Battle of Zvornik
Part of World War II in Yugoslavia
Date4–5 July 1943
Location44°23′3″N 19°6′9″E / 44.38417°N 19.10250°E / 44.38417; 19.10250
Result Successful capture of Zvornik by Partisan forces[1]
Yugoslav Partisans  Germany
 Independent State of Croatia
Commanders and leaders
Koča Popović (commander)
Filip Kljajić  (political commissary)
Rudolf Lüters (general)
Casualties and losses
3500–5000 450–2,000

The Battle of Zvornik (Serbo-Croatian: Bitka u Zvorniku) was the 1943 capture by the 1st Proletarian Brigade of the occupied Bosnian town Zvornik from the Wehrmacht and the Ustasha troops of the occupying Independent State of Croatia.


Preparation for the offensive on the occupied town of Zvornik by the 1st Proletarian Brigade began in June 1943.[2] On the order of the brigades commander Koča Popović, the troops began their attack on the night of 4 July 1943.

The idea of the attack was that during the night the sudden, powerful onslaught could takeover the Zvornik Fortress (Kula grad) on Mount Mlađevac. Mlađevac and Zmajevac were also successfully captured in the initial attack. The Ustasha troops, legionnaires and civilians fled across the Drina river into Serbia. Many people died crossing the Drina.

Filip Kljajić, the political commissary of the 1st Proletarian Brigade, was shot accidentally on a hill on the outskirts of Zvornik during withdrawal.[3][4][5] His body was taken to the Bosniak village Liplje on a mountain near Zvornik and buried. Kljajić's body was later taken from that spot by his family and reburied in a family plot elsewhere. A memorial was erected on the spot where his corpse was originally buried. Following the ethnic cleansing of Liplje in 1992 at the start of the Bosnian War, the memorial suffered and became overgrown with shrubbery.


Rodoljub Čolaković, who participated in the capture on the Partisan side, wrote in his 1962 memoir Winning Freedom: "We had reached a grand and most significant victory in eastern Bosnia. We had liberated Zvornik, an important junction of communications along the Drina."[6]


  1. ^ Hoare, Marko Attila (1 February 2014). The Bosnian Muslims in the Second World War; page 91. ISBN 978-0-19-936531-9. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  2. ^ Dedijer, Vladimir (15 August 1990). From November 28, 1942, to September 10, 1943. ISBN 9780472101092. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Kako smo učili od Prve proleterske". E Novine. 18 November 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  4. ^ Šuber, Daniel; Karamanic, Slobodan (5 January 1942). Retracing Images: Visual Culture After Yugoslavia. ISBN 9789004210301. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Dokumenti centralnih organa KPJ NOR i revolucija (1941–1945): (16. septembar-31. decembar 1941)". 1985. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  6. ^ Čolaković, Rodoljub (1962). "Winning Freedom". Retrieved 29 March 2016.