1. Jäger Brigade (Croatia)
- Published: 16 February 2013 16 February 2013
- Last Updated: 16 February 2013 16 February 2013
(1. lovački zdrug)
by H.L. deZeng IV
Formation ordered on 11 February 1943 and began forming in May 1943 (with 15 June 1943 as the official date) in Vinkovci as one of the two Jäger brigades that were last to form. During the summer and early fall of 1943, a German training staff and battalion (Deutsches Ausbildungs-Btl. 1 bei der 1. kroatischen Jägerbrigade) was attached to the Brigade to try and bring it to an acceptable level of effectiveness and efficiency. (1)
11 Jul 43: 60 men from 6th Jäger Rgt. were captured and disarmed by Partisans in Bos. Rača north of Bijeljina.
5 Aug 43: formation and training now completed, the Brigade was transferred to the Teslić – Doboj area this date for defensive operations.
8-9 Sep 43: 4th Jäger Rgt. successfully defended Teslić against a costly attack by elements of the 11th Assault Division NOVJ.
4 Jan 44: in company with the German 1. Kosaken-Kav.Div., the Brigade’s 4th Jäger Rgt. retook Prnjavor from elements of the 12th Division NOVJ.
20 Jan 44: just two weeks later, I Bn./4th Jäger Rgt. was forced to abandon Prnjavor after a two-day siege by 11th and 12th Divisions NOVJ.
14 Feb 44: III Bn./6th Jäger Rgt. disbanded and the majority of the troops incorporated into I and II Bn. while a small cadre was transferred to Zemun.
9 Jun 44: II Bn./6th Jäger Rgt. lost 28 killed and 52 captured during an attack on the village of Ukrinica near Teslić by elements of the 11th Assault Div. NOVJ.
27-28 Jun 44: 4th Jäger Rgt. successfully defended Derventa against a determined attack by elements of 10th and 11th Assault Divisions NOVJ.
9 Jul 44: 6th Jäger Rgt. in a strength of 1,200 men surrendered Teslić to the 11th Assault Division NOVJ virtually without a fight and many of the officers deserted. According to the Partisan account, 75 men were killed and 370 captured along with hundreds of weapons, while Partisan losses were 9 killed and 30 wounded. No mention is made of the Regiment’s remaining 750 men, so perhaps they escaped. A few days after this debacle, German SS-Obergruppenführer Artur Phleps (commanding general of V. SS-Gebirgskorps) described the 1st Jäger Brigade as being a “cowardly mass.” He also had some choice words for its commander, whom he labeled a “drunkard and a gambler.”
5 Sep 44: 4th Jäger Rgt. lost Teslić to units of the 5th Assault Corps NOVJ with 100 men taken prisoner.
8 Sep 44: Doboj taken under attack by strong forces belonging to 5th Assault Corps NOVJ and the Brigade HQ, support units and artillery assets - 29 officers and 773 men - were routed and forced to flee to Brčko by way of Gračanica.
8-9 Sep 44: 6th Jäger Rgt. lost Derventa to the 53d Assault Div. NOVJ and all of the Regiment’s weapons and equipment fell into the hands of the enemy, including 10 field guns, 15 mortars and 112 machine guns.
22 Oct 44: Brigade ordered disbanded in Brčko following the very heavy losses during the first half of September and all remaining personnel incorporated into the 3d Jäger Brigade.
General Franjo Nikolić (? - ?) Oct 1943, July 1944, Aug 1944
II Domobran Corps (II Territorial Corps) (May 1943 - Oct 1944)
Order of battle (15 June 1943)
Brigade HQ and support units in Vinkovci
4th Jäger Rgt HQ in Osijek
6th Jäger Rgt. HQ in Vinkovci
V Artillery Gp. in Osijek
XVI Artillery Gp. in Osijek
Order of battle (Oct 1943)
Brigade HQ in Doboj with support units in Doboj and Sl. Brod
4th Jäger Rgt HQ in Teslić with I Bn. in Teslić, II Bn. in Sl. Brod and III Bn. in Teslić
6th Jäger Rgt. HQ in Derventa with I Bn. in Doboj, II Bn. in Selo Osojci and III Bn. in Derventa
V Artillery Gp. in Doboj
XVI Artillery Gp. in Petrovaradin (in training)
Although the infantry battalions relieved each other frequently, the Brigade remained in the Doboj – Derventa – Teslić area for the next year.
Order of battle (15 Aug 1944)
Brigade HQ with support and service units in Doboj;
4th Jäger Rgt. (strength 2,543) HQ in Teslić with I Bn. in Teslić, II Bn. in Postavima near Doboj and III Bn. in Teslić
6th Jäger Rgt. (strength 2,355) HQ in Derventa with I Bn. in Derventa and II Bn. in Derventa
V Artillery Gp. in Doboj
XVI Artillery Gp. in Doboj
1. [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945, pp.508, 544, 649, 651, 784, 786, 812, 884-85; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Zbornik dokumenata I podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Tom IV/26, p.784; IV/29, p.243; Tom V/16. p.434; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-120 roll 5793/H306594); [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Oslobodilački rat naroda Juooslavije 1941-1945; Strugar, Vlado - Jugoslavija 1941-1945.
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