Part of the Anti-Partisan Operations in Croatia series by H.L. deZeng IV

Dates: 15 – 23 January 1942. (1)

Objective: to destroy Partisan concentrations in the Romanija Mountains bordered by Sarajevo – Višegrad – Zvornik – Tuzla – Vareš.

Enemy Forces: 1st Proletarian NOU Brigade, Romanija NOP Detachment, Birčanski NOP Detachment, “Zvijezda” NOP Detachment and a few Chetnik units.

Axis Forces: An estimated force of 30,000 to 35,000 consisting of:

German
342. Infanterie-Division (entire division)
714. Infanterie-Division (elements)
718. Infanterie-Division (entire division)
Panzer-Rgt. 202 (a reinforced company with 19 tanks)

Italian
3d Alpine Rgt./1st Alpine Division “Taurinense”

Croatian
II and IV Bn./3d Infantry Rgt.
VI Artillery Group
VII Artillery Group
II Bn. and 13th Co./8th Infantry Rgt.
I Bn., II Bn. and 13th Co./15th Infantry Rgt.
1st Battery/IX Artillery Group
2d Battery/XI Artillery Group
I and II Bn./13th Infantry Rgt.
3d Co./III Engineer Bn.
Mountain Gun Battery from the Military Frontier troops
Ustasha “Black Legion” (3 battalions)
Hadžiefendić Moslem Militia (1 battalion)

Conduct of Operations and Results: The German 718. Inf.Div. and attached Croatian units were deployed in the Sarajevo – Tuzla area with instructions to advance toward the 342. Inf.Div. and other German and Croatian units which were positioned along the Drina River between Zvornik and Višegrad, the idea being to encircle and destroy the Partisans in a giant pincer movement. During the next 9 days, these forces pushed toward each other through deep snow and mountainous terrain meeting only weak enemy resistance. The area was successfully cleared and most Partisan held towns retaken, but the mass of Tito’s troops managed to avoid a frontal engagement and were able to slip through gaps in the tightening net.

Footnotes
1. [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945 (Belgrade, 1964), p.192-94; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Oslobodilački rat naroda Juooslavije 1941-1945, 2 Vols (Belgrade: 1965), pp.179-84; Colić, Mladenko - Pregled Operacija na Jugoslovenskom Ratištu 1941-1945 (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski Institut, 1988), pp.41-43; NARA WashDC: Record Group 242 (T-501 roll 250/644).

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