9. Croatian Mountain Division
- Published: 09 February 2013 09 February 2013
- Last Updated: 09 February 2013 09 February 2013
(9. Hrvatska Gorska Divizija)
by H.L. deZeng IV
Ordered formed on or about 1 December 1944 with Division HQ in Mostar. There was a small German liaison team (DVK 309) assigned to the Division for coordination purposes. It was considered by the Germans, Partisans and Allies as being weak in equipment and weapons with generally low morale among the troops. There were many desertions from the Division. Initially, it had around 9,000 personnel, but after heavy losses during February 1945 the total had fallen to around 6,000. (1)
Dec 44: the Division was deployed in the general area of Blagaj-Mostar-Konjic/SW of Sarajevo. It was tactically under German V. SS-Gebirgskorps and later under German XXI. Gebirgskorps.
6 Feb – 4 Mar 45: together with German 369. Inf.Div., it fought a bitter and costly defensive battle in the Mostar area during a major offensive by the Partisan 8th Assault Corps NOVJ. Mostar was evacuated on 14 February and by the beginning of March it had been forced back to the Ivan Sedlo/30 km WSW of Sarajevo with Division HQ in Tarcin, 4 km to the northeast. During the early stages of the heavy fighting, VI Ustasha Brigade was disbanded and used to replenish the Division’s other two brigades.
28 Mar – 10 Apr 45: the Partisan offensive to take Sarajevo opened on 28 March and by 10 April the Division was in full retreat northward along the valley of the Bosna river together with 8th Croatian Infantry Div.
15-24 Apr 45: with its components now intermixed with those of 8th Division, it passed through Novska and reached the Garešnica-Bjelovar area by 24 April while a separate contingent was at Ivanjska to the north of Banja Luka by the end of the month. By this point the Division was so badly fragmented that it could no longer be considered a cohesive division.
General Božidar Zorn (c. 1 Dec 1944 - Apr 1945)
Pukovnik Mihi Bajd (Apr 1945 - May 1945)
III Territorial Corps (c. 1 Dec 1944 - c. 15 Mar 1945)
III Ustasha Corps (c. 15 Mar 1945 - May 1945)
Order of battle (Dec 1944)
Div. HQ in Mostar
2d Mountain Brigade (6 battalions)
VI Ustasha Brigade (5 battalions)
IX Ustasha Brigade (3 or 4 battalions)
IX and XX Artillery Gp.
1. AVII Beograd, kut. 134a, reg.br. 3/1; [Vojnoistorijski institute]. Zbornik dokumenata I podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Tom IV/31, p.454; IV/34, p.332; [Vojnoistorijski institute]. Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945, p.1067; NARA WashDC: RG 226 (OSS intelligence documents Nos. 109636, 110433 and 126034); RG 242 (T-311 roll 184/1141; roll 185/513; Schramm, Percy E. (ed.). Kriegstagebuch des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht, 1940-1945, vol. IV, p.1312.
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