(Zagrebačka konjanička pukovnija)
by H.L. deZeng IV

Formed 24 April 1941 in Zagreb, largely from former active and reserve cavalry personnel of the Royal Yugoslav Army. By July it had evolved into a regimental HQ and three cavalry groups: I, II and the Independent Cavalry Group. The Independent Cavalry Gp. was renamed III Cavalry Gp./Zagreb Cavalry Rgt. in April or May 1942. It is important to note that the Croatian cavalry formations were that in name only. The surviving documents consistently refer to them as being employed as infantry without horses. Not a single reference has been found to the use of mounted formations. (1)


Operational History

1941

Aug 41: Regiment deployed elements to the Gračac area in Lika to combat the outbreak of resistance there. Returned to Zagreb toward the end of August or beginning of September.
8 Sep 41: transferred to Sarajevo with approximately 900 men.
Sep – Nov 41: held positions in and around Olovo/32 km NNE of Sarajevo and fought in the Romanija area to the east of Sarajevo against small bands of Partisans and Chetniks.
Nov 41: ordered from Olovo to the Sarajevo area to block attacks on the city’s outlying villages by the Romanija NOP Detachment.
Dec 41: Regiment HQ in Mokro/28 km NE of Sarajevo. Total Regiment strength: 944.

1942

9 Feb 42: one platoon from the Regiment was routed by the Romanija NOP Detachment near Sokolac with 12 killed, 4 wounded and 34 captured.
14 Feb 42: engaged the Romanija NOP Detachment while advancing from Sokolac toward Rogatica and brought to a halt.
16 Mar 42: the Regiment’s II Cavalry Gp. engaged the Romanija NOP Detachment and the Drina Volunteer Detachment while moving forward from Prača with the II Bn./1st Infantry Rgt. toward Rogatica to relieve the town’s surrounded garrison.
5-12 May 42: Regiment took part in Operation “Foča.”
Jun – Dec 42: garrisoned and patrolled the Jahorina – Romanija area to the east and south of Sarajevo but contact with the enemy was infrequent and minor in scale.
27 Dec 42: Regiment ordered to relieve the 9th Infantry Rgt. in the Jajce – Donji Vakuf – Travnik area to the northwest of Sarajevo.

1943

8 Jan 43: II Cavalry Gp. began transferring by train from Podgrab to Donji Vakuf this date.
13 Jan 43: III Cavalry Gp. transferred from Trnovo to Travnik.
21 Jan 43: Regiment HQ transferred from Pale to Travnik. The entire Regiment remained in this area northwest of Sarajevo through March 1944.
29 Jan 43: I Cavalry Gp. reported 3 wounded and 39 missing or captured while defending a position 8 km east of Jajce that was attacked by the Partisan 9th Krajina Brigade.
1-5 Feb 43: the II Cavalry Gp. reported 31 men missing or captured in heavy fighting with the 3d NOU Division in the Travnik – Turbe area.
Mar – Jul 43: routine garrison and patrol activity in its assigned area with no major action.
16-17 Aug 43: the Regiment’s I Cavalry Gp. in Jajce attempted to retake Donji Vakuf, which had fallen to elements of the 1st Proletarian Assault Division NOVJ. On 19 August 3 officers and 51 men from the I Cavalry Gp. deserted to the Partisans in Turbe.
30-31 Aug 43: the Regiment’s III Cavalry Gp. lost 4 killed, 8 wounded and 129 captured in defense of Vitez/15 km ESE of Travnik, which was briefly taken by elements of the 5th Assault Division NOVJ. Remnants of the defenders held out in a barricaded building until relieved by troops from the German 369. Inf.Div. (kroat.).
12 Sep 43: 25 men deserted with their weapons to the Partisans near Travnik.

1944

1 Apr 44: renamed the Mobile Brigade (Brzi zdrug) this date in Travnik, with the officers and men mainly being used to form the new Brigade’s HQ and III Bn.

Commanders

Podpukovnik Stajić (24 Apr 1941 - ? June 1941)
Podpukovnik Djuro Sivoš (? June 1941 - May 1942?)
Podpukovnik Ljubomir Rajman (? May 1942 - ?) Feb 1943
Podpukovnik Aurel Schlacher? (? - 1 Apr 1944)

Subordination

Savska Division (Apr 1941 - July 1941)
General HQ (MINDOM) Zagreb (July 1941 - Nov 1941)
III Corps (Nov 1941 - Apr 1944)


Order of battle (May 1942)

Regiment HQ in Pale
I Cavalry Gp. (1st – 2d Squadrons) in Pale
II Cavalry Gp. (1st – 2d Squadrons) in Mokro
III Cavalry Gp. (1st – 2d Squadrons) in the Pale – Mokro area


Order of battle (1 Jan 1943)

Regiment HQ in Pale
I Cavalry Gp. (1st – 4th Squadrons) in transfer from Pale to Jajce
II Cavalry Gp. (1st – 4th Squadrons) in the Podgrab – Prača area/SE of Sarajevo
III Cavalry Gp. (1st – 4th Squadrons) in Trnovo/23 km S of Sarajevo
Mountain Artillery Battery in Pale


Order of battle (Sep 1943)

Regiment HQ in Travnik
I Cavalry Gp. (1st – 4th Squadrons) in Vitez/15 km SE of Travnik
II Cavalry Gp. (1st – 4th Squadrons) in Travnik
III Cavalry Gp. (1st – 4th Squadrons) in Turbe/7 km W of Travnik
Mountain Artillery Battery in Travnik


Footnotes

1. Colić, Mladen - Takozvana Nezavisna Država Hrvatska 1941; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Oslobodilački rat naroda Juooslavije 1941-1945, vol.1 and 2, pp.144-48; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945, pp.210, 229, 526, 528; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Tom IV/10, p.607, 631-33, 657; Tom V/19, p.662.


Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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