IX Ustasha Brigade (IX. Stajači Djelatni Sdrug)
by H.L. deZeng IV

Formed May 1944 with HQ in the Makarska – Hutovo area in south-central Dalmatia to the west and south of Mostar. It was formed from the Ustasha Garrison Bn. Makarska, Ustasha Garrison Bn. Hutovo, other scattered militia groups in Hercegovina and south Dalmatia, as well as all or elements of II Bn. and V Bn. of the II Ustasha Traffic Control Brigade. Brigade HQ moved to Mostar not long after formation was completed. (1)


Operational History

1944

May 44: Brigade’s primary mission was to secure the Naretva valley south to the Adriatic. The rail line and road that ran along the valley was vital to both the Croatians and the Germans as a line of supply and for the exporting of bauxite ore from the Mostar area.
19 Jul 44: a Bn. from the Brigade in company with elements of 7. SS-Freiw.Geb.Div. “Prinz Eugen” and the Croatian 2d Mountain Brigade took Prozor/55 km N of Mostar from units of the 10th Assault Division NOVJ.
Oct 44: the IX Ustasha Brig. suffered heavy losses during the September-October Partisan offensive in south and central Dalmatia with its overall strength dropping to approximately 2,000 - 2,500.
Nov 44: regrouping in the Mostar – Čitluk area.
1 Dec 44: Brigade assigned to the new 9th Croatian Mountain Division and continued rebuilding after its heavy losses noted above. A new III Bn. and IV Bn. had to be created from remnants of the VI Ustasha Brigade at Studenci/15 km NW of Imotski and at Ljubuški/16 km NW of Metković and in short order it had been replenished to its previous strength of approximately 4,000. Its morale was good because of the large numbers of local militia that had been taken into its ranks. These men were fighting to protect their homes and villages, and as long as the Brigade stayed in the Naretva valley area they fought with determination.


1945

(see 9th Croatian Mountain Division for additional information).
1-3 Feb 45: the Brigade defended Čapljina, along the rail line in the Naretva valley 26 km south of Mostar, for 3 days against repeated attacks by the 12th Hercegovina Assault Brigade/29th Assault Division NOVJ reinforced by elements of the 1st Tank Brigade NOVJ, but the town finally fell and the defeated remnants of the Brigade retreated up the Naretva valley to the Mostar area.
19 Feb 45: Brigade HQ now at Ostrožac/40 km N of Mostar after bitter and prolonged fighting in defense of Mostar.
29 Mar 45: Brigade now deployed in and around Sarajevo. To the end of the war, its history was the same as that of the 9th Croatian Mountain Div., although it should be added that it was largely destroyed during the Partisan offensive to take Sarajevo that began on 28 March and concluded on 10 April.

Commanders

Ust. Dopukovnik Vladimir vitez Majer (May 1945 - May 1945?) Feb 1945

Subordination

III Territorial Corps (May 1944 - 30 Nov 1944)

Order of battle (4 Sep 1944)

Brigade HQ and headquarters elements and HQ Co. in Mostar
I Bn. (1st – 4th Co.) in Gabela/32 km S of Mostar
II Bn. (5th – 8th Co.) in Promajna/66 km W of Mostar
III Bn. (9th – 12th Co.) in Grabovo Vrelo (not located)
IV Bn. (13th – 16th Co.) in Tasovčići/25 km S of Mostar
V Bn. (17th – 20th Co.) in Ostrožac/40 km N of Mostar
Estimated Brigade strength: 4,000.


Order of battle (26 Jan 1945)

Brigade HQ and headquarters elements in Bijelo Polje/3.3 km NNE of Mostar
I Bn. in Blagaj/11 km SSE of Mostar
II Bn. in Siroki Brijeg to the west of Mostar
III Bn. in Nevesinje/26 km ESE of Mostar
IV Bn. in Mostar


Footnotes

1. [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Zbornik dokumenata I podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda. Tom IV/29, p.680; IV/31, pp.136 and 454; V/31, p.254; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945, pp.814 and 1066; NARA WashDC: RG 226 (OSS intelligence report No. 110433); RG 242 (T-175 roll 120/845; T-311 roll 184/1141; T-501 Glaise von Horstenau document); RG 331 (roll 447-B); Drina (Madrid), br.3-4 (1953), pp.8 and 11; Komnenović, Danilo and Kreso Muharem - Dvadeset deveta hercegovačka divizija (Belgrade: VIZ, 1979), p.602.


Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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