[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:

1014:

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

1661:

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

1954:

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.

1968:

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

1979:

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
hall.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

bardolator:
(usually pejorative) One who loves or worships the works of William
Shakespeare.

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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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