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

Formed August 1942 in Bihać by renaming the III Lika Ustasha Battalion. Disbanded and then reestablished in 1943 (see below). (1)

Operational History

(see III and IV Ustasha Brigades for additional information)

1 Oct 42: Bn. HQ with 1st – 3d Co. in Bihać.
15 Nov 42: the Battalion was severely mauled in heavy fighting in and around Bihać during the first half of November. The survivors were withdrawn to Karlovac on 15 November where they were assigned to V Ustasha Battalion. Some sources maintain that the unit mauled in Bihać was actually the 33d Ustasha Preparatory Battalion and not the active XXXIII Ustasha Bn. This confusion has never been cleared up.
Dec 42: now said to be in Otočac.
Aug 43: reestablished in Ogulin by activating the 12th Ustasha Preparatory Battalion. From this date forward into 1945, the Battalion operated in the Plaščanska Valley that runs from Ogulin southeast to Lička Jesenica.
20 Nov 43: Bn. HQ with 1st – 4th Co. deployed in Ogulin, Gojac, Trošmarija and Ravna Gora in a total strength of 684.
31 Jan 44: operating from Josipdol together with units of the German 392. Inf.Div. (kroat.), the Battalion began a two-day cleansing operation around the village of Plaški against elements of 8th Division NOVJ with moderate casualties on both sides.
5-8 Mar 44: in the company of German 392. Inf.Div. (kroat.) units, participated in a 4-day operation to clear the Plaščanska Valley of numerous Partisan formations that resulted in heavy fighting and high losses.
30 Mar 44: engaged in the Slunj area against elements of 8th Division NOVJ and the Kordun NOP Detachment.
Apr – Jun 44: Bn. HQ, HQ Co. and 1st – 5th Co. engaged in the Plaščanska Valley area under the tactical control of German 392. Inf.Div. (kroat.).
1 Jun 44: in Vojnovac/17 km SSE of Ogulin in a total strength of 692.
26 Jul 44: now back in Josipdol with elements in Ogulin and Vojnovac.
20 Nov 44: Plaški/23 km SSE of Ogulin - in the process of dividing the Battalion by creating a second battalion. On completion the XXXIII Ustasha Bn. had 1st – 5th Co. in a strength of 10 officers and 779 men, and the XXXIIIa Ustasha Bn. had 1st – 2d Co. with 4 officers and 231 men. By the end of November, the former was renamed IV Bn./IV Ustasha Brigade and the later became I Bn./XVII Ustasha Brigade.


Ust. Bojnik Braco Tomljenović (? - Nov 1944) Mar 1944, Aug 1944


IV Ustasha Brigade (Aug 1942 - c. Dec 1942)
III Ustasha Brigade (Aug 1943 - Nov 1944)


1. Arhiv VII, kut. 114b; kut. 134a, 4/1; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Tom V/9, p.449; Tom XI/4; [Vojnoistorijski institute] - Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945, pp.660, 704, 710 and 731; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-311 roll 184/250; roll 192/202); (T-314 roll 559/221); (T-821 roll 53/367-79; roll 448/727); [ - ] - Plaščanska dolina i okolica u NOR-u 1941-1945. Karlovac: Historijski arhiv, 1976; Schraml, Franz - Kriegsschauplatz Kroatien. Neckargemünd: Kurt Vowinckel Verlag , 1962.

Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -