(Petrinjski zdrug)
by H.L. deZeng IV

Formed February 1942 with HQ in Petrinja as a composite tactical formation for employment in the Kordun and Banija regions south and southeast of Zagreb, an area bordered by the Sava, Una and Kupa Rivers. (1)


Operational History

Feb 42: commenced search and destroy operations between Petrinja and Glina against formations of the Partisan Banija Detachment, clearing and burning down the villages of Šušnjar, Martinović, Gradac, Drenovac and several others. Toward the end of March the Banija Detachment launched a series of counterattacks on the garrisons at Maja and Grabovac, forcing the Croatians to bring in elements of the 11th Infantry Rgt. as reinforcements which, together with the Petrinja Brigade, by 12 April had driven the Partisans out of the Banija for the time being.
Jun 42: at the beginning of June, the Brigade supported the Croatian 1st Mountain Division during the second sweep through the Banija, but there was little enemy resistance.
Jun – Jul 42: participated in Operation “West-Bosnien” - during the operation, Partisans staged a surprise attack on the Brigade’s tactical HQ near Kostajnica, killing three of its senior officers.
Jul – Sep 42: secured the Banija region to prevent the buildup of Partisan forces, carried out occasional search and destroy expeditions, and safeguarded the harvest.
10 Sep 43: I and II Bn. transferred to Banja Luka and began offensive operations southwest of the city on 12 September when they encountered and engaged elements of the 1st Krajina NOU Brigade. In the course of heavy fighting, II Bn. was severely mauled on 14 September with an estimated 100 killed and wounded, 100 missing and 109 taken prisoner along with many weapons.
30 Sep – 9 Oct 42: I Bn. and what was left of II Bn. took part in Operation “Manjača-Gebirge” to the southwest of Banja Luka.
12-19 Oct 42: I Bn. participated in Operation “Kozara” in the area to the north and east of Banja Luka.
Nov 42 – Jan 43: Brigade reassembled in the Petrinja – Glina area and spent a relatively quiet winter resting and replenishing.
15 Feb 43: officially renamed V Mountain Brigade on or about this date.

Commanders

Air Force Pukovnik Ivan Mrak (? Feb 1942 - ? Sep 1942)
Pukovnik Milan Desović (? Sep 1942 - ? Jan 1943)
Pukovnik Lalić (? Jan 1943 - c. 15 Feb 1943)

Subordination

I Corps (Feb 1942 - Feb 1943)

Order of battle (Feb 1942)

Combined Gendarmerie-Domobran Rgt. (5 mobile Gendarmerie battalions)


Order of battle (1 July 1942)

Brigade HQ in Petrinja with a tactical command post near Kostajnica
I Bn. (Gendarmerie personnel) in Jošavica/13 km SSE of Petrinja
II Bn. (Croatian Air Force field companies) in Glina
III Bn. in Blinja/11 km SE of Petrinja
Tank Platoon (5 x Italian L3 tankettes) from Zagreb and temporarily attached to the Brigade


Footnotes

1. [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945, pp.286, 337; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Oslobodilački rat naroda Juooslavije 1941-1945. 2 Vols.; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (various T-315 microfilms from the German 714. and 718. Inf.Div.).


Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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