Operation Frühlingsanfang

early spring

This was a German-led Axis operation against the partisan forces of Marshal Josip Broz Tito in the Primorska and Gorenjska regions of Slovenia within German-occupied Yugoslavia (19 March/late March 1945).

The undertaking was probably the largest and most arduous German offensive in this part of Slovenia, and was itself divided into two parts as ‘Frühlingsanfang’ proper and its sequel, ‘Winterende’. The first stage of the whole undertaking involved some 15,000 men drawn from various posts, a mix of units and a great diversity of origins (Germans, Austrians, Italians, Greeks, Slovenian Domobrans, members of the Serb State Guard, Serb Četniks and even Russian renegades).

The Axis forces quickly surrounded and inflicted heavy losses on some 2,500 partisans, and the offensive is perhaps best known for the murder of many captured partisans by the headquarters personnel of the 13th SS Polizeiregiment at Porezen.