Operation Falke (v)

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This was a German operation against the partisan forces of Marshal Josip Broz Tito in the Papuk and Bilo mountain region of the puppet state of Croatia in German-occupied Yugoslavia (20 February/11 March 1944).

The undertaking’s objective was the destruction of undetermined partisan forces on the Papuk mountain region between Valpovo and Ðakovo and between Pitomača and Sedlarica in the Bilo mountain region to the north-west of Virovitica. With possibly just a few Croat forces in support, the German contingent for this operation, under the command of the Stab/Polizeiregiment ‘Kroatien’, comprised the 6, 8 and 9/Polizeiregiment ‘Kroatien’, 11th Polizei Panzerkompanie and 2nd Polizei Geschützbatterie ‘Kroatien’.

This was a police operation effected in two phases and in two separate locations over a period of three weeks. Loss figures suggest that the operation was not notably successful, and that the partisans managed largely to avoid contact. The German record admits the loss of three Germans killed and six wounded, and claims 91 partisans counted dead and 13 captured.