281st Security Division (Wehrmacht)
|281st Infantry Division|
|Active||March 1941 – May 1945|
|Garrison/HQ||Deutsch Krone (now Wałcz, Poland)|
281st Security Division (281. Sicherungs-Division) was a formation in the Wehrmacht during World War II. It was establshed in March 1941 for rear security duties in the occupied territories. The unit was converted to an infantry division in 1945, while stationed in Courland.
Formed in March 1941 under the command of Generalleutnant Friedrich Bayer, the 281st Security Division initially served behind the frontlines in Russia. In early 1942, now commanded by Generalmajor Theodor Scherer, the division became encircled by attacking Russian forces at Kholm but held out in what became known as the Kholm Pocket for four months until it was relieved. For most of the next two years, it remained on the lines in the northern sector, initially as a lines-of communication formation. It was destroyed in mid-1944.
It was reconstituted in Courland in January 1945 as the 281st Infantry Division. It participated in a fighting withdrawal to the Oder River, where in May it surrendered with the rest of the 3rd Panzer Army.
Order of Battle
- Grenadier-Regiment 322, I and II Battalions
- Grenadier-Regiment 368, I and II Battalions
- Grenadier-Regiment 418, I and II Battalions
- Divisions-Füsilier-Kompanie 281 (later expanded to Füsilier-Bataillon 281)
- Panzerjäger-Kompanie 281
- Artillerie-Regiment 281, I to IV Battalions
- Nachrichten-Abteilung 822
- Pionier-Bataillon 281
- Divisions-Versorgungs-Regiment 281
- Mitcham, pp. 332–333