by H.L. deZeng IV

Formed in March 1942 using older reservists from within the Volksdeutsche community in Croatia. The term “Bereitschaftsbataillon” best translates as Standby Duty Battalion. These had a lesser status in terms of age of the personnel, training, availability and expectations than the Verfügungsbataillon. (1)

Operational History

1942
14 Apr 42: Battalion in the Windhorst area, a small Volksdeutsche village with a German name near Banja Luka.
Jun – Jul 42: took part in Operation “West-Bosnien” in the Kozara Mountains between Banja Lika and Prijedor.
18 Jul 42: Bn. being used as security troops in the Kozara to mop up small pockets of Partisan hold-outs following the conclusion of “West-Bosnien”.
17 Sep 42: Banja Luka – Sanski Most area as a component of Kampfgruppe von Wedel of the German 714. Inf.Div. Typical strength of the Battalion during this period was 598 officers and men.
1 Oct 42: permanent stations: Bn. HQ in Orljavac/17 km NW of Slavonska Požega, 1st Co. in Milivojevci, 2d Co. in Bučko and Kamensko, 3d Co. in Orljavac, 4th Co. in Teranj. The other 3 villages are all in the same area as Orljavac.
12-19 Oct 42: took part in Operation “Kozara”.
2-7 Nov 42: participated in Operation “Lug” in the area to the west of Sanski Most in West Bosnia.
8 Dec 42: Bn. in Prijedor attached to Grenadier-Rgt. 721 of the 714. Inf.Div. pending incorporation into the regiment as its IV Battalion. This does not appear to have been carried out, and instead the Battalion simply remained attached to the Division during the remainder of its existence.

1943
2-4 Jan 43: took part in Operation “Klašnica” in the area NE of Banja Luka.
6-8 Jan 43: participated in Operation “Berta” in the Prijedor area.
12 Feb 43: Bn. HQ and 1st – 3d Co. in Banja Luka and still attached to 714. Inf.Div.
22 Feb 43: one company from the Battalion carried out a sweep of the Skender Vakuf area SSE of Banja Luka together with elements of I. Bn./Grenadier-Rgt. 741 of the 714. Inf.Div.
7 Mar 43: transferred from Banja Luka to the Volksdeutsche village of Windhorst to cleanse the area between there and Bosanska Gradiška.
15-17 Mar 43: participated in Operation “Gustav” near Bosanska Gradiška.
16 Mar 43: Battalion ordered to provide a large number of translators to the Croatian 2d Jäger Brigade, then in formation.
21 Mar 43: 60 men from the Battalion ordered to Slavonski Brod to begin mustering into the Waffen-SS. Presumably these were the younger men from the Bn.
Apr 43: ordered disbanded.

Commander

Hptm.d.ES Fritz Böckl (? Mar 1942 - ?) Apr 1942
 

Subordination

HQ ES der DM in Osijek (Mar 1942 - Apr 1943)

Footnotes

1. [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Tom IV/10, p.716; IV/11, p.647; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-120 roll 5798/229); (T-315 roll 1294/215, 285-86 and 262; roll 2258/995; roll 2270/1032-36); (T-501 roll 249/009 and 1114); plus the sources cited in the Introduction.

Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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