281st Infantry Division
ActiveMarch 1941 – May 1945
Country Nazi Germany
BranchArmy (Wehrmacht)
RoleRear-security division
EngagementsEastern Front
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

Formed in March 1941, the 281st Security Division served in Army Group North Rear Area, in Northern Russia. In early 1942, commanded by General Theodor Scherer, elements of the division were encircled by the Soviet forces at Kholm in what became known as the Kholm Pocket. The pocket was relieved after four months.[1] For the next two years, it was stationed in the northern sector and engaged in rear-area security and anti-partisan operations, although elements of the division saw action at the front line. One of the major anti-partisan operations it engaged in was Operation Frühjahrsbestellung in April 1943.[2] 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]



  1. ^ a b c Mitcham, pp. 332–333
  2. ^ Hill