Operation Ivan

(Slav version of the name John)

This was a German and Croat operation against the partisan forces of Josip Broz Tito in the Moslavačka mountain region in the puppet state of Croatia in Axis-occupied Yugoslavia (4/6 July 1943).

The undertaking took the form of a sweep against undetermined partisan forces by some 20,000 to 25,000 men under the control of Generalleutnant Josef Brauner von Haydringen’s 187th Reserve-Division, and the German contribution was elements of the 462nd Reserve-Grenadierregiment, 1/130th Reserve-Grenadierregiment, 2/130th Reserve-Grenadierregiment, 1/135th Reserve-Grenadierregiment, 2/482nd Reserve-Jägerregiment, 86th Reserve-Pionierbataillon and one Panzerzug (armoured train), while that of the Croats was Pukovnik Josip Šolc’s headquarters and 1/1st Mountain Brigade, 3/1st Mountain Brigade and 4/1st Mountain Brigade, 2/2nd Regiment, 1st Bicycle Battalion, Provisional Battalion ‘Bojnik Josić’ (one company of the 1st Assault Battalion reinforced with recruits and artillery), Agricultural Security Battalion, elements of the 5th Railway Security Battalion, 11th Ustaše Battalion and two armoured trains.

As a result of ‘Varaždin’, deemed a more important operation and thought to require additional Axis manpower, the sweep was terminated after just three days, by which time only the most limited contract had been made with the partisans.