Black Legion (Ustaše militia)

The Black Legion (Croatian: Crna Legija), officially the 1st Standing Active Brigade (Prvi stajaći djelatni sdrug), was an Ustaše militia infantry unit active during World War II in Independent State of Croatia. The legion was formed in September 1941 as the 1st Ustaša Regiment. It consisted largely of Muslim and Croatian refugees from eastern Bosnia, where large massacres were carried out by Chetniks and to a small degree by the Yugoslav Partisans.[1] It became known for its fierce fighting against the Chetniks and the Partisans and massacres against Serb civilians.[1] The legion's commanders were Colonel Jure Francetić and Major Rafael Boban and it consisted of between 1,000 and 1,500 men.[1]

Black Legion
(1st Standing Active Brigade)
Black Legion 1942
Soldiers of the Black Legion in Sarajevo (April 7, 1942)
Active3 September 1941 – 8 May 1945
Disbanded8 May 1945
Country Independent State of Croatia
BranchUstaše militia
TypeMechanized infantry
RoleAnti-partisan and Anti-chetnik operations
Nickname(s)Blacks (Crnci)
Motto(s)Za poglavnika i za dom spremni! (Ready for Poglavnik and homeland)
MarchEvo zore, evo dana
EngagementsOperation Ozren
Operation Trio
Battle of Kozara
Battle of Kupres
Operation Vlasenica
Operation Dinara
Jure Francetić
Rafael Boban
Black uniform


The Black Legion was formed in Sarajevo in April 1941 with 12 founding members of which 11 were Croat and one was a Bosnian Muslim. The force grew to be predominantly Muslim in response to the atrocities carried out against Bosnian Muslims.[2] Its first official name was Sarajevo Ustaše Camp. The unit was formed by pre-war Ustaše members, Jozo Zubić, Drago Jilek and Bećir Lokmić. The unit commander was Lokmić, an Ustaše member stationed in Sarajevo before the war. The unit's first task was guarding of state buildings in Sarajevo.[3]

Its first armed conflict occurred on the railway in Pale, Sarajevo, against Chetniks who wanted to take over the water supply. Soon, they entered conflict with Chetniks on the wider area of Sarajevo, under mountains Igman, Trebević and Romanija. After the battle of Kupres, the Legion's 1st and 2nd battalion were used to form the cadre for the newly formed 5th Standing Active Brigade which was put under the command of Rafael Boban and incorporated into the 5th division of the Croatian Armed Forces in December 1944.[1]

In August 1942 Francetić was appointed the supreme commander of all standing active brigades of the Ustaše Army and the Legion's new commander became Colonel Ivo Stipković. Under Stipković's command the Legion lost even more men when the 23rd and 28th battalions (composed mainly of Bosnian Muslims) were disbanded and their soldiers transferred to the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar. After the death of Colonel Stipković in September 1943 the Legion's commander became Major Milan Šulentić but just eight days later he was replaced by Major Franjo Sudar. Near the end of 1944 the Legion was incorporated into the 1st division of the Croatian Armed Forces under the command of General Roman Domanik. Soldiers of the Black Legion continued to wear the black uniform right up to the end of the war, probably as a sort of honorary mark of distinction. Lastly, at least 120 former Black Legion men were executed by the Partisans at Sisak in May 1945. When the war ended, many soldiers of the Black Legion refused to surrender and joined the Crusaders.


  1. ^ a b c d Tomasevich (2001), p. 422
  2. ^ Hoare (2006), p. 165
  3. ^ Marković 2003, p. 43.


  • Haynes, Rebecca; Rady, Martyn (2011). In the Shadow of Hitler: Personalities of the Right in Central and Eastern Europe. I.B. Tauris. ISBN 1-84511-697-6.
  • Hoare, Marko Attila (2006). Genocide and Resistance in Hitler's Bosnia: The Partisans and the Chetniks. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-726380-1.
  • Tomasevich, Jozo (2001). War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941–1945: Occupation and Collaboration. 2. San Francisco: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-3615-4.

External links

Black Legion

Black Legion may refer to:

Black Legion (film), a 1937 American crime drama

Black Legion (political movement), a 1930s Ku Klux Klan splinter group in the United States

Black Legion (Ustaše militia), a 1941 Croatian military unit active during World War II in Yugoslavia

Black Army of Hungary, an army of the Kingdom of Hungary in the 15th century

Black Brunswickers, an army raised in 1809 by Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg against Napoleon I

Légion Noire, an army of French criminals raised for the last invasion of Britain in 1797

Les Légions Noires, a 1987 French Black Metal movement

The paramilitary unit of the 1968-formed Republic of New Afrika

Marko Perković

Marko Perković (born 27 October 1966) is a Croatian musician and has been the lead singer of the band Thompson since 1991.

Perković was born in Čavoglave, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia (present-day Republic of Croatia). He participated in the Croatian War of Independence (1991–95), during which he started his career with the patriotic song "Bojna Čavoglave". In 2002 he started his first major tour after the release of the E, moj narode album. Since 2005, he has been organizing an unofficial celebration of the Victory Day in his birthplace of Čavoglave. During his career, he has been accused of promoting extreme nationalism and of glorifying the Nazi-affiliated Ustaše of the Independent State of Croatia, for which he has been banned from performing in Switzerland in 2009. The ban was subsequently lifted and he continued having concerts in Switzerland.


The Ustaša – Croatian Revolutionary Movement (Croatian: Ustaša – Hrvatski revolucionarni pokret), commonly known as Ustaše (pronounced [ûstaʃe], Croatian: Ustaše), was a Croatian fascist, racist, ultranationalist and terrorist organization, active, as one organization, between 1929 and 1945. Its members murdered hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews, and Roma as well as political dissidents in Yugoslavia during World War II.They are variously known in English as the Ustaše, Ustashe, Ustashi, Ustahis, or Ustashas; with the associated adjective sometimes being Ustashe or Ustasha, apart from Ustaše. This variance stems from the fact that Ustaše is the plural form of Ustaša in the Serbo-Croatian language.

The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Roman Catholicism and Croatian nationalism. The Ustaše supported the creation of a Greater Croatia that would span the Drina River and extend to the border of Belgrade. The movement emphasized the need for a racially "pure" Croatia and promoted genocide against Serbs, Jews and Romani people, and persecution of anti-fascist or dissident Croats and Bosniaks. The Ustaše viewed the Bosniaks as "Muslim Croats," and as a result, Bosniaks were not persecuted on the basis of race.Fiercely Roman Catholic, the Ustaše espoused Roman Catholicism and Islam as the religions of the Croats and Bosniaks and condemned Orthodox Christianity, which was the main religion of the Serbs. Roman Catholicism was identified with Croatian nationalism, while Islam, which had a large following in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was praised by the Ustaše as the religion that "keeps true the blood of Croats."When it was founded in 1930, it was a nationalist organization that sought to create an independent Croatian state. When the Ustaše came to power in the NDH, a quasi-protectorate established by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany during World War II, its military wings became the Army of the Independent State of Croatia and the Ustaše militia (Croatian: Ustaška vojnica). However the Ustaše never received massive support.The movement functioned as a terrorist organization before World War II but in April 1941, they were appointed to rule a part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia as the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), which has been described as both an Italian-German quasi-protectorate, and as a puppet state of Nazi Germany.

Puppet regimes

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