by H.L. deZeng IV

Formation began in May or June 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
28 Sep 42: all or elements of the Battalion took part in Operation “Jajce I” to retake the town of that name after it was captured by Partisans on 25 September.
1 Oct 42: permanent stations: Bn. HQ in Virovitica, 1st Co. in Virovitica, 2d Co. deployed in the field, 3d Co. in Djulavec (today: Miokovićevo)/25 km NE of Daruvar.
4 Oct 42: participated in a joint cleansing operation in the Bilogora Mountains near Virovitica with the Croatian 4th Mountain Brigade.
7 Oct 42: Bn. HQ now in Djulavec (today: Miokovićevo), probably having moved there temporarily for the operation in the Bilogora Mountains.
1 Dec 42: Bn. HQ now back in Virovitica. Composition still 1st – 3d Co.

1943
11 Jan 43: Engaged in offensive operations in the Voćin area with elements of Croatian 1st Mountain Division.
30 Jan 43: elements of the Bn. transferred from Djulavec to Nova Gradiška.
10 Feb 43: 3d Co. in Djulavec sent as part of a relief force during a night attack on Virovitica by three Partisan brigades.
Mar 43: ordered to hand over only those men of birth year 1908 and younger for mustering into the Waffen-SS, and these were to be replaced with older Volksdeutschen from Osijek.
14 Apr 43: 8 men from the Bn. killed and 10 more injured when Armored Train Group “Böckl” accidentally derailed near Pivnica in the vicinity of Virovitica.
15-30 Apr 43: Bn. transferred from the Virovitica area to Osijek where it was disbanded and its qualified personnel mustered into the Waffen-SS.

Commander

Maj.d.ES Fritz Böckl (? - Apr 1943) Oct 1942

Subordination

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

Footnotes

1. Colić, Mladen - Oružane formacije Nezavisne Države Hrvatske u sjeverozapadnoj Hrvatskoj, Slavoniji i Srijemu 1941-1945, in: Vojnoistorijski Glasnik, br. 3/XXX (Sep – Dec 1979), pp.151-84; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Tom V/11, p.377; V/12, p.451; V/14, p.463; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-120 roll 5802/H313245-46); (T-315 roll 1553/097; roll 2270/1032-36); Vojnoistorijski glasnik, 1952-54, p.90; plus the sources cited in the Introduction.

Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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