Operation Frühlingswetter

spring gale

This was a German and possibly Croat operation against the partisan forces of Marshal Josip Broz Tito in the puppet state of Croatia in German-occupied Yugoslavia (23/25 January 1944).

The undertaking’s objective was to open and secure a key supply road by destroying the partisan forces (5th ‘Dalmatia’ Brigade of the 19th Division and the ‘North Dalmatia’ Partisan Detachment) in the area between Knin and Kistanje some 12.5 miles (20 km) to the west-south-west of Knin. The Germans committed Generalleutnant Otto Lüdecke’s 264th Division and the 92nd Grenadierregiment (mot.). The operation’s first two days proceeded according to plan, but on the last day the partisans ambushed a German column on the road between Knin and Kistanje road, later reporting the destruction, unconfirmed in German reports, of 14 trucks, three cars, two tanks and four pieces of artillery. The German record admits the loss of one man killed and three wounded, and claims 66 partisans counted dead, 60 to 70 more killed and wounded, and 35 captured.