Anti-Partisan Operations in NDH; Operation Ozren

Uprising Monument in puppet Independent State of Croatia.

Operation Ozren was an operation against the Partisans for the purpose of destruction of the Uprising in 1941.

Duration: December 3, 1941 - December 12, 1941

Aim: Destroying partisans concentrated along the Bosna and Spreče rivers in eastern Bosnia and in the Ozren mountain, lying between the river where the Partisans sabotaged the Maglaj-Doboj and Tuzla-Doboj railway lines.

Partisan forces: Ozren partisan detachment with four battalions.

The Croatian Forces: The Fourth Infantry Division (Doboj headquarters) with about 6,581 troops deployed in three martial arts groups composed of 20 Domobrans battalions, 4 to 5 Ustasha battalions, supported by 60-70 cannons and 3 armored brigades.

Operation and outcome: The NDH has managed to achieve most of the desired goals, but the Partisans have experienced strong resistance before the withdrawal. NDH had the number of 350 dead and wounded, while the Partisans had 120 dead and wounded.

The Chetniks, Ustashe and Home Guards in Bosnia

Partisan activities around communications forced chief of staff of Home Defence to issue following order on 2 November 1941:

"Because of a threat to railway Doboj-Maglaj-Sarajevo I order a) that commanders of II and III Corps evaluate the situation and take measures to as best as possible secure traffic along this railway..."

At the same time commander of II Home Defence Corps, General Iser received orders to prepare a plan for an offensive on Ozren partisan detachment. But since trains were being blown up daily there was no time to waste. With forces from Doboj and first arrived reinforcements attempt was made on 15 November to capture most critical point - village Lipac, situated at triangle between rivers Bosna, Spreca, and communications Tuzla-Doboj and Maglaj-Doboj. After bitter two-day fighting NDH troops were repulsed suffering 80 dead and 40 captured, amongst killed was commander LtColonel Alikadic.

By the plan of General Iser Operation 'Ozren' was suppose to take three days. Most of Home Defence 4th Division was to be used in operation - 16 battalions, over 60 guns, several tanks, three armored trains and several aircraft - some 7000 soldiers. Ozren partisan detachment had around 1000 fighters at that time divided into four battalions. Fighting's lasted for nine days without a break from 2 to 11? December (3 to 12?), after which Home Defence soldiers were forced to go over to the defense. Only partisan area of Lipacka glavica and Bajica kamen near Trbuka have been captured.

Jure Francetic, commander of the Ustasha Black League.

Report of the commander of 4th Home Defence Division Colonel Gostovic states that during operation: "373.998 rifle rounds have been fired, 3935 howitzer shells, 635 mountain and 1157 tank rounds, 1395 mortar mines, 2324 hand grandees..."

During these fighting's Partisans managed to capture one mountain gun, heavy machine-gun, 18 light machine guns and over 200 rifles. NDH units suffered over 350 dead and wounded while partisans losses were around 120 dead and wounded.



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