XVII Ustasha Battalion (XVII. ustaška bojna)
by H.L. deZeng IV

Formed March 1942 in Drniš located in central Dalmatia. (1)


Operational History

(see V Ustasha Brigade and IV Ustasha Brigade for additional information)

25 Sep 42: Battalion formed part of the garrison of Jajce which was stormed and taken by the equivalent of 5 Partisan brigades after 18 hours of bitter, no quarters fighting. However, a large part of the Battalion managed to evacuate the town before the Partisan noose tightened and later took part in its recapture as part of Operation “Jajce I” from 30 September to 6 October.
Oct 42: after the town was secured, took part in Operation “Jajce II” which mopped up in the surrounding area.
Nov 42: Jajce is a total strength of 8 officers and 410 men, of whom only half were armed. According to a German report, the Battalion’s morale was considered to be very poor.
1 Dec 42: Bn. HQ now in Travnik/30 km ESE of Jajce with 1st, 2d, 4th, 5th and 6th Co.
26 Dec 42: Bn. transferred to Bugojno/35 km S of Jajce.
15-17 Apr 43: one of the Battalion’s companies took part in Operation “Ostern” in the Sunja area/20 km SSE of Sisak, a long way from it normal area of operations.
May – Jul 43: Battalion evidently disbanded due to its lack of sufficient personnel and weapons, and its low morale.
Aug 43: reactivated in Drniš during August by renaming the 9th Ustasha Preparatory Battalion.
18 Sep 43: reportedly in Sokolac/31 km E of Sarajevo attached to I Ustasha Brigade and operating tactically under the German 369. Inf.Div. (kroat.), although this does not seem quite right and may be a typographical error in the German documents.
Dec 43: Drniš in a strength of approximately 800 men. One postwar account states that orders were issued in December to split the Battalion into two separate battalions which were then to become known as the 5th Volunteer Regiment/PTS, but this does not seem to have been carried out.
Jan – Mar 44: Drniš and the surrounding area with HQ and 1st – 4th Co. - engaged in limited local operations under the tactical command of German 264. Inf.Div.
Apr 44: Drniš - although it belonged to IV Ustasha Brigade, it was attached to the newly formed VI Ustasha Brigade which controlled Ustasha units in that part of Dalmatia.
Jul 44: Battalion is believed to have been disbanded and its assets incorporated into VI Ustasha Brigade around July.

Commanders

?

Subordination

V Ustasha Brigade (Aug 1942 - c. May 1943)
IV Ustasha Brigade (Aug 1943 - c. Jul 1944)

Footnotes

1. Arhiv VII, kut. 134a, reg.br. 4/1; Colić 1977; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945, p.338; Zbornik Instituta za historiju radničkog pokreta Dalmacije. Knjiga (volume) 4, p.891; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-314 roll 554/883); (T-315 roll 2270/782 and 1032-36); (T-821 roll 448/727).


Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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