Miroslav Navratil

Miroslav (Friedrich) Navratil (19 July 1893 – 7 June 1947) was a Croatian soldier, pilot, and general who served in the armies of Austria-Hungary, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and the Independent State of Croatia.

Miroslav (Friedrich) Navratil
Miroslav Navratil.JPG
Born(1893-07-19)19 July 1893
Sarajevo, Condominium of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Died7 June 1947(1947-06-07) (aged 53)
Zagreb, People's Republic of Croatia, FPR Yugoslavia
Allegiance Austria-Hungary (until 1918)
 Yugoslavia (1918–1941)
 Independent State of Croatia (1941–1945)
UnitFlik 41J
Commands heldFlik 3J
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
Other workMinister of Armed Forces of the Independent State of Croatia

Until the end of World War IEdit

Navratil was born in Sarajevo in the Condominium of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He attended gymnasium in Sarajevo, and finished cadet's school in Graz. In World War I he served in the military of Austria–Hungary, as a fighter pilot in the Imperial and Royal Aviation Troops. While on the Eastern and Italian fronts, he scored a victory with Flik 41J on 14 April 1918, before assuming command of Flik 3J on 9 June 1918. Flying Albatros D.IIIs, he scored nine more victories.[1]

The Albatros DIII flown by Navratil in August 1918.

He attained the rank of Oberleutnant.[2] His victory string ran until 31 August, when he downed a Bristol F.2 Fighter, but lost all four of his inexperienced wingmen in the process. Navratil blamed himself for their loss. He largely removed himself from combat operations. On 21 October, during a test flight of an Albatros D.III, his seat broke, and he was injured in the resultant crash landing. He did not recover before the Armistice.[3]

Between the World WarsEdit

In 1918, Austria-Hungary dissolved and Navratil moved to the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, where he took on a position in the royal army. He rose to the rank of colonel, but was eventually retired from the army in 1940 because of conflict with Serb officers within its ranks.[1]

World War IIEdit

With the establishment of the Independent State of Croatia on 10 April 1941 Navratil was brought back into active service. He was named as a military representative in Bucharest. He served as minister of the armed forces from 2 September 1943 to 29 January 1944. After he was relieved of his post, reportedly due to complaints about the brutality of the government, he traveled to Vienna, where his family was located and remained there until the end of World War II. In 1945 he moved to Zell am See, where he lived until he was located by American troops in 1946. He was extradited to communist Yugoslavia in December 1946. In Zagreb he was sentenced to death on charge of war crimes,[3] and executed on 7 June 1947.[1]



  1. ^ a b c Eleršek, Leonard (November 2008). "Miroslav Navratil, dvostruki as austrougarskog zrakoplovstva". Hrvatski vojnik (in Croatian) (213). Archived from the original on 26 September 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  2. ^ Friedrich Navratil, The Aerodrome
  3. ^ a b Austro-Hungarian Aces of World War 1. p. 81.


  • O'Connor, Dr. Martin: Air Aces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire 1914–1918. Flying Machines Press, Mountain View (Californien) 1986, ISBN 1-891268-06-6
  • Tko je tko u NDH, "Miroslav Navratil". Minerva. Zagreb, 1997.
  • Chant, Christopher. Austro-Hungarian aces of World War 1 Osprey Publishing, 2002. ISBN 1-84176-376-4, ISBN 978-1-84176-376-7.
Government offices
Preceded by
Vilko Begić
Minister of the Armed Forces of the Independent State of Croatia
Succeeded by
Ante Vokić