(Operacija RADAN/Martovska ofanziva)
One of several Bulgarian anti-partisan operations in Serbia against increasing strength of Yugoslav Partisans.
Bulgarian 5th Army in Skopje realized that their operations during winter 1943/44 failed to neutralize Partisans and planed new operation. Commander of 14th Infantry Division took over operation in region of Crna Trava where 2nd South Morava Partisan detachment, Kosovo battalion and local units were located.
For this operation Bulgarians deployed 7 infantry battalions from 5th Army, 3 infantry battalions from 1st Occupation Corps, 2 cavalry battalions, 2 flights of reconnaissance aircraft, 50 trucks, artillery and mortar units with entire police and gendarmerie from Skopje and Sofia regions. Total strength was around 8000 soldiers divided into 4 detachments: Trnava, Niš, Morava and Vlasina. Scheduled to last from 15 to 20 March beginning was delayed for 3 days.
Partisans after learning of Bulgarian plans begun their breakthrough through valley of Rupljanska reka towards Kačer mountain. Successful breakthrough come at the cost of 30 Partisans and 4 members of British mission under major Davis.
Commander of Bulgarian 5th Army issued orders to execute anyone in combat area and any village where resistance is encountered was to be torched and destroyed. Executions were carried out by colonel Bajčinski, 2nd Lieutenant Jankov, commander of 4th Company of the 2nd Battalion from 45th Regiment. Over 200 persons were shot while German reports claim over 400.
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