Operation Zenica-Zavidovići

(Yugoslav towns)

This was a German and Croat operation against the partisan forces of Josip Broz Tito in the puppet state of Croatia in Axis-occupied Yugoslavia (3/22 June 1942).

The undertaking’s objective was to clear the area to the east of Zenica and to the south of Zavidovići, and in the process to destroy the partisan forces (‘Birčanski’ Partisan Detachment, ‘Birčanski’ Volunteer Detachment, and ‘East Bosnia’ Assault Battalion) reportedly located there. The German contribution to the operation’s manpower was Generalleutnant Johann Fortner’s 718th Division, while that of the Croats comprised the 1/5th Regiment, 2/7th Regiment, 1 and 2/8th Regiment, 2/15th Regiment, 9th Artillery Group, elements of the 3rd and 4th Military Frontier Battalions, elements of the Moslem Militia, and a number of Četnik auxiliaries.

Most of the little fighting that took place occurred between 15 and 22 June around Vlasenica, in the area to the east of Zenica. The partisans were able to withdraw to the south-west, however, and thereby avoid being trapped and annihilated. The Croats thus rightly considered the operation to have been a failure.