Operation Provincia di Lubiana

province of Ljubljana

This was an Italian operation against the partisan forces of Josip Broz Tito in the puppet state of Croatia in Axis-occupied Yugoslavia (12 July/7 August 1942).

The object of the operation was to clear the 2nd ‘Primorskoranski’ Partisan Detachment from the mountainous area centred about 9.33 miles (15 km) to the north-west of Delnice in north-western Croatia near the border with Slovenia, destroy its supply bases and neutralise the support it was receiving from sympathetic local civilians.

The Italian forces involved were Generale di Divisione Giunio Ruggiero’s 21st Divisione ‘Granatieri di Sardegna’, Generale di Divisione Vittorio Ruggero’s 22nd Divisione ‘Cacciatori delle Alpi’, elements of Generale di Brigata Antonio Cesaretti’s 153rd Divisione da occupazione ‘Macerata’, and the Gruppo ‘Fabbri’ comprising elements of Generale di Divisione Benedetto Fiorenzoli’s 13th Divisione ‘Re’.

Part of a much larger multi-element operation fought mainly in the province of Ljubljana in Slovenia, the troops assigned to this portion swept the terrain west of a secondary road running between Delnice and the village of Prezid. The principal peak in the area is Mt Risnjak, and this is sometimes used in the Yugoslav literature as the name for the operation. In addition to routing the handful of partisans belonging to the detachment, the Italians carried out a scorched earth campaign by destroying the harvest, burning down some 1,000 homes, shooting 200 civilians and sequestrating another 2,500 men and women for removal to internment camps.