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The 221. Sicherungs-Division was formed in Breslau from parts of 221. Infanterie-Division in March 1941. It served behind the front lines on the central sector of the Eastern Front until the retreat from Moscow when it was sent to the front and, apart from a few months early 1944, it remained there until it was disbanded in July 1944 after suffering very heavy losses near Minsk.

Known war crimes

Ben Shepherd in his "War in the Wild East: The German Army and Soviet Partisans" lists 23 cases where at least 15 partisans were reported killed and the losses of the division "appear too low to reflect genuine combat".

Soldiers from Polizei-Bataillon 309 that was attached to the division killed an estimated 2.000 Jews in Bialystok on 27 June 1941, including a large number of people locked into the synagogue that was burn down. (1)

Commanders

Generalleutnant Johann Pflugbeil (15 Mar 1941 - 5 July 1942)
Generalleutnant Hubert Lendle (5 July 1942 - 1 Aug 1943)
Generalmajor Karl Böttger (1 Aug 1943 - 5 Sep 1943)
Generalleutnant Hubert Lendle (5 Sep 1943 - ? Mar 1944)
Generalleutnant Bogislav von Schwerin (? Mar 1944 - ? July 1944)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Hauptmann Karl Hübner (1 Apr 1941-4 Nov 1941)
Major Richard Benke (Feb 1942-Jun 1942)
Oberstleutnant Helmuth Kreidel (Jul 1942-Sep 1943)
Major Fürst zu Castell-Castell (10 Dec 1943-?)

Area of operations

Germany (Mar 1941 - June 1941)
Eastern front, central sector (June 1941 - July 1944)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the German Cross in Gold (9)
- Böhme, Walter, 07.07.1942, Major d.R., I./Art.Rgt. 221
- Hirmke, Otto, 20.05.1943, Hauptmann, Gren.Rgt. 350
- Marx, Josef, 30.11.1944, Hauptmann d.R., 14./Gren.Rgt. 350
- Pancke, Walter, 09.06.1943, Oberst, Gren.Rgt. 350
- Pflugbeil, Johannes, 11.04.1942, Generalleutnant, Kdr. Sich.Div. 221
- Ruhrmann, Fritz, 29.10.1944, Leutnant d.R., 9./Gren.Rgt. 350
- Sindermann, Paul, 30.08.1944, Hauptmann d.R., I./Gren.Rgt. 350
- Tschöke, Max, 04.02.1944, Hauptmann d.R., III./Gren.Rgt. 350
- Wiemann, Johannes, 14.07.1944, Oberst, Sich.Rgt. 45
Holders of the German Cross in Silver (1)
- Roth, Jakob, 21.09.1943, Major, Adj. 221. Sich.Div.

Order of battle

verstärktes Infanterie-Regiment 350
I./Polizei-Regiment 8
I./Artillerie-Regiment 221
Wach-Bataillon 701
Divisions-Nachrichten-Abteilung 824
1. und 2. Reiter-Hundertschaft 221
Landesschützen-Regimentsstab 45
Versorgungseinheiten 221

Osttruppen attached to 221.Sicherungs-Division (5 Sep 1943)

1. Ost-Kompanie/221
2. Ost-Reiter-Schwadron/221
Ost-Nachschub-Kompanie 350
1. - 3. Ost-Sicherungs-Kompanie/930
Ost-Sicherungs-Reiter-Kompanie 930
15. Ost-Sicherungs-Kompanie/45

Osttruppen attached to 221. Sicherungs-Division (22 Nov 1943)

1. Ost-Kompanie/221
1. - 3. Ost-Sicherungs-Kompanie/930
Ost-Reiter-Schwadron 930
15. Ost-Kompanie/45
Ost-Nachschub-Kompanie 350

Footnotes

1. "War in the Wild East: The German Army and Soviet Partisans" by Ben Shepherd.

Sources used

Research by Jason von Zerneck
Andris J. Kursietis - The Wehrmacht at War 1939-1945
Samuel W. Mitcham Jr - Hitler's Legions: The German Army Order of Battle World War II
George F. Nafziger - The German Order of Battle: Infantry in World War II
Ben Shepherd - War in the Wild East: The German Army and Soviet Partisans
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945

Reference material on this unit

Ben Shepherd - War in the Wild East: The German Army and Soviet Partisans

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