Operation "Alfa" (1942-10-05)
- Published: 19 January 2011 19 January 2011
- Last Updated: 07 April 2012 07 April 2012
Dates: 5 – 10 October 1942. (1)
Objective: To retake the town of Prozor in Hercegovina and the surrounding area, which was the center of bauxite mining in Yugoslavia and had been overrun by strong Partisan forces, and secure the 60 kilometers of railway track between Sarajevo and Mostar.
Enemy Forces: 10th Hercegovina Brigade.
Italian (c. 4,000 men)
94th Infantry Rgt./18th Infantry Div. “Messina”
XXIX Bn./4th Bersaglieri Rgt.
3 Corps of Chetnik auxiliaries (c. 5,000 men)
7th Infantry Rgt. (elements)
15th Infantry Rgt. (elements)
Conduct of Operations and Results: Under the overall command of Italian VI Corps, the attacking forces achieved their objectives in just 6 days. In a sad footnote to an otherwise relatively bloodless operation, the Chetnik auxiliaries went on a rampage and massacred an estimated 638 Roman Catholic Croatian and Moslem civilians and burned down 656 homes. Rather than intervene, the Italian commanders chose to turn a blind eye to the carnage.
1. [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945 (Belgrade, 1964), p.353; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Oslobodilački rat naroda Juooslavije 1941-1945, 2 Vols (Belgrade: 1965), p.284; [Stato Maggiore Esercito - Ufficio Storico] - Le Operazioni delle Unita italiane in Jugoslavia 1941-1943 (Rome: Ministero della Difesa stato Maggiore dell' Esercito, 1978), pp.211-12; Tomasevich, Jozo - The Chetniks (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1975), p.233.