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The Syrmian Front (Bosnian and Croatian: Srijemski front; Serbian: Sremski front) was an Axis line of defense during World War II, established in late October 1944 in Syrmiamarker, northwest of Belgrademarker. After the Yugoslav Partisans and the Red Army captured Belgrade, retreating Wehrmacht and the Croatian Armed Forces fortified to protect the withdrawal of German troops from the Balkans. Yugoslav Partisans, with some help from Soviet, Bulgarian and Italian forces, fought a difficult winter campaign, finally succeeding to break through the front on 12 April, 1945.


Syrmian frontline before April 1945
The Syrmian Front saw some of the most difficult fighting in Yugoslavia in World War II, going on for almost six months. As the bulk of the Red Army involved in the Belgrade operation continued on to Hungary, the Yugoslav Army, used to guerrilla warfare on difficult terrain, remained to fight the entrenched front line on flat ground heavily contested by the Axis. Young men from Vojvodinamarker and Central Serbia were drafted en masse and sent to the front; the amount of training they received and the casualty levels remain in dispute.

Although mostly stationary, the front moved several times, generally westward as the Axis forces were pushed back. The fighting started west of Sremska Mitrovicamarker and stabilized in January 1945 west of Šidmarker, after the town changed hands due to German counterattacks. In late March and early April 1945, Yugoslav Army units mounted a general offensive on all fronts. The Yugoslav 1st Army, commanded by Peko Dapčević, broke through German XXXIV Corps defenses in Syrmia on 12 April, quickly capturing the cities of Vukovarmarker, Vinkovcimarker and Županjamarker, and enabling further advance through Slavoniamarker toward Slavonski Brodmarker and Zagrebmarker in the last month of the war.


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