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

Dates: 19 – 22 January 1945. (1)

Objective: To advance along the Lašva Valley from Zenica and retake Travnik, which had been captured by the Partisans the previous October.

Enemy Forces: 4th and 10th Divisions NOVJ.

Axis Forces:
German
A total of 19 infantry battalions, 40 field guns and 5 tanks.
104. Jäger-Div. (main force)
Kampfgruppe Eberlein with:
- Stab/Sicherungs-Rgt. 639
- Inf.Sicherungs-Btl. 272
- Inf.Sicherungs-Btl. 516
- 1.Rgt./Russisches Schutzkorps
- 2.Rgt./Russisches Schutzkorps
Croatian
- Some, but not identified –

Conduct of Operations and Results: This operation actually began on 27 December 1944 with a foray into the Kreševo area/30 km west of Sarajevo. It was carried out by V. SS-Gebirgskorps using a few of its own troops, 4. und 5.Rgt./Russisches Schutzkorps (4th and 5th Regiments of the Russian Guard Corps that was originally based in Serbia) and the 8th Croatian Infantry Div. from the Sarajevo area. By 31 December it had come up empty-handed and was called off after the Partisans had withdrawn in the northwesterly direction toward Travnik. On 19 January, “Lawine” was reinstated after the large force noted above was assembled in the Zenica area. The Germans advanced along the Lašva Valley against heavy opposition from the surrounding hills on both sides of the winding road and finally entered Travnik on 22 January. The Partisans counterattacked several times with great determination but were hurled back before they broke it off and disappeared into the mountains.

Losses (from Partisan records)
Germans: 682 killed and several hundred wounded.
Partisans: 280 casualties.

Footnotes
1. [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945 (Belgrade, 1964), p.1055; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Oslobodilački rat naroda Juooslavije 1941-1945, 2 Vols (Belgrade: 1965), pp.445-46.

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