281st Security Division (Wehrmacht)

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281st Infantry Division
Active March 1941 – May 1945
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Engagements Eastern Front
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Theodor Scherer

281st Security Division (281. Sicherungs-Division) was a rear-security division in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany. Established in 1941, the unit was deployed in German-occupied areas of the Soviet Union, in the Army Group North Rear Area. The unit was converted to an infantry division in 1945, while stationed in Courland.

Operational history[edit]

Formed in March 1941 under the command of General Friedrich Bayer, the 281st Security Division initially served behind the front lines in Northern Russia. In early 1942, commanded by General Theodor Scherer, the division was encircled by the Soviet forces at Kholm in what became known as the Kholm Pocket. The division was relieved after four months.[1] 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.[1]

It was reconstituted in Courland in January 1945 as the 281st Infantry Division. It retreated to the Oder River, where in May it surrendered with the rest of the 3rd Panzer Army.[1]

Order of battle[edit]

  • 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[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Mitcham, pp. 332–333

References[edit]

  • Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr (2007). German Order of Battle. Volume One: 1st – 290th Infantry Divisions in WWII. PA; United States of America: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3416-5.