[17], The nomination had to be forwarded in writing by a courier up the official command chain. [25], Hitler frequently made the presentations of the Oak Leaves and higher grades himself. Ultimately, it would be awarded to only twenty-seven German soldiers, sailors and airmen, ranging from young fighter pilots to field marshals. In 1941, two higher grades of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves were instituted: the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords and the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Karl Thieme's nomination by the troop was received by the, Heinrich von Lüttwitz's nomination by the troop was received by the, Otto Hitzfeld's nomination was rejected by, Josef Bremm's nomination by the troop was rejected by. Because of this, he was taken to a Gauleiter. Also listed separately are the alphabetical lists of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross or RK was instituted byAdolf Hitler at the outbreak of World War II on September 1st, 1939 (*2).This award was unique since it had not been in existence prior to thattime. The sentence was carried out the same day. Adolf Hitler decreed on the first day of hostilities of World War II the renewal of the Iron Cross. [7], The "Knight's Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds" is based on the enactment Reichsgesetzblatt 1945 I S. 11 of 29 December 1944. A total of 7 awards were made in 1940; 50 in 1941; 111 in 1942; 192 in 1943; 328 in 1944, and 194 in 1945, giving a total of 882 recipients—excluding the 8 foreign recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. Knight's Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Every nomination contained the personal data, the rank and unit at the time of the act, since when the soldier held this position, the military service entry date, previous military decorations awarded and date of presentation, etc. [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. Author Veit Scherzer concluded that every presentation of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, or one of its higher grades, made until 20 April 1945 is verifiable in the German Federal Archives. The design was a silver-framed cast iron cross on 13 March 1813. The German Federal Archives do not substantiate 27 of these Oak Leaves recipients. German law prohibits wearing a swastika, so on 26 July 1957 the West German government authorized replacement Knight's Crosses with an Oak Leaf Cluster in place of the swastika, similar to the Iron Cross of 1914, and the denazified Iron Cross of 1957, which could be worn by World War II recipients. In 1986, the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR) acknowledged 7,321 presentations made to the members of the three military branches of the Wehrmacht—the Heer (Army), Kriegsmarine (Navy) and Luftwaffe (Air Force)—as well as the Waffen-SS, the Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD—Reich Labour Service) and the Volkssturm (German national militia). Beginning with Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, the presentations were made at the Führer Headquarters "Wolf's Lair" in East Prussia, in the "Werwolf" near Vinnytsia in Ukraine, and at the Berghof. Prior to Case Yellow (Fall Gelb), the attack on the Netherlands, Belgium and France, just 52 Knight's Crosses had been awarded. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) and its … [citation needed], Nominations for the Knight's Cross could be made at company level or higher. The Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) came to the conclusion that this decree is unlawful and bears no legal justification. Maerz, Dietrich (2007) "The Knights Cross of the Iron Cross and its Higher Grades" (in English), Richmind, MI, B&D Publishing LLC, This page was last edited on 23 November 2020, at 03:24. Awarded 17th Diamonds 17 August 1944 Committed suicide April 21, 1945, Awarded 9th Diamonds 14 December 1943; KIA January 28, 1944, Awarded 8th Diamonds 19 October 1943; KIA November 8, 1944, Commander of SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 10 "Westland", Awarded 10th Diamonds 29 March 1944; 1st Golden Oak Leaves 29 December 1944, Inspekteur der deutschen Luftverteidigung, Commander of the III./Grenadier-Regiment. These two "legally correct" recipients are Günther Nowak and Heinrich Scherhorn. The last presentations by Hitler were made early in 1945 in the Führerbunker in Berlin. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grades were based on four separate … The re-institution of the Iron Cross was therefore a Führer decree based on the enactment (Reich… The association was founded in 1955 in Cologne by Alfred Keller, Knight of the Order Pour le Mérite and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Awarded 1st (and only) Golden Oak Leaves 29 December 1944. The last legal presentation of the Knight's Cross, in any of its grades, had to be made before 23:01 Central European Time 8 May 1945, the time when the German surrender became effective. Every intermittent administrative office or commander between the nominating unit and the commander-in-chief of the respective Wehrmacht branch (commander-in-chief of the Heer, commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe and commander-in-chief of the Kriegsmarine with their respective staff offices) had to give their approval along with a short comment. To qualify for the Knight's Cross, a soldier had to already hold the 1939 Iron Cross [51] The number of the 160 Sword recipients is based on the analysis and acceptance of the order commission of the (AKCR). Since the end of World War II, numerous people have claimed to be unrecognised recipients of the Knight's Cross. The legal grounds for this decree had been established in 1937 with the German law of Titles, Orders and Honorary Signs (Gesetz über Titel, Orden und Ehrenzeichen) that made the Führer and Reich president the only person who was allowed to award orders or honorary signs. 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