Today's featured article
The 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian) was a German mountain infantry division of the Waffen-SS during World War II. Raised in the Independent State of Croatia, it was given the title Handschar after a fighting knife carried by Turkish policemen when the region was part of the Ottoman Empire. From March to December 1944, it fought a counter-insurgency campaign against communist-led Yugoslav Partisan resistance forces. The first non-Germanic Waffen-SS division, it was composed of Bosnian Muslims with some Catholic Croat soldiers and mostly German and ethnic German officers and non-commissioned officers. It swore allegiance to Adolf Hitler and the Croatian leader Ante Pavelić. It established a designated "security zone" in north-eastern Bosnia but fought outside the zone on several occasions. It gained a reputation for brutality and savagery during combat operations and atrocities against Serb and Jewish civilians. After late 1944, non-German members began to desert in large numbers, particularly once they had retreated inside the Reich frontier. Others surrendered to British forces. Thirty-eight officers were extradited to Yugoslavia, and ten were executed. (Full article...)
In the news
- At the Boston Marathon, American Meb Keflezighi wins the men's race and Kenyan Rita Jeptoo (pictured) wins the women's race.
- An avalanche on Mount Everest kills sixteen Nepalese guides.
- NASA ends the LADEE mission by intentionally crashing the spacecraft into the Moon.
- Abdelaziz Bouteflika is re-elected President of Algeria.
- Fifty-eight people are killed in an attack on a United Nations base in Bor, South Sudan, during an ongoing conflict.