[Daily article] April 23: 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian)

The 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian) was
a German mountain infantry division of the Waffen-SS during World War
II. Raised in the Independent State of Croatia, it was given the title
Handschar after a fighting knife carried by Turkish policemen when the
region was part of the Ottoman Empire. From March to December 1944, it
fought a counter-insurgency campaign against communist-led Yugoslav
Partisan resistance forces. The first non-Germanic Waffen-SS division,
it was composed of Bosnian Muslims with some Catholic Croat soldiers and
mostly German and ethnic German officers and non-commissioned officers.
It swore allegiance to Adolf Hitler and the Croatian leader Ante
Pavelić. It established a designated “security zone” in north-eastern
Bosnia but fought outside the zone on several occasions. It gained a
reputation for brutality and savagery during combat operations and
atrocities against Serb and Jewish civilians. After late 1944, non-
German members began to desert in large numbers, particularly once they
had retreated inside the Reich frontier. Others surrendered to British
forces. Thirty-eight officers were extradited to Yugoslavia, and ten
were executed.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


Irish forces led by Brian Boru clashed with the Vikings in the
Battle of Clontarf.


Charles II, King of England, Ireland, and Scotland was crowned
at Westminster Abbey.


Batting against Vic Raschi of the St. Louis Cardinals, Hank
Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit the first of his record-setting 755
home runs in Major League Baseball.


Students protesting the Vietnam War at Columbia University in
New York City took over administration buildings and shut down the


Activist Blair Peach suffered fatal head injuries when he was
knocked unconscious during an Anti-Nazi League demonstration in
Southall, London, against a National Front election meeting in the town

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

(usually pejorative) One who loves or worships the works of William

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Know thus far forth: By accident most strange, bountiful Fortune
— Now my dear lady — hath mine enemies Brought to this shore; and by
my prescience I find my zenith doth depend upon A most auspicious star,
whose influence If now I court not, but omit, my fortunes Will ever
after droop.  
–The Tempest

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