Operation Seitensprung (ii)


'Seitensprung' (ii) was a German operation against the Yugoslav forces of the XXI Corps' 10th 'Krajina' Division of Marshal Josip Broz Tito in German-occupied Yugoslavia in succession to 'Lawine' (10/14 March 1945).

As a result of the destruction of the Kampfgruppe 'Eberlein' and the loss of Travnik in the aftermath of 'Lawine', SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS August Schmidhuber’s 7th SS Gebirgsdivision 'Prinz Eugen' was transferred to Zenica area in order to secure the route along which the northward-retreating German forces were moving from Sarajevo in the southern Balkans.

'Seitensprung' (ii) began on 10 March with a comparatively small-scale German advance into the Lepenica valley and a frontal attack from the Zujevina. This almost managed to encircle the 9th and 17th Brigades of the 10th 'Krajina' Division on the Drozgometva ridge. After its retreat, and bolstered by the arrival of the 7th Division, the 10th 'Krajina' Division managed to retake Kresevo. Then on 13 March, the main strength of the 7th SS Gebirgsdivision, which had been delayed in transit, joined the operation and again captured Kresevo. The 10th 'Krajina' Division took up defensive position on the Inač mountain and Visočica hill, and could not be dislodged or encircled.

The partisans admitted the loss of 53 men killed, 126 wounded and 12 missing, but the German losses are unknown.