Operation Schneegestöber (i)

snow flurry

This was the German airborne component of the ‘Rösselsprung’ (ii) undertaking to find and destroy the headquarters of the partisan forces of Marshal Josip Broz Tito in the Slovenia region of German-occupied Yugoslavia (25/26 May 1944).

Specialist members of Generalleutnant Friedrich Kühlwein’s Division ‘Brandenburg’, attached to the 500th SS Fallschirmjägerbataillon, took part in this attempt to capture or kill Tito at his headquarters near Drvar and thereby, it was hoped, bring to an end the communist resistance in the Balkans. Tito managed to escape just before the SS Fallschirmjäger assault party reached the cave in which he had made his headquarters, and the Germans were then compelled to withdraw to the town cemetery, where they dug in and withstood a night of partisan assaults. The Germans admitted casualties of 213 killed, 881 wounded and 51 missing, and claimed to have inflicted some 6,000 casualties on the partisan forces.