I Ustasha Battalion (I. ustaška bojna) (also as: Francetić Ustasha Battalion, Boban Ustasha Battalion, Tomić Ustasha Battalion and Black Legion Ustasha Battalion)
by H.L. deZeng IV

Formed approximately September 1941 in Sarajevo as a component of the 1st Ustasha Regiment “Black Legion” with 1,100 – 1,200 men. (1)

Operational History

(see 1st Ustasha Rgt., I Ustasha Brigade and V Ustasha Brigade for additional information)

Sep 41 – Aug 42: served in East Bosnia as the main force of the 1st Ustasha Rgt. The history of this battalion is largely unknown. There are very few references to it in the surviving documents and in the postwar literature. Even the postwar Ustasha periodical “Drina”, which was published in Madrid by the notorious Vjekoslav “Maks” Luburić, makes little mention of it. Yet it was the premier battalion of the Ustasha Militia and the founding formation of the so-called “Black Legion.” Veterans of the Battalions were called “Crni” (“Blacks”) and this denoted their elite status.
Sep 42: in late August or early September, the Battalion was transferred to Bugojno and Kupres in Hercegovina as the cadre battalion for the new V Ustasha Brigade to be commanded by Rafael Boban, who had been the commander of the Battalion up to that point.
5-15 Dec 42: 1st and 2d Co./I Ustasha Bn. defended Livno (see V Ust. Brigade).
Apr 43: in Konjic/SW of Sarajevo.
Aug 43: now back in Livno.
Nov 43: in Glamoč/28 km NNW of Livno.
Feb 44: transferred with V Ustasha Brigade from Hercegovina to Koprivnica/NE of Zagreb at the beginning of February.
7-11 Feb 44: participated in Operation “Dubrovnik 2” in the Kalnik Mountains near Koprivnica with V Ustasha Brigade and other forces in that area.
1 Sep 44: renamed I Bn./V Ustasha Brigade.


Ust. Satnik Jure Francetić (? Sep 1941? - ?)
Ust Satnik Rafael Boban (? - Sep 1942?) 1941-1942
Ust. Satnik Viktor Tomić (? - ?) 1942-1943?


1st Ustasha Regiment (Sep 1941 - Jul 1942)
I Ustasha Brigade (Aug 1942 - Sep 1942)
V Ustasha Brigade (Sep 1942 - Sep 1944)


1. Arhiv VII, kut. 134a, reg.br. 4/1; Colić – 1977; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Tom V/10, p.476; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-315 roll 2270/1032-34).

Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -