knights cross of the iron cross

Hans-Joachim Marseille, the fourth recipient, was killed in an aircraft crash prior to its presentation. [5] The most common Knight's Crosses were produced by the manufacturer Steinhauer & Lück in Lüdenscheid. [14] This medal was the highest level, originally intended for 12 of the most distinguished servicemen in the entire German armed forces after the war ended. [3] As the war progressed, some of the recipients of the Knight's Cross distinguished themselves further and a higher grade, the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, was instituted. The first enactment, Reichsgesetzblatt I S. 1573 of 1 September 1939 instituted the Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz), the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross (Großkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). This along with the * (asterisk), indicates that the Knight's Cross was awarded posthumously. [2] A new grade of the Iron Cross series was introduced, the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. The sequential numbers greater than 143 are unofficial and were assigned by the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR) and therefore denoted in brackets. The authority to approve and make presentations was passed on to Hitler's successor as Staatsoberhaupt (Head of State) Karl Dönitz, who held the title of Reichspräsident (President) and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Also listed separately are the alphabetical lists of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients. The German Federal Archives do not substantiate 27 of these Oak Leaves recipients. Manfred Dörr, author of various publications related to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, requested legal counsel on this decree in 1988. The legal grounds for this decree had been established in 1937. It was always assumed that he was the youngest recipient of the Knight's Cross; however, Günther Nowak never really existed — a deserting Commander of the Volkssturm named Sachs was caught and claimed that, after the retreat of the Wehrmacht, he had destroyed five tanks single-handedly. Administration (preliminary decision) → Chief of the Heerespersonalamt/Flensburg (preliminary decision) → Chief of the OKW/Flensburg (presenting) → Dönitz/Flensburg (decision). However three individuals never received a set of Diamonds. Unit commanders could also be awarded the medal for the exemplary conduct of the unit as a whole. Hermann Fegelein had received the Oak Leaves in 1942 but was sentenced to death by Adolf Hitler and executed by SS-Gruppenführer Johann Rattenhuber's Reichssicherheitsdienst (RSD) on 28 April 1945 after a court martial led by SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor of the Waffen-SS Wilhelm Mohnke. [18], Administration/Berlin (preliminary decision) → Chief of the Heerespersonalamt/Berlin (preliminary decision) → Oberkommando der Wehrmacht-Department/Berlin (presenting) → Hitler (decision)[19], The Army Personnel Branch Office was split due to the deteriorating war situation and was moved to Marktschellenberg in the time frame 21 to 24 April 1945. The first recipients were Werner Mölders and Adolf Galland. [12] The Diamonds were awarded 27 times during World War II. The first presentations in 1940 and 1941 were made in the Reich Chancellery in Berlin or at the Berghof near Berchtesgaden. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross is based on the enactment Reichsgesetzblatt I S. 1573 of September 1, 1939 Verordnung über die Erneuerung des Eisernen Kreuzes (Regulation of the renewing of the Iron Cross). [19], Administration/Marktschellenberg (preliminary decision) → deputy Chief of the Heerespersonalamt/Marktschellenberg (preliminary decision) → Chief of the HPA/Berlin (preliminary decision) → OKW-Department/Berlin (presenting) → Hitler (decision)[20], The approval authority of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross became confusing after Hitler's death on 30 April 1945. In exceptional cases, such as the nominated individual had sustained severe injuries or that the command chain had been interrupted, a nomination could be submitted via teleprinter communication. [196], Günther Nowak, Hitlerjugend, was awarded the Knight's Cross on 14 February 1945 for the destruction of eleven tanks in Hindenburg, Oberschlesien. Analysis of the German Federal Archives revealed evidence for 7,161 officially bestowed recipients. Later, the recipients of the Prussian Golden Military Merit Cross, or the Pour le Mérite for enlisted personnel, were included. 113–460, 483, 485–487, 492, 494, 498–499, 501, 503, 509. [4] The German Federal Archives substantiate 863 awards of the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross, along with the 147 Swords and 27 Diamonds awards. The Golden Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross was awarded only once, to Hans-Ulrich Rudel on 29 December 1944. [2] With the exception of Hermann Fegelein, all of the disputed recipients had received the award in 1945, when the deteriorating situation of the Third Reich during the final days of World War II left the nominations unfinished in various stages of the approval process.[141]. Helmut Lent's Diamonds, Bundeswehr Military History Museum. Analysis of the German Federal Archives revealed evidence for 7,161 officially bestowed recipients. [6][10] The Oak Leaves with Swords clasp was similar in appearance to the Oak Leaves clasp with the exception that a pair of crossed swords were soldered to the base of the Oak Leaves. However, 200 of the OdR-listed cases are lacking an official proof of award. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen", 18. These late presentations are considered de facto but not de jure awards.

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