Operation Treibjagd

driving hunt

This was a German, Bulgarian and Serb operation against the currently anti-Axis Četnik partisan detachments commanded by Major Nicola Kalabić in the Ladmonvač and Rubnik areas of German-occupied Yugoslavia (mid-February/5 March 1944).

With the expiry of the Četnik/German armistice agreements at the end of February 1944, the Četniks determined to fight the Axis occupation forces in Yugoslavia, though the only real factor connecting the Germans and Četniks was both parties' was their enmity with the partisans of Josip Broz Tito. After the expiry of the agreements and August 1944, there remained a level of informal co-operation, but the Germans nonetheless felt it appropriate to use force whenever the Četniks resorted to violence against them, the Bulgarians and the Serb collaborationist authorities. The largest of these punitive operations was 'Treibjagd', which was intended to capture Kalabić.

The Axis forces involved in this undertaking were controlled by Oberst Paul Diesener, commander of the 5th Railway Security Section Staff, and resulted in the deaths of 81 Četniks, the wounding of a somewhat larger number, and the capture of another 913 including many officers.

The major success of the operation, from the Axis point of view, was to persuade the Četniks to re-establish their collaboration.