|Death:||Died in Sutjeska, Bosnia & Herzegovina|
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About Mate Jugović
Listed as one of the victims in Jasenovac, when in fact killed during fifth ofensive
Mate Jugović's Timeline
October 10, 1908
May 15, 1943
- June 16, 1943
Sutjeska, Bosnia & Herzegovina
The Battle of Sutjeska from 15 May to 16 June 1943 was a joint attack of the Axis forces that aimed to destroy the Yugoslav partisan force, near the Sutjeska river in southeastern Bosnia. The failure of the offensive marked a turning point for Yugoslavia during World War II.
The Germans codenamed the plan Operation Schwarz ("Black"). The operation immediately followed Fall Weiss which had failed in accomplishing the same objectives: to crush the Partisan army and capture their leader, Josip Broz Tito, also known by his Comintern codename as "Walter". In post-war Yugoslavia the operation was known as the Fifth enemy offensive.
The Axis rallied 127,000 land troops for the offensive, including German, Italian, NDH, Bulgarian and Cossack (in ex-Yugoslav sources also called: "Čerkezi") units, and over 300 airplanes, under German operative command, against 18,000 soldiers of Yugoslav National Liberation Army operational group 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 Montenegro and forced them to engage in a fierce month-long battle on waste territory.
On June 9th, the Germans almost succeeded in liquidating Tito, as a bomb fell near the leading group and wounded him in the arm. The popular post-war report of the event credited Tito's dog Luks, a German shepherd for sacrificing his life to save Tito's.
Facing almost exclusively German troops in the final encirclement, 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 remained surrounded, and following Hitler's instructions, German commander in chief general Alexander Löhr ordered and carried out their annihilation, including the wounded and 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 6,391 partisan casualties, more than a third of the initial force. The German commander in field, general Rudolf Lüters in his final report described the so-called "communist rebels" as "well organized, skillfuly lead and with combat morale unbelievably high".
Immediately after the breakout, YNLA regrouped and mounted a counteroffensive in Eastern Bosnia, clearing Axis garrisons of Vlasenica, Srebrenica, Olovo, Kladanj and Zvornik in the following 20 days.
Sutjeska, Bosnia & Herzegovina