Operation Draufgänger (iii)


'Draufgänger' (iii) was an Axis but largely German operation against the partisan forces of Marshal Josip Broz Tito in German-occupied northern Albania and the Montenegro area of German-occupied Yugoslavia (18/26 July 1944).

The operation was aimed at the II Assault Corps in the Andrijevica area with the object of preventing the breakthrough of the Yugoslav Operative Groups of Divisions into Serbia.

The Axis forces involved in the operation included SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS August Schmidhuber’s 21st SS Gebirgsdivision 'Skanderbeg' (albanische Nr 1), the 14th SS Gebirgsjägerregiment of SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS Karl Reichsritter von Oberkamp’s 7th SS Gebirgsdivision 'Prinz Eugen', the Kampfgruppe 'Bendl', Kampfgruppe 'Krempler' and Kampfgruppe 'Stripel', part of one regiment of Generalleutnant Friedrich Kühlwein’s Panzergrenadierdivision 'Brandenburg', and the 5th SS Polizeiregiment, as well as Bulgarian and Četnik units.

Never fully formed, and characterised by indifferent training and appalling discipline, the 21st SS Gebirgsdivision 'Skanderbeg' was broken during this operation, and other units also suffered significant casualties as the German plan failed.