by H.L. deZeng IV

Formation began in March 1942 using older reservists from within the Volksdeutsche community in Croatia. The term “Bereitschaftsbataillon” best translates as Standby Duty Battalion. These had a lesser status in terms of age of the personnel, training, availability and expectations than the Verfügungsbataillon. (1)

Operational History

1942

May 42: operated mainly in Syrmia and employed to protect the Volksdeutsche communities at and around Ruma/27 km S of Novi Sad, Čalma near Hrv. Mitrovica, Grgurevci near Ruma, Vrdnik/14.5 km N of Ruma, as well as other smaller communities. The Battalion’s average strength during 1942 was 365 officers and men.
7 Jul 42: Battalion’s 5th Co. attached to the Croatian Syrmian Brigade.
1 Oct 42: permanent stations: Bn. HQ in Osijek, 1st Co. in Glogovac, 2d Co. in Becmen, 3d Co. in Schutzberg, 4th Co. in Deč near Stara Pazova, and 5th Co. in Vrdnik. Although these were the Battalion’s permanent stations, it was deployed in and around Ruma during its existence.
1 Dec 42: Ruma and surrounding area.

1943

11 Jan 43: Bn. engaged in a sharp skirmish with Partisans from the 3d NOP Detachment/3d Operations Zone Croatia while defending the village of Deč, eventually driving them out at a cost of 28 killed and many wounded. The Partisans, from whom these figures come, admitted to the loss of only 2 killed and 3 wounded.
17 Feb 43: Battalion elements arrested 56 Partisans in the village of Budjanovci near Ruma and took them to Ruma for interrogation and confinement.
20 Feb 43: 26 more suspects were arrested by the Battalion in three villages around Ruma, while 2 who attempted to resist were killed and 1 wounded.
Mar 43: ordered to hand over only those men of birth year 1908 and younger for mustering into the Waffen-SS, and these were to be replaced with older Volksdeutschen from Osijek.
Apr 43: ordered disbanded with the rest of the ES der DM units, but remnants of the Battalion may have continued in existence as a local defense force in the Ruma area. On 21 September 1944, four battalions from the Partisan 5th and 10th Vojvodina NOU Brigades reported clashing with men from the (former?) “General Laudon” Battalion in the village of Grabovci/26 km S of Ruma claiming they killed 44 of them while losing just 2 of their own.

Commander

?

Subordination

HQ ES der DM in Osijek (Mar 1942 - Apr 1943)

Footnotes

1. Colić, Mladen - Oružane formacije Nezavisne Države Hrvatske u sjeverozapadnoj Hrvatskoj, Slavoniji i Srijemu 1941-1945, in: Vojnoistorijski Glasnik, br. 3/XXX (Sep – Dec 1979), pp.151-84; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945 (Belgrade, 1964), pp.415, 431, 432 and 925; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-120 roll 5802/H313181); (T-315 roll 2270/1032-36); Vojnoistorijski glasnik, 1952-54, pp.62 and 90; plus the sources cited in the Introduction.

Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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