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

Ordered formed on or about 1 December 1944 with Division HQ in Brčko. There was a small German liaison team (DVK 312) assigned to the Division for coordination purposes. It was considered by the Germans, Partisans and Allies as being weak in armament and equipment and poor in morale. An average of approximately 6,000 was maintained for most of its existence. (1)


Operational History

Dec 44 – Mar 45: Division responsible for the area between the Sava river on the east, Bosna river on the north, Drina river on the south and the line Zavidovići-Drinjača on the west. Tactically subordinated to Croatian Command “Istok” (Eastern Command or Operations Sector East), which in turn was under German LXVIII. Armeekorps. Additional information can be found in the histories for the individual brigades.
27 Jan – 3 Feb 45: Div. elements together with German Kampfgruppe “Skanderbeg” defended Bijeljina against repeated attacks by two Partisan divisions.
Mar – Apr 45: the Division began withdrawing from eastern Bosnia in March and by 1 April its HQ was located in Doboj/58 km WSW of Brčko. During the course of April it continued withdrawing along the Sava valley toward Zagreb. At the end of April the remnants of the Division (approximately 900 Ustasha) assembled in Lekenik/29 km SSE of the Croatian capital to receive replacements and be reconstituted. These matters were still in process when the course of events forced the Division to begin the withdrawal through Zagreb around 7-8 May and then north to the Austrian border.

Commanders

Pukovnik Slavko Cesarić (c. 1 Dec 1944 - May 1945)

Subordination

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

Order of battle (Dec 1944)

Div. HQ in Brčko
3d Mountain Brigade (I – X Bn.)
XII Ustasha Brigade (I – VIII Bn. and Ustasha Garrison Bn. Bos. Šamac)
II Replacement Engineer Bn.
3 artillery batteries.


Footnotes

1. AVII Beograd, kut. 134a, reg.br. 3/1; [Vojnoistorijski institute]. Zbornik dokumenata I podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Tom IV/31, pp.824-26; [Vojnoistorijski institute]. Oslobodilački rat naroda Juooslavije 1941-1945, vol. 2, p.519; NARA WashDC: RG 226 (OSS intelligence documents Nos. 109636, 110433 and 126034); Schramm, Percy E. (ed.). Kriegstagebuch des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht, 1940-1945, vol. IV, p.1312.


Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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