2. Jäger Brigade (Croatia)
- Published: 16 February 2013 16 February 2013
- Last Updated: 16 February 2013 16 February 2013
(2. lovački zdrug)
by H.L. deZeng IV
Ordered to begin forming 11 February 1943 in Banja Luka with a target completion date of 1 April as one of the two Jäger brigades that were first to form. The German 714. Inf.Div. was initially made responsible for overseeing the formation of the Brigade and to facilitate the delivery of weapons and equipment. Later, during the summer and early fall of 1943, a German training staff and battalion (Deutsches Ausbildungs-Btl. 2 bei der 2. kroatischen Jägerbrigade) was attached to the Brigade to try and bring it to an acceptable level of effectiveness and efficiency. On 1 December 1944 the German staff became the German liaison detachment assigned to the 10th Jäger Brigade. (1)
16 Mar 43: in Berlin, Reichführer-SS Himmler approved the assignment of 120 Croatian Volksdeutsche from the Einsatzstaffel d.D.M. Btl. “Ludwig von Baden” Einsatzstaffel d.D.M. Kp. “May” to the Brigade as translators.
20 Mar 43: a field replacement battalion was set up for the Brigade in Mrakovica using the March Companies from the 1st and 10th Infantry Regiments.
6-7 May 43: Brigade Engineer Co., II and III (IV Ust. Bn.)/1st Jäger Rgt. took part in Operation “Richard” under German 114. Jäger-Div. that was aimed at annihilating 183 Croatian deserters and 35 illegal Chetniks who were pillaging villages and farms in the vicinity of Razboj near Bos. Gradiška. The operation was continued 8-12 May in the Kozara as Operation “Ulrich” against Partisan concentrations. On conclusion of “Ulrich” the 1st Jäger Rgt. components were transferred back to the Otoka area.
17-18 Jul 43: I Bn./10th Jäger Rgt. lost 159 men and 4 howitzers captured in a nearby village during an unsuccessful attempt by 4th Assault Division NOVJ to take Ključ/36 km SSE of Sanski Most.
Oct 43: the Brigade began sending a few units at a time to the Sisak area to be re-equipped with captured Italian weapons following Italy’s capitulation on 8 September.
4-5 Oct 43: one company from I Bn./1st Jäger Rgt. handed over Otoka to the 7th Assault Div. NOVJ without a fight, and then 1 officer and 44 men deserted to the Partisans.
14-15 Nov 43: II Bn./1st Jäger Rgt. was overrun in Cazin by elements of the 7th Assault Div. NOVJ losing 107 killed, 50 wounded and 321 taken prisoner; Partisan losses were given as 15 killed, 60 wounded and 4 missing.
1 Dec 43: the Brigade made its first major redeployment around 1 December, sending 10th Jäger Rgt. into positions south of Bihać and 1st Jäger Rgt. into the positions formerly occupied by 10th Jäger Rgt.
7-20 Dec 43: Brigade elements participated in Operation “Panther” in the Kordun and Banija.
Jan 44: IV and VIII Ustasha Bn., which had been attached to the Brigade for tactical purposes as a third battalion for each of the Jäger regiments, departed and were reassigned back to the Ustasha Militia.
26 Jan 44: entire Brigade transferred to Sisak, and from there to Döllersheim/Austria for a month of intense training before returning to Croatia in mid-May 1944. Taking up its former positions in the Bihać area, it was scheduled for limited participation in Operation “Rösselsprung”, the attack on Tito’s HQ at Drvar in late May, and was engaged over the next several weeks in the Grmec Mountains to the east of Bihać.
19-30 May 44: 10th Jäger Rgt. took part in Operation “Schach.”
19 Jun 44: 2d Co./I Bn. of the 1st Jäger Rgt. had 32 killed and 15 wounded in a sharp action with VIII Krajina NOU Brigade/4th Division after the company was ambushed in the village of Dubovsko near Bihać
8-18 Aug 44: together with elements of German 373. and 392. Inf.Div. and IV Ustasha Brigade, the 10th Jäger Rgt. took part in a major sweep of the Krbava area west and southwest of Bihać which developed into heavy fighting with 8th and 35th Divisions NOVJ.
Sep 44: Brigade’s mission was to secure a 75 km stretch of supply road between Bihać and Srb.
7 Sep 44: One company each from I and II Bn. and the Anti-Tank Co./1st Jäger Rgt. deserted to the Partisan Drvar NOP Detachment near Bos. Petrovac - a total of 15 officers and 550 men.
Oct 44: 1st and 10th Jäger Regiments each disbanded three or four companies and used the remaining personnel to fill up the other companies.
Nov 44: Major elements of 10th Jäger Rgt. deserted to the Partisans, and all remaining personnel were incorporated into the 1st Jäger Rgt. which, by 20 November, consisted of a HQ Co., I and II Bn., Heavy Weapons Co., Signal Co. and an Engineer Co. with VIII Artillery Gp. in support - total strength: 1,738.
1 Dec 44: renamed 10th Jäger Brigade and assigned to the new 10th Croatian Infantry Division..
Pukovnik Juraj Čordašić (? Apr 1943 - ?) June 1943
Pukovnik Josip Bučar (? - ?) Oct 1943, Nov 1943
Pukovnik Zinković (? - ?) May 1944
I Domobran Corps (I Territorial Corps) (Feb 1943 - Nov 1944)
Order of battle (May 1943)
Brigade HQ and support units in Banja Luka
1st Jäger Rgt. HQ in Otoka with I Bn. in Blatna, II Bn. in Rudice and III Bn. (IV Ustasha Bn.) in Ostrožac
10th Jäger Rgt. HQ in Ostrožac with I Bn. in Bos. Krupa, II Bn. in Cazin and III Bn. (VIII Ustasha Bn.) in Otoka
IV Artillery Gp. (not yet assigned)
VIII Artillery Gp. in Banja Luka
Order of battle (17 Aug 1943)
Brigade HQ and support units now in Bos. Krupa
1st Jäger Rgt. HQ in Otoka with I Bn. in Otoka, II Bn. in Rudice and III Bn. (IV Ustasha Bn.) in Rovine/4 km S of Bos. Gradiška
10th Jäger Rgt. HQ in Ostrožac with I Bn. in Ostrožac, II Bn. in Cazin and III Bn. (VIII Ustasha Bn.) in Banja Luka
IV Artillery Gp. in Ostrožac
VIII Artillery Gp. in Bos. Krupa.
Total strength: 220/552/5288 = 6,060. This increased to 218/571/5602 = 6,391 by 1 October.
Tactically under German 373. Inf.Div.
Order of battle (9 Dec 1943)
Brigade HQ and support units now in Ostrožac
1st Jäger Rgt. HQ in Bos. Krupa with I Bn. in Srbljani, II Bn. in Cazin and III Bn. (IV Ustasha Bn.) in Bos. Krupa
10th Jäger Rgt. HQ in Donji Lapac with I Bn. in Donji Lapac, II Bn. re-equipping in Sisak and III Bn. (VIII Ustasha Bn.) in Bihać
IV Artillery Gp. in Ostrožac
VIII Artillery Gp. in Banja Luka attached to 4th Jäger Brigade.
Order of battle (1 Sep 1944)
Brigade HQ and support units now in Skočaj/10 km S of Bihać
1st Jäger Rgt. HQ in Ripać/10 km SE of Bihać with I Bn. in Tarkovac and II Bn. in Donji Lapac
10th Jäger Rgt. HQ in Donji Lapac with I Bn. in Kupirovo, II Bn. in Donji Lapac and III Bn. in Nebljusi
VIII Artillery Gp. in Donji Lapac
1. [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945, pp.489, 509, 570, 596, 851; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Zbornik dokumenata I podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Tom IV/26, p.316; IV/29, p.286; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-314 roll 558/1240-41); (T-315 roll 1294/170, 184-85, 285-87); [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Oslobodilački rat naroda Juooslavije 1941-1945; Strugar, Vlado - Jugoslavija 1941-1945.
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