3. Garrison Brigade (Croatia)
- Published: 16 February 2013 16 February 2013
- Last Updated: 16 February 2013 16 February 2013
(3. Posadni Zdrug)
by H.L. deZeng IV
Formed on or about 1 April 1944 with HQ in Gospić by consolidating and renaming a variety of existing quasi-independent garrison battalions and other units, particularly battalions of the disbanded 12th and 15th Infantry Regiments. Brigade strength averaged around 6,000. Tactically under Croatian Operations Zone Velebit and German XV. Gebirgskorps. (1)
Apr – Nov 44: the Brigade garrisoned and defended a key sector of northern Dalmatia between Otočac and Gospić and worked closely with the 392d German-Croatian Legion Division and the IV Ustasha Brigade. Unlike some of the other garrison brigades, the 3d frequently participated in offensive operations against the ever-increasing Partisan forces in the area. Minor clashes were also common in this area.
10-17 May 44: I Bn., operating from Perušić/10 km N of Gospić, was attached to German 392. Inf. Div. and took part in Operation “Morgenstern.” Also participating were 1. Rgt. Brandenburg, Mot-Rgt. 92, elements of 373. Inf. Div. and 4 battalions of Ustasha. The objective was to destroy the Partisan 8th Division and its camps, supply dumps and landing fields on and around the Krbavsko Polje plain lying 26 km NE of Gospić. The plain was surrounded from all sides and then squeezed toward the center. The German after action report claimed 297 Partisan killed, 384 estimated killed, 118 captured and 39 defectors. Destroyed or captured were 22 field guns, 16 mortars, 124 machine guns, 53 trucks, 4 Italian tanks, 225 wagons and large quantities of ammunition, livestock and other equipment and supplies. German and Croatian losses were 8 killed and 65 wounded. Although many Partisans slipped through the cordon, “Morgenstern” was one of the more successful anti-partisan operations carried out in Yugoslavia.
23 Jul 44: Brigade CO, Pukovnik Brkić, killed during an Allied fighter-bomber strike on Gospić. Allied aircraft based in Italy attacked targets in Croatia almost daily by summer 1944.
Sep 44: according to a German report, 15 officers belonging to the Brigade were arrested for pro-Partisan sympathies or defeatism, but the rest of the Brigade was judged reliable.
1 Dec 44: renamed 13th Domobran Brigade and became a component of 11th Croatian Infantry Division.
Pukovnik Dragutin Brkić (Apr 1944 - 23 Jul 1944) KIA
Nadsatnik Japunčić, acting? (? - ?) Sep 44
I Territorial Corps (Apr 1944 - 30 Nov 1944)
Order of battle (Sep 1944)
Brigade HQ and Administrative Section in Gospić (total Brigade strength: 6,130)
I Bn. in Gospić - Bilaj - Ribnik - Brušani - Rizvanuša - Novo Selo - Medak, Nadporučnik Leopold Grandovac (450)
II Bn. in Knin, Satnik Marko Dobrović (1,100)
III Bn. in Gospić, Satnik Josan Kolaković (1,100)
Gospić Defense Bn. in Gospić (1,000)
Perušić Defense Bn. in Perušić, Satnik Ante Vlainić (600)
Kosinj Defense Bn. in Kosinj (300)
Otočac Garrison Bn. in Otočac, Podpukovnik Peraković (600)
VI Replacement Bn. in Lešće – Janče, Satnik Mile Orešković (400)
1st Artillery Battery/3d Garrison Brig. in Gospić (100mm and 75mm guns), 2d Battery in Novo Selo (65mm guns)
Engineer Co. in Knin
Engineer Half-Co. in Gospić
Signal Platoons in Gospić and Knin
Auxiliary Co. in Knin
1. Arhiv Vojnoistorijski institut, kut. 114b, reg.br. 1/2; kut. 134a, reg.br. 2/1; Kleut, Petar - 35. divizija, p.239; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-311 roll 184/250, roll 185/330, roll 193/1164; T-314 roll 563/237-40, 283 and 302); [Vojnoistorijski institute]. Zbornik dokumenata I podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda. Tom V/26, p.667; V/27, p.498; V/28, pp.483 and 524-25; Schraml, Franz. Kriegsschauplatz Kroatien, pp.186, 251-52.
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