History Class: 77th Anniversary of the “Igman March” to take Place Today

In the organization of Sarajevo Cantonal SABNOR, the 77th anniversary of the “Igman March” will be organized on Saturday, January 26th. The march will be organized by Partisans, fighters of the First Proletarian Brigade NOVJ on January 26, 1942.

“This event, identical to antique legend, has entered into the history of the NOB as an example of unlimited human possibilities behind which lies the motivation, the goal, the commitment, idea, patriotism,” as stated in the SABNOR statement.

About this historic event, which Tito’s Partisans managed under impossible conditions, will be a part of tomorrow’s speech at Veliko Polje on Igman Mountain. Organizers expect around 15,000 anti-Fascists from eight countries in the region.

A call was made to the citizens of Sarajevo, the wartime associations and people of good will to come tomorrow to Igman.

Transport to this mountain is provided and applications can be made at the ABNOR premises in Sarajevo.

The breakthrough and escape of the 1st Proletarian Brigade, led by Koca Popovic, through the German encirclement is known as The Igman March. This breakthrough was made at the night of 27th January 1942 via the Sarajevo Field and Igman Mountain, War Histoy Online reports.

The German and Ustasha forces have launched an operation called „Southern Croatia“ in Eastern Bosnia in mid-January 1942. Operation „Southern Croatia“ had as objective to surround and destroy the 1st Proletarian Brigade. The Germans have engaged the following forces: 342nd and 718th  Infantry Division, 1st Battalion of the 714th Infantry Division, 7th Ustasha Domobran’s battalion, six howitzer batteries, two Pioneer detachments, and two reconnaissance squadrons.

On the other side, the Partisan unit was comprised of the 1st Proletarian Brigade, Romanija detachment, Ozren detachment, and Zvijezda detachment.

At the beginning of the operation, the Germans have realized their plan with fast maneuvers. They managed to encircle the Partisan units. Two battalions of the 1st Proleterian Brigade suffered heavy losses on Pjenovac and Bijele Vode on January 25th. After these defeats, the headquarters of the 1st Proleterian Brigade decided to leave the Romanija Mountain and escape from the encirclement. The direction of the withdrawal was through Sarajevo and Igman. In this direction, the 1st Proletarian Brigade had to cross the main roads, which were leading to Sarajevo, several times.

The Igman March ended on February 4th 1942, with the arrival of the soldiers of the 1st Proletarian Brigade to Foca. During the march, six soldiers have died and around 200 suffered severe hypothermic injuries.

The Igman March became a legend because of the huge effort, sacrifice, determination, endurance, and discipline of the 1st Proletarian Brigade.

(Photo: warhistoryonline)

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