List of Knight's Cross recipients 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich

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Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Awarded by Nazi Germany
TypeNeck order
EligibilityMilitary personnel
Awarded forAwarded to holders of the Iron Cross to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership
CampaignWorld War II
StatusObsolete
Statistics
Established1 September 1939
First awarded30 September 1939
Last awarded11 May 1945 / 17 June 1945[a]
Precedence
Next (higher)Grand Cross of the Iron Cross
Next (lower)Iron Cross 1st Class
Wolfsangel.svg
Divisional Emblem 2nd SS Division Das Reich
 
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Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Awarded by Nazi Germany
TypeNeck order
EligibilityMilitary personnel
Awarded forAwarded to holders of the Iron Cross to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership
CampaignWorld War II
StatusObsolete
Statistics
Established1 September 1939
First awarded30 September 1939
Last awarded11 May 1945 / 17 June 1945[a]
Precedence
Next (higher)Grand Cross of the Iron Cross
Next (lower)Iron Cross 1st Class
Wolfsangel.svg
Divisional Emblem 2nd SS Division Das Reich

The SS Division Das Reich (germ. 2.SS-Panzer-Division Das Reich) was one of the thirty-eight divisions fielded by the Waffen-SS during World War II. It served from the invasion of France and took part in several major battles on the Eastern Front, before it was pulled back to France and took part in the fighting in Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and the last, fighting in Hungary and Austria.[1]

The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grades were based on four separate enactments. The first enactment Reichsgesetzblatt I S. 1573[2] of September 1, 1939 instituted the Iron Cross and the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. As the war progressed some of the recipients distinguished themselves further and a higher grade, the Oak Leaves to Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was instituted. The Oak Leaves, as they were commonly referred to, were based on the enactment Reichsgesetzblatt I S. 849[3] of June 3, 1940. In 1941 two higher grades of the Knight's Cross were instituted. The enactment Reichsgesetzblatt I S. 613[4] of September 28, 1941 introduced the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords and the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. At the end of 1944 the last and final grade, the Knight's Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds, based on the enactment Reichsgesetzblatt 1945 I S. 11[5] of December 29, 1944 concluded the variants of the Knight's Cross.

Contents

Prerequisites

To qualify for the Knight's Cross, a soldier had to already hold the 1939 Iron Cross First Class, though the Iron Cross I Class was awarded concurrently with the Knight's Cross in rare cases. Unit commanders could also be awarded the medal for exemplary conduct by the unit as a whole.

Grades

The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was divided into five grades, excluding the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross:

Knight's Cross with Swords

Heinz Macher with Knights Cross Oakleaves and swords also displaying the German Cross in Gold, Close Combat Clasp in Gold, Wound Badge in Gold Iron Cross and the Deutschland cuff title

Knight's Cross with Oakleaves

Knight's Cross

HQ Staff

Panzer Kampfgruppe Das Reich

SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 3 Deutschland

Fritz Klingenberg displays his Knight's cross

SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 4 Der Führer

SS Panzer Regiment 2 Das Reich

SS Panzer Artillery Regiment 2 Das Reich

SS Sturmgeschütz Battalion 2 Das Reich

Panzerjäger Battalion Reich

Motorcycle Battalion Reich

Reconnaissance Battalion / SS-Verfügungs-Division

I.(Motorcycle) / SS-Schtz / Pz.Gren-Regiment Langemarck (under command of Das Reich)

SS Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion 2 Das Reich

SS Panzer Pioneer Battalion 2 Das Reich

SS Flak Battalion 2 Das Reich

Dietrich award

Several awards made by SS-Oberstgruppenführer Sepp Dietrich in May 1945 ; on his own account Dietrich was authorized to award KCs and higher grades up to swords by a personal authority he got from Adolf Hitler in May 1944 ; this is questionable and his "eidesstattliche Erklärung" about this issue is either not existent or at least not confirmed ; what is published in von Seemen and Krätschmer is a letter containing a statement which is open to interpretation ; it is very likely this passage is misinterpretated ; as a matter of fact there has been made many promotions (backdated 20.04.1945) and awards by 6. SS-Pz.Armee, announced on 06.05.1945 to the troops ; all these awards made their way from staff 6. SS-Pz.Armee to Berlin offices as well as to SS-Obersturmbannführer Wilhelm Kment [Verbindungs-Offz des Reichsführers SS zum OKH/HPA and "Sachbearbeiter W-SS" im HPA P 5 a 1. Staffel, at that time in Austria] and back beneath the ordinary proposal system and awarding procedere ; "06.05.1945" = day of announcement, is the award date for all these awards ; -> called "Dietrich award" furtheron ; are all illegal according to Scherzer[7]

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica
  2. ^ @ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I S. 1573; 1 September 1939
  3. ^ @ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I S. 849; 3 June 1940
  4. ^ @ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I S. 613; 28 September 1941
  5. ^ @ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Reichsgesetzblatt 1945 I S. 11; 29 December 1944
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "axis.history". http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=9505. 
  7. ^ Scherzer p.64

References