(17. Hrvatska Pješačka Divizija, sometimes also 17. Croatian Assault Division)
by H.L. deZeng IV

Ordered formed on or about 1 March 1945 with Division HQ in Zenica. Formed just 9 weeks before the end of the war, this division was generally considered to be of dubious value because it was mostly made up of the remnants of previously shattered units, garrison troops and poorly trained and undisciplined militia. Its strength was estimated at around 5,000. (1)


Operational History

Mar 45: the Division’s mission was to guard the railway line between Zenica and Visoko, which is roughly a 45 km stretch of track lying just to the northwest of Sarajevo.
Apr 45: at the end of March/beginning of April, a large part of the Division was smashed by the Partisan 4th and 10th Assault Divisions as part of the final offensive to take Sarajevo and the surrounding area. In one example of its poor quality and low morale, the entire battalion-strength garrison of Visoko from the 17th Domobran Brigade surrendered without firing a shot.
10-18 Apr 45: the remnants beat a hasty retreat up the Bosna valley to Sl. Brod and by 18 April the Division’s HQ was located at Bos. Gradiška. The last listing for it is on 26 April but simply states that it was in the rear area southeast of Zagreb. It is believed to have been disbanded at that time and its survivors reassigned to other units.

Commanders

General Roman Domanik (c. 1 Mar 1945 - May 1945)

Subordination

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

Order of battle (Mar 1945)

Div. HQ in Zenica
XI Ustasha Brigade (I – IV Bn.) previously with 8th Croatian Div.
17th Domobran Brigade (3 battalions)


Footnotes

1. [Vojnoistorijski institute]. Zbornik dokumenata I podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Tom IV/34, p.333; Drina (Madrid), reg.br. 10-12 (1954), p.25; NARA WashDC: RG 331 (roll 447-B).


Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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