* Axis failure despite heavy Partisan casualties
COMMANDERS AND LEADERS
127,000 men 300+ aircraft 22,148 men
CASUALTIES AND LOSSES
GERMAN CASUALTIES: 583 killed, 1,760 wounded, 425 missing ITALIAN CASUALTIES: 290 killed, 541 wounded, 1,502 missing CROATIAN CASUALTIES: 40 killed, 166 wounded, 205 missing TOTAL AXIS CASUALTIES: 913 killed, 2,467 wounded, 2,132 missing 2/3 killed and wounded (6,391 –7,543 killed)
2,537 pro-Partisan civilian sympathizers executed
* v * t * e
June 1941 uprising in eastern Herzegovina Uprising
in Serbia Loznica Banja Koviljača Uzice (1st Offensive) Novi
Pazar Mihailovic Sjenica
Uprising in Montenegro Pljevlja
Southeast Croatia (2nd Offensive) Prijedor Nanos Trio (3rd
1942 Montenegro offensive (3rd Offensive) Kozara Kupres
Alfa Dražgoše Livno Kočevje
Partisan column during the Battle of the Sutjeska
CASE BLACK (German : FALL SCHWARZ), also known as the FIFTH ENEMY OFFENSIVE (Serbo-Croatian : Peta neprijateljska ofanziva) in Yugoslav historiography and often identified with its final phase, the BATTLE OF THE SUTJESKA (Serbo-Croatian : Bitka na Sutjesci pronounced ) was a joint attack by the Axis taking place from 15 May to 16 June 1943, which aimed to destroy the main Yugoslav Partisan force, near the Sutjeska river in south-eastern Bosnia . The failure of the offensive marked a turning point for Yugoslavia during World War II .
The operation immediately followed
* 1 Operation
* 2 Order of battle
* 2.1 Allied order of battle * 2.2 Axis order of battle
* 3 In Film * 4 In song * 5 Memorial complex * 6 See also * 7 Citations
* 8 References
* 8.1 Books * 8.2 Journals
* 9 External links
The Axis rallied 127,000 land troops for the offensive, including
German , Italian , NDH , Bulgarian , and over 300 airplanes. The
Yugoslav National Liberation Army had 22,148 soldiers in 16 brigades .
After a period of troop concentration, the offensive started on 15
May 1943. The Axis troops used the advantage of better starting
positions to encircle and isolate the partisans on the Durmitor
mountain area, located between the Tara and Piva rivers in the
mountainous areas of northern
On 9 June Tito was nearly killed when a bomb fell near the leading
group, wounding him in the arm. The popular post-war report of the
event credited Tito's
German shepherd dog Luks, for sacrificing his
life to save Tito's. Captain William F. Stuart, a
Facing almost exclusively German troops, the Yugoslav National Liberation Army ( YNLA ) finally succeeded in breaking out across the Sutjeska river through the lines of the German 118th and 104th Jäger and 369th (Croatian) Infantry divisions in the northwestern direction, towards eastern Bosnia. Three brigades and the central hospital with over 2000 wounded were surrounded. Following Hitler's instructions, German commander in chief Generaloberst Alexander Löhr ordered their annihilation, including the wounded and the unarmed medical personnel. In addition, YNLA troops suffered from severe lack of food and medical supplies, and many were struck down by typhoid .
In total there were 7,543 partisan casualties, more than a third of the initial force. The German field commander, General Rudolf Lüters in his final report described the so-called "communist rebels" as "well organized, skillfully led and with combat morale unbelievably high".
The successful Partisan breakout helped their reputation as a viable
fighting force with the local populace. Consequently, they were able
to replenish their losses with new recruits, regroup, and mount a
series of counterattacks in eastern Bosnia, clearing Axis garrisons of
The battle marked a turning point toward Partisan control of Yugoslavia, and became an integral part of the Yugoslav post-war mythology, celebrating the self-sacrifice, extreme suffering and moral firmness of the partisans.
ORDER OF BATTLE
Liberated territory in Yugoslavia, May 1943.
ALLIED ORDER OF BATTLE
Yugoslav Partisans (Partisans Main Operational Group)
AXIS ORDER OF BATTLE
* 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen * 1st Mountain Division * 118th Jäger Division * 369th (Croatian) Infantry Division * Regiment 4 Brandenburg * reinforced 724th Infantry Regiment ( 104th Jäger Division )
* 1 Alpine Division Taurinense * 19 Infantry (Mountain) Division Venezia * 23 Infantry Division Ferrara * 32 Infantry Division Marche * 151 Infantry Division Perugia * 154 Infantry Division Murge * forces of Sector Podgorica
* 4th Home Guard Jäger Brigade
* 63rd Infantry Regiment
* 61st Infantry Regiment also in the area (both units under the command of the 369th (Croatian) Infantry Division)
Battle of Sutjeska was made into a movie in 1973, Sutjeska , with Richard Burton playing the lead as Josip Broz Tito, leader of the partisan forces.
There are several songs about the Battle of Sutjeska. One of the more popular is called "Sivi Sokole" which translates to peregrine falcon . It mentions the death of Commander Sava Kovačević .
Sivi sokole, prijatelju stari, Daj mi krila, sokole da preletim planine.
Visoka je planina, nebo iznad nje, A na nebu sivi soko, gleda na mene.
Duboka je Sutjeska, kanjon iznad nje Na kanjonu Tito stoji, gleda ranjene
Na kanjonu Tito stoji i poručuje Sutjeska se mora proći, da spasimo ranjene Sivi sokole...
Sutjeska je probijena, ranjeni su spašeni A naš stari heroj Sava osta mrtav da leži Sivi sokole...
Radili smo, radimo, radit ćemo još Druže Tito, kunemo se, pobijedit ćemo
Peregrine falcon, old friend of mine, Give me wings, falcon, that I may fly over the mountains.
The mountain is high, the sky above it, And in the sky the peregrine falcon, looking down upon me.
Sutjeska is deep, the canyon above it Above the canyon stands Tito, watches over the wounded
Above the canyon stands Tito and commands, The Sutjeska must be crossed to save the wounded, Peregrine falcon...
Sutjeska is breached, the wounded are saved But our old hero Sava remained lying dead Peregrine falcon...
We have toiled, we toil, we will toil still Comrade Tito, we pledge, we will triumph.
Sculptor Miodrag Živković designed the memorial complex, dedicating
to the Battle of the Sutjeska in the 1970s. The complex contains
frescoes by the Croatian artist
* ^ J. B. Tito, The Yugoslav Road, 99 * ^ Slobodan Nešović, Yugoslav-Bulgarian Relations, 1941-1945, 95 * ^ Jozo Tomašević, The Chetniks, 199 * ^ A B C Report of the commander of German troops in Croatia from the 20th of june 1943 (in Croatian), Collection of Documents and Information on the National Liberation War of the Peoples of Yugoslavia , Volume XII (german documents), book 3, page 94 * ^ A B Report of the commander of German troops in Croatien (Befehlshaber der Deutschen Truppen in Kroatien), June 20th 43, National Archive Washington T314, roll 560, frames 750-751 * ^ A B Cloutier, Patrick (2013). Regio Esercito: The Italian Royal Army in Mussolini's Wars, 1935-1943. lulu.com. p. 182. ISBN 1105074013 . * ^ A B Ante Cuvalo, The A to Z of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 237 * ^ A B C Hoare, Marko Attila (2006). Genocide and Resistance in Hitler's Bosnia: The Partisans and the Chetniks. Oxford University Press. p. 341. ISBN 0-19-726380-1 . * ^ Кучан, Виктор (1996). Борци Сутјеске. Завод за уџбенике и наставна средства: Београд. ISBN 978-86-17-04984-1 . * ^ Andric, Milan (1964). Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije. Beograd: Vojnoistorijski institut. p. 471. * ^ National Archive Washington T315, roll 1294, frames 537-545 * ^ Doder, Duško (1979). The Yugoslavs. Vintage Books. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-394-74158-1 . * ^ Gilbert, Martin (1971). Winston S. Churchill: Challenge of War 1914-1916. Houghton Mifflin. p. 319. ISBN 978-0-395-13153-4 . * ^ Ritchie, Sebastian (2004). Our Man In Yugoslavia: The Story of A Secret Service Operative. Routledge. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-7146-5559-8 .
* ^ Miodrag Živković * ^ Renata Jambrešić Kirin. The Politics of Memory in Croatian Socialist Culture: Some Remarks