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

Dates: 19 – 30 May 1944. (1)

Objective: To cleanse the Kordun and Banija regions of Partisan 4th Corps formations concentrated in this area, and concurrently prevent them from moving south of the Una River toward the Bihać – Drvar area where it was feared they might interfere with Operation “Rösselsprung”, an attempt to capture Marshal Tito and his headquarters that began on 25 May.

Enemy Forces: 4th Corps NOVJ (8th and 34th Divisions) and 7th Division NOVJ.

Axis Forces:
German
373. Infanterie-Div. (kroat.)
I. Kosaken-Reiter-Brigade Don (from 1. Kosaken-Kav.Div.)
Grenadier-Rgt. (mot.) 92
Jäger-Reserve-Rgt. 1
Gebirgs-Aufklärungs-Abt. 54 (from 1. Gebirgs-Div.)
VII./Polizei-Rgt. Kroatien
Croatian
III Mountain Brigade (elements)
10th Jäger Rgt./2d Jäger Brigade
VIII Ustasha Brigade
One (1) battalion from the PTD
Ustasha Recruit Bn./PTD

Conduct of Operations and Results
: A large operation under the overall command of LXIX. Armeekorps z.b.V. (Gen. Auleb), the forces assigned to “Schach” closed in on the Partisans from Bihać, Cazin, Otok, Dvor, Kostajnica, Sunja, Petrinja, Karlovac and Tounj beginning on 22 May. The main Partisan concentration was in the triangle Topusko – Vojnić – Slunj, and after some initial skirmishes the 4th Corps ordered a counterattack on 27 May but this was able to make little impact due to the presence of tanks with the German-Croatian forces. Having achieved most of their objectives, the Germans and Croatians returned to their garrisons on 30 May.

Losses (from German records)
Germans and Croatians: 54 killed, 137 wounded and 16 missing.
Partisans: 284 counted dead, plus more than 1,000 estimated dead, over 450 wounded, and 40 captured.

Footnotes
1. [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945 (Belgrade, 1964), pp.761-62; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Oslobodilački rat naroda Juooslavije 1941-1945, 2 Vols (Belgrade: 1965), pp.137-39; Schraml, Franz - Kriegsschauplatz Kroatien (Neckargemünd: Kurt Vowinckel Verlag , 1962), pp.187-88; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-314 roll 563/338; roll 1545/788 and 794; roll 1546/445-46 and 461-64).

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