Operation Seydlitz (vii)

(18th century German cavalry general)

This was a German landing on Hvar island off the Dalmatian coast of German-occupied Yugoslavia (3/8 September 1944).

In order to secure and at the same time conceal their withdrawal from the islands off the Dalmatian coast of German-occupied Yugoslavia, the Germans sent from Šibenik to Split a force of 450 men of the Küstenjägerabteilung ‘Brandenburg’, a component of Generalleutnant Friedrich Kühlwein’s Division ‘Brandenburg’, in five assault landing craft to clear Brač and Hvar islands of what were believed to be strong partisan forces which might otherwise interfere with ‘Eisbär’ (vi) and other withdrawal operations.

Landing on Brač island on 3 September, the German force found no partisan forces, and the same was also true on Hvar island on 6/7 September. In this instance, though, the German effort triggered the partisans into the despatch of the 1st ‘Dalmatia’ Brigade reinforced with a battery of mountain guns and a platoon of tank as a force of 1,800 men, four tanks, three trucks, nine jeeps and three batteries of artillery. The battle on Hvar island started during the morning of 8 September around Stari Grad, and in six hours of combat the partisans forced the Germans to withdraw toward Jelsa, where they boarded landing craft to take them to Makarska. The 1st ‘Dalmatia’ Brigade claimed to have killed 20 Germans and captured five more, as well as taking two anti-tank guns, two heavy machine guns and other equipment.