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Encyclopedia > Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
The penultimate expression of the award: the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with golden Oakleaves, Swords and Diamonds.

The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes, often simply Ritterkreuz) recognized extreme battlefield bravery or successful leadership during the Third Reich period. The award was issued between 1939 and 1945. Knights Cross with Golden Oakleaves, Swords, and Diamonds File links The following pages link to this file: Iron Cross Talk:Iron Cross Categories: Images with unknown source ... Knights Cross with Golden Oakleaves, Swords, and Diamonds File links The following pages link to this file: Iron Cross Talk:Iron Cross Categories: Images with unknown source ... German (called Deutsch in German; in German the term germanisch is equivalent to English Germanic), is a member of the western group of Germanic languages and is one of the worlds major languages. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ...


Prerequisites

To qualify for the Knight's Cross, a soldier had to have held the 1939 Iron Cross First Class already, though the Iron Cross I Class was awarded concurrently with the Knight's Cross in rare cases. A stylized version of the Iron Cross, the emblem of the German Armed Forces The Iron Cross (German: Eisernes Kreuz) is a military decoration of the Kingdom of Prussia, and later of Germany, which was established by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia and first awarded on 10 March 1813. ...


Grades

The Knight's Cross was divided into five grades:

  • Knight's Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes)
  • Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves (mit Eichenlaub)
  • Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern)
  • Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds (mit Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillianten)
  • Knight's Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds (mit Goldenem Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillianten)

In total, 7,313 awards of the Knight's Cross were made, but only 883 received Oak Leaves and 159 received Oak Leaves and Swords (plus one honorary recipient, the Japanese admiral Isoroku Yamamoto). Only 27 men were ever awarded the Diamonds grade of the Knight's Cross (3 field marshals, 10 generals, 3 colonels, 9 ace pilots and 2 U-boat captains), and Hans-Ulrich Rudel was the only recipient of the Knight's Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds. Approximately 1,730 awards were to Luftwaffe personnel. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Hans-Ulrich Rudel (July 2, 1916–December 18, 1982) was a Stuka dive-bomber pilot during World War II. Rudel is famous as being the most highly decorated German during the war. ... The Deutsche Luftwaffe or (German: air force, literally Air Arm or Air Weapon, IPA: [luftvafə]) is the commonly used term for the German air force. ...


The Knight's Cross was worn as a neck order suspended from the collar. Texas Medal of Valor A neck order is a type of military decoration which is designed to be worn and displayed around a persons neck, rather than hung from the chest as is the standard practice for displaying military decorations. ...


 
 

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