(12. pješačka pukovnija)
by H.L. deZeng IV

Formed 29 June 1941 with Rgt. HQ in Otočac. Initially with just two battalions, it was expanded to three battalions plus 13th, 14th and 15th support companies during the fall of 1941 and several additional companies during 1942. Unlike the majority of the regiments that were reorganized as either mountain or Jäger regiments in mid-1943, components of the 12th Infantry Rgt. remained in existence until April 1944. (1)


Operational History

1941

Jul – Dec 41: the Regiment was assigned to routine garrison duty in Bihać and Gospić and had little contact with the enemy.
8 Sep 41: II Bn. stationed in Gospić.

1942

5-6 Jan 42: 1st Bn./2d Krajina NOP Detachment attacked Blagaj, on the rail line between Prijedor and Bos.Novi, captured part of 7th Co./12th Inf. Rgt., and burned down the train station, all public buildings and the local gypsum factory. The Croatians claimed around 40 Partisan KIA and WIA in this attack.
8 Apr 42: elements of III Bn., accompanied by three companies of Ustasha and Gendarmerie and with supporting air reconnaissance, launched an attack from Bos. Novi toward the village of Žuljevica, but were engaged and thrown back by lst Bn./2d Krajina NOP Detachment.
9 Apr 42: I Bn. transferred from Gospić to Udbina this date.
Jun – Jul 42: II and III Bn. participated in Operation “West-Bosnien” in the Kozara Mountains.
22 Aug 42: the Partisan 2d Croatian NOU Brigade and several other units attacked Udbina, which was garrisoned by 19th Co./12th Inf. Rgt., a Gendarmerie platoon and 100 armed civilian Ustasha militia; the town had to be supplied by air over the next week, but it held out in the face of heavy losses; the attacking Partisans had 104 killed and 151 wounded, which was 20% of their effective strength.
4 Nov 42: elements of the Regiment were lost in the fall of Bihać, which was captured after a two-day attack by 5 Partisan brigades.
26-27 Nov 42: the Regiment commander, Podpukovnik Vuksan, was killed in Bos. Novi by Partisan mortar fire, and II Bn. taken prisoner when the town was attacked and briefly held by 2d Brig./lst Bosnian Assault Corps.
14 Dec 42: Udbina was abandoned by the Regiment’s 19th Co. this date, and while in march along the road to Lovinac its horse-drawn supply and baggage column was overrun and captured by 4th Bn./Lika NOP Detachment.

1943

Feb 43: in mid-February II Bn., which had suffered heavy losses at Bos. Novi during the preceding November, was replaced by renaming II Bn./2d Infantry Rgt.
28 Mar 43: 2d Expeditionary Co./12th Inf. Rgt. attached to III Bn./V Mountain Brigade and engaged in clearing villages in the Glina area.
1 Apr 43: 20th Co. located in Švica/3 km W of Otočac.
2 May 43: I Bn., which garrisoned Gospić, Perušić, Pazarište and Lovinac, along with other garrison forces from the IV Ustasha Brigade successfully defended Gospić against a determined attack by the Partisan 8th Division.
4 May 43: units of the Partisan Žumberak-Pokupje NOP Detachment attacked the garrison in the village of Dubranec near Velika Gorica to the south of Zagreb, capturing an officer and 42 men from the 12th.Inf. Rgt.
8-12 May 43: elements of the Rgt. took part in Operation “Ulrich”, carried out by the German 114. Jäger Div. against Partisan concentrations in the Kozara Mountains in West Bosnia.
10-12 May 43: 2d Expeditionary Co./12th Inf. Rgt. took part in a clearing operation along the north bank of the Kupa River in the vicinity of Pisarovina.
20-22 Jun 43: units from the Rgt. were part of a relief effort under German 114. Jäger Div. called Operation “Klara” that was rushed to Velika Kladuša in the Kordun to break the siege around the town by the Partisan 8th Division.
25 Jun 43: I Bn. and units of the IV Ustasha Brigade launched an attack from Gospić and captured the villages of Klanac and Otež/16 km NNW of Gospić, which had been held by 3d Brigade/Partisan 6th Division.
Jul 43: Regiment responsible for guarding the railway and vital installations between Bos.Novi and Kostajnica with I Bn. detached in Gospić.
Aug 43: Rgt. HQ transferred to Kostajnica, II Bn. to Bos. Dubica and III Bn. to Kostajnica at the beginning of August.
15-16 Sep 43: 1 officer and 62 men from I Bn. deserted with their weapons between Gospić and Karlobag.
3-7 Oct 43: I Bn. had severe losses in fighting around Gospić with Partisan 6th and 13th Divisions.
12-13 Oct 43: Partisan 4th Assault Division captured Bos. Dubica after a 12-hour fight, overwhelming II Bn./12th Inf. Rgt. and one Ustasha battalion; 5 officers and 128 men from the Rgt. were taken prisoner, but a group of survivors managed to cross the Una River to the north bank and avoid capture. II Bn. was effectively destroyed and was disbanded shortly thereafter.
9 Dec 43: Rgt. HQ and III Bn. in Ravnice near Bos.Novi.

1944

1 Apr 44: I Bn. believed to have been renamed I Bn./3d Garrison Brigade on or about this date.
12 Apr 44: Regiment HQ reported to be in Kostajnica, but probably moved to Sisak over the next several days and became HQ 4th Garrison Brigade.
17 Apr 44: III Bn. disbanded and its assets incorporated into the 3d Mountain Brigade.

Commanders

Pukovnik Walzl (? - ?) Dec 1941
Podpukovnik Jurković (? - ?) 1942
Podpukovnik Vuksan (? - 27 Nov 1942) KIA

Subordination

Vrbaska Division (June 1941 - Aug 1941)
2d Infantry Division (Aug 1941 - Apr 1944?)

Order of battle (31 Dec 1941)

Rgt. HQ in Bihać
I Bn. (1st – 4th Co.) in Gospić
II Bn. (5th – 8th Co.) in the Bos. Novi – Kostajnica area
III Bn. (9th – 12th Co.) in Bos. Novi
13th Co.
14th Co.
15th Co.


Order of battle (1 Sep 1942)

Rgt. HQ in Bihać
I Bn. (1st – 4th Co.) in Gospić
II Bn. (5th – 8th Co.) in Bos. Novi with 645 men
III Bn. (9th – 12th Co.) in Bos. Novi with 540 men
13th Co.
14th Co.
15th Co.


Order of battle (1 Feb 1943)

Rgt. HQ in Divuša between Bos. Novi and Kostajnica
I Bn. (1st – 4th Co.) in Gospić
II Bn. (5th – 8th Co.) in Bos. Novi
III Bn. (9th – 12th Co.) guarding the rail line between Kostajnica and Bos. Novi
13th Co.
14th Co.
15th Co.


Order of battle (11 July 1943)

Rgt. HQ in Bos. Novi with 153 men
I Bn. (1st – 4th Co.) in Gospić with 500 men
II Bn. (5th – 8th Co.) in Bos. Novi with 432 men
III Bn. (9th – 12th Co.) in Ravnice/10 km NNE of Bos. Novi with 435 men
13th Co.
14th Co.
15th Co.


Footnotes

1. Arhiv VII, kut. 134a; Colić, Mladen - Takozvana Nezavisna Država Hrvatska 1941; Colić 1979; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945, pp.191, 246, 371, 372, 391, 477, 571; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Oslobodilački rat naroda Juooslavije 1941-1945, v.1, pp.509, 511, 554, 607; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Tom II/12, p.564; IV/4, p.315; IV/7, p.135; V/1, p.378; V/3, p.475; V/14, p.416; V/16, p.384; V/19, p.675; V/30, p.176; [ - ] - Kotar Korenica i kotar Udbina u narodnooslobodilačkom ratu i socijalističkoj izgradnji, pp.563-71; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-313 roll 192/914); (T-314 roll 560/1223); (T-315 roll 1294/070, 177; roll 2170/532 and 644; roll 2171/641; roll 2267/1024); (T-821 roll 53/725; roll 58/636).


Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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