Operation Beta (ii)

'Beta' (ii) was an Italian and Croat operation against the partisan forces of Josip Broz Tito in the region of Livno in Axis-occupied Yugoslavia (21/29 October 1942).

The undertaking was the Italian second phase of the Axis series of joint offensives created under the 'Dinara' plan, and was designed to recapture the area of central Bosnia which had been liberated by the partisans.

The offensive got under way on 21 October with parts of Generale di Corpo d’Armata Umberto Spigo’s Italian XVIII Corpo d’Armata, the 1st Ustase Regiment 'Black Legion' and parts of Momčilo Đujić's Četnik 'Dinara' Division, totalling some 12 to 14 battalions, advancing along convergent axes from Kupres, Sujica, Duvno, Imotski, Sinj and Vrlika. While the 1st 'Dalmatia' Brigade and the 3rd Partisan Detachment of the 4th Operational Zone halted five Italian and Četnik columns, two Ustase battalions from Kupresa effected a breakthrough on 3 October. These two units crossed the undefended mountains of Cincar and Krug to take parts of the 4th Operational Zone by surprise, capture Livno and drive the partisans back in the direction of Kamesnica mountain and Glamoc.

On 26 October, under the orders of the partisan supreme headquarters, the partisans of the area began a three-day counterattack using the 1st and 2nd Proletarian Brigades and the 4th 'Krajina' Brigade against parts of Generale di Divisione Francesco Zani’s Italian 12a Divisione 'Sassari' and the 'Dinara' Division. Because the partisans grouped slowly and also failed to complete their planned grouping, there was little chance of gaining any significant tactical surprise and the counterattack failed, although an assault group did capture the village of Strmica, break the Četniks manning the outer defence positions round Bosansko Grahovo, and inflict significant losses on the Italian and Četnik garrison.