(3. Hrvatska Pješačka Divizija)
by H.L. deZeng IV

Ordered formed 1 December 1944 with HQ in Vinkovci. There was a small German liaison team (DVK 303) assigned to the Division for coordination purposes. The Division was considered well-equipped and with good morale. It maintained an average strength of around 7,500 during its existence. (1)


Operational History

Dec 44: on formation, the Division was made responsible for the territory between the Sava and the Danube in the general vicinity of Županja, Vinkovci and Osijek. It was tactically under German XXXIV. Armeekorps.
Dec 44 – Apr 45: the Division said to have suffered heavy losses in the fighting in Syrmia and eastern Slavonia, but no specifics have been found. In fact, it is believed that this division experienced little combat until early April.
5-6 Apr 45: engaged in the Vrbanja-Soljani-Drenovci about 40 km south of Vinkovci as powerful Partisan forces began their spring offensive to clear Syrmia and eastern Slavonia.
13 Apr 45: with the loss of Vinkovci this date to the 21st and 48th Assault Divisions JA, 3d Croatian Inf. Div. began a fighting withdrawal up the Sava Valley toward Zagreb by way of Djakovo, Sl. Požega, Moslavina and Bjelovar in the company of German 41. Inf.Div. and several German fortress brigades (963 and 964). By 26 April the Div. had reached the Novi Grabovac area about 90 km SE of Zagreb, and on reaching the capital at the beginning of May it began reorganizing, but this was never completed. As part of these measures, II Ustasha Brigade was disbanded with the majority of its personnel used to form the new 25th Infantry Regiment/5th Croatian Assault Division. The remaining personnel were used to replenish the Division’s XIII Ustasha Brigade. By then it was too late for the Division and from 7-8 May it began withdrawing toward the Austrian border with the rest of the Croatian Army.

Commanders

General Stjepan Mifek (1 Dec 1944 - May 1945)

Subordination

II Territorial Corps (1 Dec 1944 - c. 15 Mar 1945)
III Ustasha Corps (c. 15 Mar 1945 - May 1945)

Order of battle (Dec 1944)

Div. HQ in Vinkovci
II Ustasha Brigade (4 battalions)
XIII Ustasha Brigade (5 battalions)
8th Jäger Brigade (5th Jäger Rgt. with I – III Bn. and 8th Jäger Rgt. with I – II Bn.)
VII Artillery Gp. snd XVIII Artillery Gp.


Footnotes

1. AVII Beograd, kut. 134a, reg.br. 3/1; [Vojnoistorijski institute]. Zbornik dokumenata I podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Tom (vol.) IV/31, pp.824-26; [Vojnoistorijski institute]. Oslobodilački rat naroda Juooslavije 1941-1945, vol. 2, pp.585, 637Colić 1979, p.164; NARA WashDC: RG 226 (OSS intelligence documents Nos. 109636, 110433 and 126034); RG 242 (T-311 roll 184/1141); Schramm, Percy E. (ed.) - Kriegstagebuch des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht, 1940-1945, IV/1312.


Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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