being at the time common along Slovaks. The leader of the revolt was the wireworker Viktor Kolibík (1890-1918) from Dlhé Pole.
Through the spring months of 1918 around 2,400 Slovak soldiers returned to Kragujevac from internment in Russia. They were formed into 7 companies of the 41st foot battalion which was to,leave for the Italian fronton June 10th, 1918. Resistance to the war, fatigue from undernourishment, and determination to avoid leaving for the southern front created an explosive situation. The revolt broke out on the evening of June 2nd after an argument involving Martin Riljak (1899-1918) from Horná Maríková. Soon all the troops due to leave for the front had joined in.The mutineers captured about 500 rifles and number of machineguns, made an assault on the railway station and cut the telephone wires. They managed to destroy records of the enlisted troops, but failed in their efforts to capture the magazine.
The commander of a relief battalion, Marx, organised a counter-operation and occupied the barracks. Lack of ammunition then compelled the mutineers' surrender. A court martial of eighty-one accused sentenced many to long terms of imprisonment and fourty-four Slovaks to death, a sentence carried out on the very day the verdict was delivered. They included Martin Riljak and Viktor Kolibík.