First anti-Partisan Offensive

First anti-Partisan Offensive

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=First anti-Partisan Offensive
partof=the Yugoslav Front of World War II

caption=The "Republic of Užice" in relation to borders established by the Axis occupation of Yugoslavia.
date= 27th September15th October, 1941
place=Serbia (including Republic of Užice)

result=Axis victory, Partisan retreat

The First anti-Partisan Offensive, known in ex-Yugoslavia as the First Enemy Offensive (Croatian, Serbian: "Prva neprijateljska ofenziva/ofanziva"), was a battle during World War II between Partisans on one side and German and Chetnik troops on the other side. It took place in western Serbia between 27th September and 15th October, 1941. [ [ Battles & Campaigns during World War 2 in Yugoslavia ] ]


In mid-September 1941, Tito and the rest of the Partisan staff moved from Belgrade to the first area liberated by the Serbian Partisans. This base was located between Šabac and Užice, in the Krupanj area of northwest Serbia, and was commonly called the "Užice Republic".Johnson, C. A. (1962) "Peasant Nationalism and Communist Power: The Emergence of Revolutionary China 1937-1945". pp. 159-169 (California : Stanford University Press)] In this area, the Partisans formed 25 new detachments.GE-YLZ|6|Prva Neprijateljska Ofenziva]


To clear this territory of Partisans, Germans employed 342 and 113 division and parts of divisions 704, 714, 717 and 718. They were helped by Dimitrije Ljotić's Serbian Volunteer Corps, Kosta Pećanac's forces, Ustaše and Croatian Home Guard. As German forces entered the territory held by the Partisans, they faced significant resistance from Partisan forces, especially on Rudnik Mountain and in Kraljevo. As retribution for a lost man, Germans executed 7,000 people in Kragujevac between September 21 and September 23.

On September 29, the offensive officially started when the 342nd German infantry division attacked Partisans on the road between Šabac and Loznica.

When the German operations started, Tito tried to negotiate help from Draža Mihailović and his Chetniks, but failed to reach an agreement. On the contrary, on November 13 Mihailović met with German emissaries and stated that he wouldn't resist the Germans and that he would fight against the Partisans.

Mihailović's forces engaged Partisans on few occasions, but with no success. At one point, Mihailović's forces, after mounting a surprise attack on the Partisans, found themselves surrounded. The Partisans allowed them to go free, which political observers have attributed to military foresight, as the Chetniks would continue to attack German forces. Eds. (1995) "Tito's Victory: Theory into reality" (Washington DC : National Defense University)] However, the British liaison to Mihajlović was not so lenient. He advised London to stop supplying the Chetniks after their assistance in the German attack on Užice, but Britain continued to do so.]

German forces and their allies advanced from the north and east towards Užice, and by the 2nd half of November the Partisan forces were in full retreat. On November 29 the Partisans, including headquarters which were stationed there, left Užice and headed for Sandžak. Some detachments failed to retreat on time and were dispersed or destroyed. After the main Partisan forces left for Sandžak, only parts of 5 Partisan detachments were present in Serbia.

ee also

* Yugoslav Partisans
* Yugoslav People's Liberation War
* Seven anti-Partisan offensives
* List of anti-Partisan operations in Yugoslavia
* Resistance during World War II


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