Large operation carried out by 370th Regiment and 369th Artillery section of 369th Division together with units from NDH 9th Mountain Division from 27th to 29th January 1945. From Mostar and Široki Brijeg (Lestica) attack was made through Čitluk and Čapljina towards Ljubuško and Metković taking by surprise Yugoslav Partisan 8th Corps. During battle for bridge at Čapljina, two tanks from Yugoslav 1st Tank Brigade were destroyed by German anti-tank guns with third breaking down on the bridge itself and was also lost when bridge was demolished by German engineers. Three captured bridges over Nervetva river at Čapljina, Gabela and Metković were blown up effectively cutting Partisan land communications East-West. After destruction of bridges, Metković was abandoned and units pulled back to Čapljina.
In following counterattack Partisan counterattack 370th Regiment was sent towards Konjic were 11th Herzegovina Brigade was threatening communication Sarajevo - Mostar leaving only 9th Ustasha Brigade facing Partisans which was forced to retreat back to starting line.
Orders of Battle
4th Split Brigade on 11 February reported its casualties being 30 killed, 40 wounded and 276 missing out of which significant number returned to Brigade during February. Heaviest casualties were suffered by Brigade's 5th Italian Battalion. Also 6 mountain guns from Artillery Battalion of 9th Division were lost.
Germans took 18 prisoners, 5 armored vehicles (belonging to 3rd Battalion of 1st Tank Brigade), 8 artillery pieces, and lots of other weapons. NDH General Staff reported that enemy losses were 97 killed and 103 prisoners, 6 mountain guns, 2 guns, 1 PIAT, 3 MG, 12 LMG, 70 Rifles, 1 Anti-tank Rifle, 3 SMG, 28 horses, 5 radios, 2 trucks, ammunition etc.
As result of this operation Tito ordered 8th Corps of NOVJ to strike back with full strength and capture Mostar. Soon 19th Division, 26th Dalmatian Division together with Artillery Brigade and 1st Tank Brigade arrived marking the beginning of Mostar operation.
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