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203rd Security Division
203. Sicherungs-Division
Active 1941–1944
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Army (Wehrmacht)
Type Security division
Size Division
Engagements World War II

The 203rd Security Division, was a rear-security division in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany. The unit was deployed in German-occupied areas of the Soviet Union, in the Army Group Centre Rear Area and was responsible for large-scale war crimes and atrocities.

Operational history[edit | edit source]

The division was formed in June 1942 on the basis of the 203rd Security Brigade that was itself formed in December 1941.[1][page needed] It operated in the Army Group Centre Rear Area, of the occupied regions of the Soviet Union behind Army Group Centre's front lines. Its duties included security of communications and supply lines, economic exploitation and combatting irregular fighters (partisans) in Werhmacht's rear areas.[2]

The so-called anti-partisan operations in "bandit-infested" areas amounted to destruction of villages, plunder and enslavement of civilian population. In July 1942, the division took part in '"Operation Peter". The unit received specific instructions regarding the villages deemed "bandit-friendly" (those failing to meet agricultural quotas). The division was to appropriate livestock, deport the population for slave labour to Germany and burn the villages down.[3]

The unit suffered heavy losses during the Soviet Red Army summer offensive Operation Bagration in 1944. In October 1944 it was designated the 203rd Infantry Division, and continued to fight on the Eastern Front until Germany's surrender.[1][page needed]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Citations[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Beorn, Waitman Wade (2014). Marching into Darkness: The Wehrmacht and the Holocaust in Belarus. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0674725508. 
  • Marston, Daniel; Malkasian, Carter, eds (2011). Counterinsurgency in Modern Warfare. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 1849086435. 
  • Rutherford, Jeff (2014). Combat and Genocide on the Eastern Front. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 1107055717. 
  • Shepherd, Ben H. (2004). War in the Wild East the German Army and Soviet Partisans. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674043553. 
  • Shepherd, Ben H. (2016). Hitler's Soldiers: The German Army in the Third Reich. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 0300179030. 


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