3. Jäger Brigade (Croatia)
- Published: 16 February 2013 16 February 2013
- Last Updated: 16 February 2013 16 February 2013
(3. 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 Doboj 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. 3 bei der 3. kroatischen Jägerbrigade) was attached to the Brigade to try and bring it to an acceptable level of effectiveness and efficiency. (1)
1 Aug 43: Brigade noted as being still in formation and training, but had recently carried out some reconnaissance operations under Croatian II Corps in the Teslić area and to the north of Sl. Brod beginning on 26 July.
1 Sep 43: Brigade declared operational under the tactical control of German 187. Res.Div. and its ration strength this date given as 160/439/5054 for a total of 5,653.
12 Sep 43: Partisans from the 2d Syrmian NOP Detachment and the 2d and 3d Vojvodina Brigades ambushed a battalion from the Brigade’s 8th Jäger Rgt. between Sremska Rača and Bosut, forcing it to withdraw toward Kuzmin with heavy losses after a fight that lasted for many hours.
24 Sep 43: 8th Jäger Rgt. suffered heavy losses in Bijeljina, which was taken by the 16th Assault Division NOVJ and the Majevica NOP Detachment after two days of continuous fighting.
19-20 Oct 43: Partisan 16th Assault Division NOVJ attacked and took the fortified strongpoint at Gunja near Brčko, smashing and dispersing I Bn./5th Jäger Rgt.
2 Nov 43: German Gen.Lt. Brauner, commanding general of the 187. Res.Div., stated in an evaluation this date that the battalions of the 3d Jäger Brigade, with HQ in Brčko and deployed in the Brčko – Bijeljina area, were “morally contaminated and of little value for operations.”
3-13 Nov 43: Brigade elements took part in Operation “Ferkel” in the Tuzla – Brčko area.
20 Nov 43: in a letter to the commanding general of Croatian II Corps this date, the commanding general of German LXIX. Res.Korps said that in a recent offensive drive to the south from Brčko the majority of the Brigade had distinguished itself under the leadership of its new commander, Pukovnik Fritz.
16 Dec 43: following up on his earlier evaluation of the Brigade at the beginning of November, Lt.Gen. Brauner now stated that it was in a bad state training-wise because of the stationary nature of its employment in and around Brčko. At best, he said, the Brigade was only useful for local defense assignments in close association with German troops. In his opinion, Pukovnik Fritz was a hard worker who devoted himself to improving the Brigade’s state of training.
19-20 Dec 43: Bos. Šamac, which was held by II Bn./8th Jäger Rgt., was taken by elements of 16th Assualt Div. NOVJ after 3 hours of heavy fighting; II Bn. suffered losses of approximately 150 of which about 100 were taken prisoner, while the Partisans lost 15 killed and 30 wounded.
17-20 Jan 44: Brigade defended Tuzla against a concentrated attempt by the 3d Assault Corps NOVJ with three divisions. The city held after the Germans rushed in reinforcements from Doboj and Zvornik.
29 Feb 44: the entire Brigade with all of its subordinate units now in Tuzla, where it remained until the end of May.
24 Apr – 18 May 44: participated in Operation “Maibaum” in the Tuzla area.
2 Jun 44: entire Brigade put aboard trains and sent to Döllersheim/Austria for 6 weeks of intense training.
14 Jul 44: training concluded, the Brigade was transported by train to Vinkovci in eastern Slavonia, arriving on 18 July.
28 Jul 44: Brigade elements together with railway security forces commenced an anti-partisan operation 30 km south of Vinkovci that was under the tactical control of Befehlshaber Syrmien.
5-6 Sep 44: 8th Jäger Rgt. successfully defended Sl. Požega against a determined attempt by elements of the 12th Division NOVJ to take the important town.
8 Sep 44: Vrpolje taken by elements of the 12th Division NOVJ and most of the garrison from the Brigade’s 5th Jäger Rgt. were captured.
19-20 Oct 44: a company from 8th Jäger Rgt. successfully defended the village of Sot near Šid from an attack by elements of the 9th Vojvodina NOU Brigade.
Nov 44: II Bn./5th Jäger Rgt. in Vrpolje, which had been retaken, was brought up to strength with the remnants of the 1st Jäger Brigade, which had just been disbanded in Brčko.
25 Nov 44: III Bn./8th Jäger Rgt. now in Banja Luka attached to the Banja Luka Brigade.
1 Dec 44: 3d Jäger Brigade disbanded and all of its assets used to form the new 8th Jäger Brigade.
Pukovnik Stjepan Mifek (? Aug 1943 - 29 Sep 1943)
Pukovnik Mirko Paja (1 Oct 1943 - ? Nov 1943)
Pukovnik Julije Fritz (? Nov 1943 - ? Nov 1944)
II Domobran Corps (II Territorial Corps) (May 1943 - Nov 1944)
Order of battle (July 1943)
Brigade HQ and support units in Doboj,
5th Jäger Rgt. HQ in Slavonski Brod
8th Jäger Rgt. HQ in Tuzla
VII Artillery Gp. in Tuzla
XVIII Artillery Gp. in Tuzla
Order of battle (25 Oct 1943)
Brigade HQ and support units in Brčko
5th Jäger Rgt. HQ in Brčko with I Bn. in Gunja, II Bn. in Brčko and III Bn. in Potočani
8th Jäger Rgt. HQ in Brčko with I Bn. in Bijeljina, II Bn. in Vinkovci and III Bn. in Brčko
VII Artillery Gp. in Brčko
XVIII Artillery Gp. in Sl. Brod
Order of battle (15 Aug 1944)
Brigade HQ, Signal Co., Motor Transport Section (15-ton), Bakery Half-Co., Butchery Platoon, Administrative Section, Medical Co., Veterinary Co., Military Police Platoon and Brigade Music Section all in Vinkovci
Brigade Engineer Co. in Stari Jankovci
Brigade Tank Platoon in training in Austria
5th Jäger Rgt. HQ and 13th, 14th and 15th Co. in Vrpolje, I Bn. in Mikanovci, II Bn. in Kopanica and III Bn. (cadre strength only) in Vrpolje
8th Jäger Rgt. HQ and 13th, 14th and 15th Co. in Djakovo, I Bn. in Široko Polje, II Bn. (cadre strength only) in Djakovo and III Bn. detached in the Slavonska Požega area
VII Artillery Gp. HQ, HQ Battery and Light Transport Column in Piškorevci, 1st Battery in Djakovo and 2d Battery in Vrpolje.
Brigade tactically under the German Befehlshaber Syrmien. OB and locations remained essentially unchanged through November 1944.
Order of battle (30 Nov 1944)
Brigade HQ and support units in Mikanovci near Vinkovci
5th Jäger Rgt. HQ in Djakovo with I – III Bn.
8th Jäger Rgt. HQ in Djakovo with I – II Bn.
VII and XVIII Artillery Gp. (locations not reported)
1. Arhiv VII, kut. 114b, reg.br. 1/2; Colić 1974, pp.347-49; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945, pp.545, 563, 579, 620, 650, 893, 895, 983; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Zbornik dokumenata I podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Tom IV/23, pp.674-76; IV/24, pp.640-44; IV/27, p.706; IV/30, p.649; Tom V/17, p.582; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-311 roll 192/033, 242); (T-314 roll 558/1131; roll 559/205; roll 1544/464-66, 598-99; roll 1548/209); (T-315 roll 1556/555; roll 2155/196); RG 331 (roll 447-B); [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Oslobodilački rat naroda Juooslavije 1941-1945; Strugar, Vlado - Jugoslavija 1941-1945.
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