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Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

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  • Ferdinand Jodl (1896 - 1956)
    Ferdinand Alfred Friedrich Jodl (28 November 1896 – 9 June 1956) was a German general during World War II who commanded the Mountain Corps Norway during the Petsamo–Kirkenes Offensive. He was the ...
  • Alfred Jodl (1890 - 1946)
    Alfred Josef Ferdinand Jodl (10 May 1890 – 16 October 1946) was a German Generaloberst who served as the Chief of the Operations Staff of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht – the German Armed Force...
  • Peter Sauerbruch (1913 - 2010)
    Peter Sauerbruch (5 June 1913 – 29 September 2010) was a highly decorated Oberstleutnant i.G. in the Wehrmacht during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
  • Hermann Fegelein (1906 - 1945)
    Otto Hermann Fegelein. Brother-in-law of Eva Braun, wife of Hitler. : ührer Hermann Otto Fegelein was a General of the Waffen SS in Nazi Germany, Member of Adolf Hitler's entourage, Brother In Law to E...
  • Hans Waldmann (1922 - 1945)
    Hans Peter Waldmann (24 September 1922 – 18 March 1945) was a German Luftwaffe (Air Force) fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross of Nazi Germany. Waldmann received the awa...

The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes), or simply the Knight's Cross (Ritterkreuz), and its variants, were the highest awards in the military and paramilitary forces of Nazi Germany during World War II.

The Knight's Cross was awarded for a wide range of reasons and across all ranks, from a senior commander for skilled leadership of his troops in battle to a low-ranking soldier for a single act of military valour. Presentations were made to members of the three military branches of the Wehrmacht: the Heer (army), the Kriegsmarine (navy) and the Luftwaffe (air force), as well as the Waffen-SS, the Reich Labour Service and the Volkssturm (German People storm militia), along with personnel from other Axis powers.

The award was instituted on 1 September 1939, at the onset of the German invasion of Poland. The award was created to replace the many older merit and bravery neck awards of the German Empire. A higher grade, the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross, was instituted in 1940. 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. At the end of 1944 the final grade, the Knight's Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, was created. Over 7,000 awards were made during the course of the war.

7,161 officially bestowed recipients