Operation Fliegenfänger

flycatcher

This was a German operation against partisan forces in the Osmaci and Memici regions of German-occupied Albania by units of SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS Karl-Gustav Sauberzeig’s IX SS Gebirgskorps (14 July 1944).

Together with ‘Draufgänger’ (iii), ‘Röslein’ and ‘Sonnenstich’, ‘Fliegenfänger’ was one of a group of operations planned and led by General Franz Böhme’s 2nd Panzerarmee in July 1944 to prevent the concentration of partisan forces in eastern Herzegovina and the Lim river area in preparation for a movement into Serbia.

The unit entrusted with the task was the 27th SS Gebirgsjägerregiment of SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS Desiderius Hampel’s 13th SS Gebirgsdivision ‘Handschar’ (kroatisch Nr 1), which attacked from Majevica and captured the partisan-used airfield at Osmak and the Papraći-Šekovići area from the 19th ‘Birač’ Brigade of the 27th ‘East Bosnia’ Division. The Germans managed to capture the airfield and damage the runway, although only slightly, and the latter had been repaired and brought back into service within one day. The 19th Brigade managed to push back the Germans before its task was assumed by the 36th ‘Vojvodina’ Division.