Oberst der Polizei and Sturmbannführer der Waffen-SS Karl von Krempler was send into the Sandjak in October 1943 to take over the approximately 5,000-man Sandjak Militia
with headquarters in Sjenica, a self-protective force of Moslem irregulars desperately trying to hold both the Chetniks and the Partisans at bay. Also known as "Muselmanengruppe von Krempler
" after he took it over, Krempler later appointed Hafiz Sulejman Pacariz as its Moslem commander although Krempler remained in charge.
Karl von Krempler was considered something of an authority on the Moslems of Yugoslavia, having been involved in recruiting large numbers of them in East Bosnia for the 13th SS Mountain Division "Handschar" during the spring and summer of 1943. In a rare photo taken during the summer of 1944, von Krempler is shown as a portly, sloppily dressed older officer of average height with the Edelweiss sleeve insignia on his right sleeve, above which is sewn the special badge for single-handed destruction of a tank. Where he managed to destroy a tank is unknown, but he may have been in Russia prior to being reassigned to Yugoslavia. In any case, he was sent to Sandjak in early October 1943 and given the task of rebuilding the Militia into what the Germans hoped would eventually be a legion.
On 30 March 1944 Krempler was personally given the title SS Commander in the Sandjak Region (SS-Führer im Gebiet Sandschak) by Heinrich Himmler. At the end of July 1944, Legion Krempler was re-designated Police Self-Defense Regiment Sandjak
(Polizei-Selbstschutz-Rgt. Sandschak) with four planned battalions that, together with the remainder of the Legion that had not been included in the Regiment, numbered around 4,000. Partisan forces attacked and took Sjenica 14-15 October 1944 and Krempler's Legion was scattered and demoralized. The older Moslems deserted while several hundred of the younger men under Pacariz traveled to Sarajevo where they joined up with the notorious Vjekoslav "Maks" Luburic. Pacariz was given the rank of Pukovnik in the Ustasha Militia and he and his men finished the war with Luburic. Meanwhile, Oberst der Polizei Karl Krempler and his small contingent of German training cadre were reassigned during the latter part of October 1944.
: "The Moslem Militia and Legion of the Sandjak", in: Axis Europa Magazine
, Vol. II/III (No. 9), Jul-Aug-Sep 1996, pp.3-14. This article provides details on the Legion's combat activities.]