Operation Bergwind

mountain wind

'Bergwind' was a German and Croat operation by General Helge Auleb’s LXIX Corps in German-occupied Yugoslavia against the army (ex-partisan) forces of Marshal Josip Broz Tito holding the Moslavačka mountain area round Moslavina to the south-east of Zagreb, and also against the Yugoslav X 'Zagreb' Corps moving toward Podravina under orders of the Yugoslav 3rd Army in order to ease the pressure on the Yugoslav XII 'Vojvodina' Corps and General Leytenant Vladimir D. Stoychev’s Bulgarian 1st Army checking the German bridgehead over the Drava at Valpovo and Donji Miholjac in 'Waldteufel' (8/15 March 1945).

Involving Generalleutnant Hellmuth von Pannwitz’s 1st Kosaken-Kavalleriedivision as well as Croat forces comprising Pukovnik Josip Solc’s 1st Assault Division and Podpukovnik Petar Gregurić's 1st Mountain Brigade, 'Bergwind' took the X 'Zagreb' Corps completely by surprise and forced the 3rd Brigade and 4th Assault Brigade of its 32nd Division, as well as the 'Moslavina' and 'Zagreb' Partisan Detachments, to fall back. The 32nd Division lost three battalion commanders killed in action among a casualty list which included 79 dead, 383 wounded, 51 missing and two captured. The division also lost significant quantities of matériel (light weapons and ammunition).

The 33rd Division, which arrived in the region during the German offensive, lost 11 men dead and 88 wounded, as well a some matériel.

The Yugoslavs estimated the German casualties as 181 men dead, 99 wounded and 10 captured, and also captured some matériel. After the X 'Zagreb' Corps had been driven out of Moslavina region, the Germans undertook a detailed search of the area and discovered hidden partisan ammunition bunkers and food stores.