Operation Wechselbalg

changeling

This was a German and Croat two-part undertaking to clear the partisan forces of Marshal Josip Broz Tito from the Prijeboj area of occupied Yugoslavia (20/27 August 1944).

After the failure of an initial attempt by the Croat forces of the Operational Area ‘Velebit’ to gather the harvest in this partisan-controlled area, another operation was launched by the 31st Ustaše Battalion to secure Ljubova and the 35th Battalion to move from Široka Kula to Tepšanovac. The undertaking was supported by two battalions of the 846th Grenadierregiment of Generalleutnant Johan Mickl’s 392nd Division (kroatisch), whose primary goal was the clearance of the Prijeboj area.

This ‘Wechselbalg I’ operation to take the northern part of the Krbava area of 18 August was led by the 2/846th Grenadierregiment reinforced by tank company, and advanced along the road from Bunić to Debelo Brdo. The ‘Wechselbalg II’ operation by the 392nd Division in the Prijeboj area ended on 27 August with around 400 tons of wheat, potatoes and vegetables gathered. The partisans claimed to have killed 50 or more men of the Axis forces and wounded 150 more, and admitted the loss of 33 of their own men killed and 112 wounded.