V SS-Gebirgskorps, 9. Armee, Heeresgruppe Vistula
286. Infanteriedivision was formed in December 1944 at Memel from 286. Sicherungsdivision. It was destroyed at Neukuhren (Pionersky) in East Prussia. It was then rebuilt and saw action with the 5. SS-Gebirgskorps as part of the Ninth Army. When the Ninth Army retreated in the face of the Soviet Berlin Offensive in April 1945, 286. Infanteriedivision and assorted SS defenders in Frankfurt on the Oder were left virtually cut off.
On the morning of 16 April 1945, after an opening artillery barrage on Frankfurt, the Red Army began its Berlin Offensive.
Two days later, the Frankfurt outer suburbs were evacuated at about 2100 hours. On 19 April, at 0529 hours, the main bridge across the Oder was blown. Soviet air raids took place from 20 to 23 April, dropping over 260 tons of bombs, setting the centre of Frankfurt ablaze on 22 and 23 April.