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"Infanterie Regiment 369 (kroatisches)" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2020 1:11 p.m. PST

"Just two months after its formation on April 10, 1941, the so-called Independent State of Croatia ("NDH" – Nezavisna Država Hrvatska) was forced to consider its first military commitment to its sponsor, ally and protector – Nazi Germany. On 22nd June 1941 Germany initiated "Operation Barbarossa", the invasion of the Soviet Union, and NDH leader Ante Pavelić called meetings with both the military and civilian leadership of the state in order to gauge support for the invasion. Those present expressed unanimous support for the German attack, considering the German invasion an opportunity to join the battle of "all freedom loving nations against Communism".

Pavelić spoke with Edmund Glaise von Horstenau, the representative of the German military in Croatia, who suggested that he send a communiqué to Hitler offering to provide Croatian troops for the Eastern Front. Pavelić complied, offering to commit Croatian land, air and naval forces, "as soon as possible" to fight alongside their German allies. The ground contingent of the planned Croatian forces was to be the first raised, and the Croatians required around 4,000 volunteers to come forward, enabling them to form a unit of around regimental strength. However, by the July 15th 1941, over 9,000 men had already volunteered, thus causing the criteria for acceptance to immediately be raised considerably.

Consequently, the "Verstärktes Kroatisches Infanterie-Regiment 369", or 369th Reinforced Croatian Infantry Regiment, began its formation on 16th July 1941. The Regiment comprised around 3,895 officers, NCO's and men, and as the 369th formed part of the Wehrmacht, they were to wear German uniforms and equipment and use German rank insignia. However, the Croat origins of the unit would be clearly identified through the wearing of the Croatian ‘chessboard' arm shield on the left sleeve, comprising 24 red and white checkers with the title "Hrvatska" (Croatia) above. The 369th also wore the chessboard emblem on the left side of their standard German combat helmet. It is interesting to note, though, that the regiment was considered by the NDH government to also be (at least technically) a part of the Croatian "Domobranstvo" (regular Army)…"
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Legion 421 Mar 2020 3:57 p.m. PST

The Croats were allied with Germany like a number of other Eastern Europeans. Sometimes many don't know that …

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2020 3:44 p.m. PST

(smile)

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Armand

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