Erich Schmidt (soldier)
10 February 1911|
|Died||13 November 1977
|Allegiance|| Nazi Germany (to 1945)
|Years of service||1934–1945
|Commands held||schwere Panzer-Abteilung 507
Panzer-Regiment of the Führer-Grenadier-Division
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves|
Erich Schmidt (10 February 1911 – 13 November 1977) was a highly decorated Major in the Wehrmacht during World War II who was one of only 882 recipients who were awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Awards and decorations
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th Class
- Sudetenland Medal with Prague Castle Bar (25 October 1939)
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class (6 October 1939)
- 1st Class (28 May 1940)
- Wound Badge (1939)
- in Black (?)
- in Silver (?)
- Panzer Badge
- Eastern Front Medal
- German Cross in Gold (30 May 1942)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht (30 August 1944)
- The Heerespersonalamt (HPA—Army Staff Office) received Erich Schmidt's nomination on 24 March 1945. Major Joachim Domaschk noted three days later: "Insufficient for the Oak Leaves!". Nevertheless an HAP entry nomination without nomination number was created on 29 March and presented to General Wilhelm Burgdorf. Burgdorf noted on 31 March: "Request advisory opinion from the commanding general!" and returned the nomination to the HPA. Major Domaschk requested via teleprinter the statement of the XXXIX. Panzerkorps. The Panzerkorps answered on 5 April via teleprinter that they are not responsible since the respective division was only subordinated to the corps for a very short time and never in action. Domaschk then requested the advisory opinion from the LVII. Panzerkorps on 8 April, which was not received by 28 April. On this day Domaschk noted "Wait" and ordered the re-presentation for 5 May. The nomination remained unprocessed after this date. The nomination list of the higher grade of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves notes the entry date of 24 March and that the nomination was forwarded to General Burgdorf on 29 March 1945. A presentation date is not stated and a comment says "further inquiry". The Order Commission of the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR) processed this case in 1982 and decided: "Oak Leaves yes, 9 May 1945". It appears that the AKCR had questioned a witness, the former adjutant of the Army to the Commander-in-chief of the Wehrmacht Willy Johannmeyer, he wrote to the AKCR on 29 March 1968: "By all means, I cannot remember a pick-up of the Oak Leaves for Mr Oberleutnant Erich Schmidt". The presentation number "876" was assigned by the AKCR. The presentation date was assigned by Fellgiebel. Schmidt was a member of the AKCR.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 309.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 86.
- Scherzer p. 171.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9.