Operation Merkur (ii)

Mercury

This was a German and Croat operation against the partisan forces of Josip Broz Tito in the Krbavsko plain area of the puppet state of Croatia in German-occupied Yugoslavia (25/27 November 1943).

The object of the undertaking was the destruction of the partisan supply base in and around the Krbavsko plain between Gospić and Udbina and, in the process, destroy the ability of the area’s partisans to threaten the supply road between Bihać and Knin. The main German strength was provided by the bulk of Generalleutnant Karl Eglseer’s 114th Jägerdivision together with two reinforced battalions of Generalleutnant Emil Zellner’s 373rd Division (kroatisch), supported by one Croat battalion of Ustaše Pukovnik Čiril Čudina’s 4th Ustaše Brigade.

The lack of any mention of the operation in a contemporary after-action report or in post-way Yugoslav literature suggests that the operation either failed to gain contact with the partisan forces, or was cancelled.