Ante Pavelic reviewing troops.
On April 10, 1941 the Free State of Croatia was formed and Ante Pavelic declared himself leader. Seven days later Croatia declared war on Britain.
A Hrvstako Dombranstvo (Home Defense or Home Army) was formed. Many of the officers had been in the Yugoslavian military. Some German tanks and Hungarian CV 33 and CV 35 tankettes (originally purchased from Italy) were supplied.
By November 1941 the forces were expanded to 6 divisions, and by the end of the war they reached 16 divisions. Most were unreliable as desertion was quite high.