* Axis failure despite heavy Partisan casualties
Independent State of Croatia
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
Case White (4th Offensive) Delphin
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
The operation immediately followed
Case White which had failed in
accomplishing the same objectives: to eliminate the central Partisan
formations and capture their commander, Marshal
Josip Broz Tito
* 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
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
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
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
* 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
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
Seven anti-Partisan offensives
* ^ 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
* ^ Miodrag Živković * ^ Renata Jambrešić Kirin. The Politics of Memory in Croatian Socialist Culture: Some Remarks
* Deakin, Frederick William (1971). The embattled mountain. Oxford:
Oxford University Press.
* Maclean, Fitzroy (1949).
* Trifkovic, Gaj. "A Case of Failed Counter-Insurgency:
Anti-Partisan Operations in
Wikimedia Commons has media related to BATTLE OF THE SUTJESKA .
* A History of Yugoslavian