by H.L. deZeng IV

Formed 21 January 1942 in Ruma/Syrmia by renaming I Battalion of the newly formed Croatian 16th Infantry Regiment. The Battalion consisted of Croatian Volksdeutsche personnel and had an authorized strength of 26 officers, 40 NCOsand 650 men armed with 500 rifles, 27 light machine guns, 8 heavy machine guns, and 4 mortars. Its primary mission was the protection of the Zagreb – Belgrade railway line where it passed through Syrmia. In June 1942, the Battalion was reassigned to the German 718. Infantrie-Division in Sarajevo where it was divided into two components of approximately 265 men each, Volksdeutsche Battalion 738 and Volksdeutsche Battalion 750, for tactical employment by the Division’s two regiments that carried those numbers, while the Battalion HQ, its Garrison Co. and its Replacement Co. were to remain in Ruma. (1)

Operational History

1942
12 Mar 42: together with local Gendarmerie, the Battalion attacked the Partisan Fruškagora Detachment near Ruma, but the Croatians were driven back and had to return to their positions, according to the Partisan account.
Mar 42: attached to the Syrmian Brigade on its formation during March.
17 Jul 42: the Croatian authorities in Zagreb wanted the men temporarily released to help guard the bringing in of the harvest in the Ruma area, but the commander of the German 718. Infantrie-Division refused the request.
14 Sep 42: Bn. HQ, Garrison Co. and Replacement Co. all in Ruma with a total of 20 officers and 575 NCOs and men; V-Bn. 738 in Sarajevo and V-Bn. 750 in Tuzla.

1943

4 Apr 43: V-Bn. 738 transferred from Teslić to Slavonski Brod for mustering into the Waffen-SS. and on 13 April V-Bn. 750 transferred from Ivan Sedlo/SW of Sarajevo to Slavonski Brod for the same purpose.

Commanders

Maj. Johan Strecher (? Jan 1942 - ? Jun 1942)

Subordination

German Section/Croatian Defense Ministry in Zagreb (Jan 1942 - Apr 1943)

Footnotes

1. Colić, Mladen - Takozvana Nezavisna Država Hrvatska 1941 (Belgrade: Delta-pres, 1973), pp.295-98; 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] - Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Tom V/9, p.13; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945 (Belgrade, 1964), p.239; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-120 roll 5802/H313268); (T-315 roll 2270/268; roll 2271/421); Narodne novine, issue for 10.1.1943.

Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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