Agricultural Security Battalion (Croatia)
- Published: 17 February 2013 17 February 2013
- Last Updated: 17 February 2013 17 February 2013
(Domobranske poljoprivredne straže)
by H.L. deZeng IV
Formation date unknown, but probably in early 1942. (1)
31 Dec 42: to the end of 1942 the Agricultural Guard had lost 7 men KIA and had decorated 7 officers and 167 men for valour before the enemy.
Feb 43: Agricultural Guard (Zemljoradnička straža) HQ was in Zagreb and came directly under the Armed Forces Ministry (MINORS). It was initially set up to guard the gathering of the harvest in Partisan-endangered areas, especially in Slavonia and Syrmia. During non-harvest months, it guarded food-processing concerns and other agricultural establishments. In February 1943 it was trying to buy 2,000 rifles from Germany so it could call up reservists and expand into an Agricultural Guard Regiment.
3-5 Apr 43: participated in Operation “Virovitica” in the Moslavačka Mountains that was intended to engage and destroy a force of 1,500 Partisans, but they were never found and brought to action. The operation was commanded by German 187. Res.Inf.Div. and employed three battalions and support elements from the Croatian 1st Mountain Division as well as other formations. The Agricultural Security Bn. probably did little more than guard the roads used by the combat troops.
21 May 43: located in the vicinity of Hercegovac/18 km NW of Daruvar - attacked by the Partisans, but there were few casualties.
20 Jun 43: had 1st, 2d and 4th Co. - under Croatian I Corps, but tactically under German 187. Res.Div.
4-6 Jul 43: took part in Operation “Ivan”, an anti-partisan sweep and mopping-up action carried out in the Moslavačka Mountains under the control of German 187. Res.Div. German forces consisted of 5 Grenadier and Jäger battalions and a battalion of engineers, which the Croatians provided a total of 9 battalions from various units. There were also 3 armored trains assigned to the operation. The sweep was terminated after just three days due to only limited enemy contact.
27 Aug 43: Hercegovac guarding Croatia’s largest steam plant.
12 Sep 43: entire Bn. captured by the Partisans in Garešnica/10 km SW of Hercegovac, but later released.
10 Dec 43: now being referred to by the Germans as I Bn./Heimwehr-Landwirtschaftswache (Home Defense Agricultural Guard) with just 1st and 2d Co.
Apr 44: Hercegovac - almost certainly renamed II Bn./1st Garrison Brigade.
Podpukovnik Bertok (? - ?) Feb 1943
Bulat, Rade - Deseti korpus “Zagrebački” NOV i POJ, p.79; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-314 roll 1544/029 and 251); (T-315 roll 1554/470, 900-50 and 1016); (T-501 roll 265/117).
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