286th Security Division (Wehrmacht)

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The 286th Security Division was a German military formation which fought in World War II.

History and organisation[edit]

The 286th Security Division was formed on 15 March 1941 around elements of the 213th Infantry Division. By the end of 1941 its organisation was as follows:

  • Infantry Regiment 354
  • II./ Artillery Regiment 213
  • Alarm Battalion 704
  • Signals Battalion 825
  • Reiterhundertschaft 286
  • Landesschützen-Regiment staff 61
  • Support units

By 1942 three Security Regiments were attached. A variety of units were subordinated to the division during its existence, including battalions of Russian troops and from February 1944 Grenadier Regiment 638, consisting of French volunteers, the LVF.

French soldiers from Grenadier Regiment 638. This regiment was subordinated to the 286th Security Division from February 1944.

During this period the division was assigned to Fourth Army, where it carried out occupation, security and anti-partisan duties in rear areas. It is known to have been involved in punitive operations against the local populace: these actions were carried out with extreme brutality (in total, Belarus lost up to a quarter of its population during the German occupation). A defendant at one of the post-war Soviet war crimes trials, Paul Eick, stated that he had set out to create and then liquidate a ghetto in the town of Orsha under the division's command.[1]

In June 1944 Fourth Army was encircled by Soviet forces during the liberation of the Belorussian SSR, Operation Bagration. The 286th Security Division was overrun and destroyed in the vicinity of Orsha. Its remnants were reorganised late that year at Memel as the 286th Infantry Division, assigned to the Third Panzer Army; it was again destroyed at Neukuhren during the battles in Samland towards the end of the war.

Commanders[edit]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Prusin, p14

References[edit]

  • Prusin, A V. Fascist Criminals to the Gallows! The Holocaust and Soviet War Crimes Trials, Holocaust and Genocide Studies 17.1 (2003) 1-30
  • "[1]". German language article at www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de. Retrieved July 31, 2007.