Operation Karlovačka Operacija

This was a Yugoslav operation by the forces of Marshal Josip Broz Tito in an effort to liberate the area of Karlovac in German-occupied Yugoslavia and at the same time prevent German formations falling back through Slovenia into southern Austria (30 April/7 May 1945).

The Yugoslav formation involved was the ‘Karlovac’ Divisional Grouping (3rd, 4th ‘Krajina’, 10th ‘Krajina’ and 34th ‘Croatia’ Divisions), and it has been claimed that these divisions destroyed substantial Axis forces, although it is more probable that the Axis forces managed to escape largely unscathed through Slovenia to surrender to the Western Allies in southern Austria. Among these Axis forces were Generalleutnant Friedrich Stephan’s 104th Jägerdivision, 2nd Polizei Freiwilligenregiment 'Kroatien' and 4th Polizei Freiwilligenregiment 'Kroatien', 96th Pionierregiment and number of smaller Ustaše groups. One battalion of the 20th Jägerregiment fought an exemplary rearguard action to permit an orderly withdrawal of the German and Croat troops, and suffered very few casualties during its effort.