15. Infantry Regiment (Croatia)
- Published: 16 February 2013 16 February 2013
- Last Updated: 16 February 2013 16 February 2013
(15. pješačka pukovnija)
by H.L. deZeng IV
Formed 29 June 1941 with Rgt. HQ in Knin. Initially with just two battalions and 13th, 14th and 15th support companies, it was expanded to three battalions during 1942. The regiment was incorporated into the 3d Garrison Brigade on 1 April 1944. (1)
Jul 41: following formation, the Regiment fought throughout Bosnia during 1942 and 1943, transferring frequently, and then moved to Dalmatia and south Lika after the surrender of Italian forces on 8 September 1943.
14 Jul 41: elements of I Bn. in Bos. Grahovo and II Bn. in Livno ordered to commence action against Chetnik attacks in the vicinity of Bos. Grahovo and Glamoč. Rgt. HQ and HQ Co. located in Knin.
24 Nov 41: Croatian and German authorities discovered that elements of the Regiment at Pale near Sarajevo were preparing to mutiny and defect to the Partisans; 18 men were tried and sentenced to death, 48 to prison, and many others were reassigned to other units.
15 Jan 42: Rgt. HQ with I and II Bn. assigned to German 738. Inf. Rgt. in the Mokro - Sokolac area for Operation “Süd-Kroatien”, and by the end of the month the Rgt. was operating in the Vareš area to the north of Sarajevo.
12-13 Feb 42: the Partisan Zenica Bn. carried out a surprise attack on the train station at Begov-Han near Zenica, capturing the Regiment’s 5th Co. with all of its weapons and equipment, and then burned down the nearby sawmill and destroyed the train station.
16-25 Apr 42: two companies took part in Operation “Trio” along the Drina River.
3-22 Jun 42: II Bn. took part in Operation “Zenica – Zavidovići”, a fairly large-scale effort to surround and destroy enemy forces concentrated east of Zenica; the Partisans slipped through the net with few losses and the operation was judged unsuccessful.
12 Jul 42: I Bn. transferred to Travnik.
11 Sep 42: III Bn. in Knin.
1-5 Oct 42: II Bn. was part of a large force assembled under German 718. Inf. Div. that retook Jajce on 5 October, which had been captured by the Partisans on 25 September.
5-10 Oct 42: elements of the Regiment, together with 10,000 Italian troops and Chetniks carried out Operation “Alfa” to destroy Partisan forces in the Prozor - Duvno area northwest of Mostar and clear the Mostar - Sarajevo rail line; on 9 October a motorized detachment from the Rgt. and Ustasha struck southeast from Bugojno and captured Gornji Vakuf against weak Partisan opposition, and then to 6 November I and II Bn. helped clear the area between Jajce arid Jezero as part of Operation “Jajce II”, which claimed about 700 Partisans killed.
1-6 Dec 42: I and II Bn. took part in the liberation of Jajce from the Partisan 3d Assault Div. with heavy losses on both sides, Jajce having been taken by the Partisans for the second time on 26 November.
16-23 Dec 42: 2d Co. participated in a small and unsuccessful clearing operation near Travnik/50 km E of Jajce with elements of German 750. Gren. Rgt.
5 Jan 43: I Bn., now in Žepce near Zavidovići, took part in the freeing of Teslić, captured by the Partisans on 31 December 1942, and then remained there to the end of the month to help defend the town.
3 Feb 43: II Bn. in Travnik.
Feb 43: Rgt. ordered back to the Zavidovići area to undergo reorganization and training.
18 Jun 43: two companies from the Rgt. were overpowered near Šekovici/40 km SE Tuzla by numerically superior enemy forces from the Partisan lst and 2d Vojvodina NOU Brigades, losing 140 men taken prisoner along with their weapons and equipment.
25-26 Jun 43: Partisan 1st Proletarian and 1st and 2d Vojvodina NOU Brigades attacked and took Vlasenica/70 km SE of Tuzla, garrisoned by the Regiment’s two battalions and another belonging to I Ustasha Brigade; the survivors, 679 men, fled north to Drinjača, but then this was taken by the Partisans on 28 June, forcing the men to move on to Zvornik. The Regiment commander, Pukovnik Kopačin, was killed in action at about this time.
5 Jul 43: units from the Partisan 1st Proletarian and 16th Assault Divisions captured Zvornik, which was garrisoned in part by elements of the Rgt.
Sep 43: concurrent with the surrender of Italy on 8 September, the Regiment departed Zavidovići with Rgt. HQ and I Bn. moving to Knin, II Bn. to Gospić, and III Bn. from Knin to Sinj, remaining in these locations until 1 April 1944.
12-14 Sep 43: II Bn. was either reestablished from or filled up with the personnel from the disbanded II Jäger Bn. in Gospić.
15-16 Sep 43: around 40 men from II Bn. deserted between Gospić and Karlobag.
11 Nov 43: 9th Co. in the village of Hrvace near Sinj was overrun in a 2-hour fight with the Partisan 5th Dalmatian Brigade, and 56 men were taken prisoner.
4-31 Dec 43: I and III Bn. took part in Operation “Zeithen”, advancing from Knin and Sinj with German 114. Jäger Div. against Partisan concentrations in the Livno - Duvno area.
31 Jan 44: II Bn. was ordered to advance from Gospić to Lički Osik and Perušić as part of a relief force for XXXIV Ustasha Bn., which was under heavy attack by units of the Partisan 35th Division; the operation was successful and the Partisans w1thdrew with losses.
1 Apr 44: the Regiment was incorporated into the 3d Garrison Brigade, primarily as the II and III Bn., with III Bn./15th Inf. Rgt. in Sinj probably becoming VI Bn./9th Garrison Brigade in Sinj.
Pukovnik Juraj Čordašić (29 Jun 1941 - Jul 1941)
Podpukovnik Ivaništević (Aug 1941 - ?)
Pukovnik Ivo Stipković (? - ?) Dec 1941, Jan 1942
Pukovnik Petar Tomac (? - ?) 1942
Pukovnik Josip Kopačin ( ? - Jun 43) KIA
Jadranska Division (June 1941 - Aug 1941)
6th Infantry Division (Aug 1941 - Mar 1944)
Order of battle (31 Dec 1941)
Rgt. HQ in Sarajevo
I Bn. (1st – 4th Co.) in Sarajevo
II Bn. (5th – 8th Co.) in Sarajevo
Order of battle (24 Mar 1942)
Rgt. HQ in Zavidovići
I Bn. (1st – 4th Co.) in Zavidovići
II Bn. (5th – 8th Co.) in Zavidovići
Order of battle (14 Apr 1943)
Rgt. HQ in Zavidovići
I Bn. (1st – 4th Co.) in Žepce
II Bn. (5th – 8th Co.) in Zavidovići
III Bn. (9th – 12th Co.) in Knin
1. Arhiv VII, kut. 134a; Colić, Mladen - Takozvana Nezavisna Država Hrvatska 1941; Colić 1979; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945, pp.150, 210, 353-54, 386, 493-94, 507, 600, 624, 660; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Oslobodilački rat naroda Juooslavije 1941-1945, v.1, pp.180, 184, 473; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Tom IV/10, p.607; V/1, p.272 and 302; V/19, pp.673-75; V/28, p.505; Gizdić, Drago - Dalmacija 1943, p.558; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-314 roll 558/1139); (T-315 roll 1295/872; roll 2154/1383; roll 2155/519; roll 2266/730; roll 2268/603; roll 2271/426); (T-821 roll 52/851).
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