By David Greentree

On 25 could 1944 800 males of the five hundredth SS Parachute battalion descended on Drvar, a city at the back of enemy traces in north-western Bosnia; their objective was once to kill or trap Tito, an immense chief of the Yugoslavian partisan move. The Abwehr had stumbled on his position there. SS significant Otto Skorzeny had even pinpointed his own quarters to a cave at the ridge that missed the village, yet as a result of inter-agency competition among the SS and Abwehr this knowledge was once no longer exploited. however a plan was once constructed to land the battalion via glider and parachute in waves, which might be relieved the next day to come by means of a flooring attack. Tito knew an assault was once approaching yet brushed aside the belief of an airborne attack. He arrange another night position yet at the night ahead of the assault made up our minds to stick in Drvar to rejoice his birthday.

At 0800 six hundred males landed through glider and parachute. The fiercest strive against targeted at the Communist social gathering HQ, which used to be demolished through satchel fees. Captain Rybka, the unit commanding officer, then redirected his forces at the ridge, properly suspecting Tito was once situated there. aware of the prize that awaited them the German paratroopers have been relentless yet businesses of Tito's bodyguard battalion succeeded in repelling them. by the point the second one wave landed and one other assault can be fastened Tito had escaped in the course of the woods. The paratroopers have been compelled to withdraw to a cemetery and persevered successive assaults during the evening, sooner than aid arrived tomorrow.
The try to get rid of Tito used to be a titanic failure. The elite battalion have been decimated with purely 2 hundred males healthy for responsibility tomorrow. The Germans had did not make the most HUMINT approximately Tito's detailed place and followed a plan that didn't keep in mind intelligence obstacles. Rybka's failure to redirect the second one wave onto the ridge above the cave ended all desire of project success.

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The containers weighed up to 220lb and usually four were dispatched from each Ju-52. (Slovenian Museum of Contemporary History) container full of signals equipment here and after 500 yards some civilians were press-ganged into helping. At 0900 Pribichevich was marched off to the cemetery. From there at mid-morning ‘a man led the four of us to the advanced positions and from there we were ordered to carry a wounded German on a stretcher across a field under Partisan fire, back to the cemetery headquarters’.

Around 400 Yugoslavs were gathered together, many into a large building the partisans used as an administrative office. The Germans were screening as many people as they could to identify those for further questioning, which was being conducted at the battalion headquarters in the cemetery. Zavadil Group, Brandenburgers and attached linguists from the SS Prinz Eugen Division set about determining if any of the detainees knew Tito’s whereabouts. All sorts of people had been captured, including Croats and Italians, the Allied newsmen and even American air force weathermen.

H German heavy machine-gun positions established to cover German parachute drop at 1200. I From 1030 an assault group advances against Tito’s cave but is repulsed by Tito’s escort battalion. com Knight’s Move – The Hunt for Marshal Tito 1944 Pichler described how the glider’s ‘entire fuselage and the wings consisted of light aluminium alloy tube, covered with canvas and camouflage paint’. The passengers, vulnerable to enemy fire during the approach, could quickly disembark after landing. (Michaelis-Verlag Berlin) some partisans to approach casually, but the Germans came to their senses just in time and shot them all.

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