Light Transport Brigade (Independent State of Croatia)

The Light Transport Brigade (Croatian: Laki prijevozni zdrug, Italian: Legione Croata Autotrasportabile) was a military unit of the Independent State of Croatia's Croatian Home Guard which fought alongside the Royal Italian Army on the Eastern Front. It was attached to the 3rd Cavalry Division of the 8th Italian Army, which was in turn subordinate to the German Army Group B.[1]

Light Transport Brigade
Laki prijevozni zdrug
Legione Croata Autotrasportabile
Laki prijevozni zdrug.jpg
Croatian Legion Badge
Active26 July 1941–13 April 1943
(Destroyed in December 1942)
Allegiance Kingdom of Italy
 Independent State of Croatia
BranchRoyal Italian Army
Size~1,200
Motto(s)hr: Za dom spremni
it: Per l'Italia alalà
EngagementsCase Blue
Battle of Stalingrad
Commanders
CommanderStjepan Neuberger (1941)
Egon Žitnik (1941-1942)

The legion was composed of about 1,215 volunteers divided into 3 Infantry Companies, 1 Machine-Gun Company, 1 (81mm) Mortar Company and 1 (65mm) Artillery Battery.[2]

The unit was formed by Italian request in July 1941,[2] after a meeting between Italian General Antonio Oxilio, delivering a letter from the Italian High Command, and Poglavnik Ante Pavelić. However, it remained in the Independent State of Croatia until December when it was finally moved to Italy. Upon completion of their training the unit was visited by Croatian field marshal Slavko Kvaternik in early 1941.[3] By 16 April 1942 it arrived on the Eastern Front.[2] It fought until December 1942 when it was destroyed by the Red Army around the Don River in the Battle of Stalingrad.[2] The unit was commemorated with a stamp featuring a soldier in the Don region.[1] Proceeds went to the families of legionnaires.

In 2008, 16 soldiers' remains were returned to Croatia.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b ""AXIS & FOREIGN LEGION MILITARIA". Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Milcic, Allen. "Croatian Volunteers in the German Wehrmacht in WWII". www.FeldGrau.com. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  3. ^ Ivan Bajlo. "Slavko Kvaternik". Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  4. ^ Istočna fronta: U domovini nakon 65 godina Archived 2008-03-30 at the Wayback Machine (in Croatian)