Part of the Anti-Partisan Operations in Croatia series by H.L. deZeng IV

Dates: 24 – 28 December 1943. (1)

Objective: To clear and secure the terrain parallel to and south of the railway line running between Bosanski Novi and Prijedor in West Bosnia where a buildup of Partisans had been reported.

Enemy Forces: Elements of the 7th Banija Division.

Axis Forces:
Infanterie-Rgt. 383/373. Infanterie-Div. (kroat.)
Aufklärungs-Abt./373. Infanterie-Div. (kroat.)
I./Artillerie-Rgt. 373
Panzer-Abt. 202 (3 tanks)
11th Mountain Rgt./III Mountain Brigade

Conduct of Operations and Results: The advancing Axis forces began meeting heavy resistance on the second day of the operation (Christmas day - 25 December) and this continued to the conclusion of “Ristow”. Due to the unexpected heavy fighting and numerous wounded, the relatively small force of Germans and Croatians did not succeed in clearing the assigned area and the operation was considered a failure. No details on this operation have been found in the postwar Yugoslav accounts.

Losses (from German accounts)
Germans: 9 killed and 18 wounded.
Croatians: 13 killed, 51 severely wounded (plus a large number of lightly wounded) and 13 missing.
Partisans: unknown, but local eyewitnesses reported the Partisans burying 76 of their dead in just one location, so overall Partisan casualties were thought to be high.

1. Schraml, Franz - Kriegsschauplatz Kroatien (Neckargemünd: Kurt Vowinckel Verlag , 1962), pp.171-75; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-315 roll 2171/495).