25 October 1918|
|Died||23 June 1942
|Years of service||1937 – 1942|
|Awards||Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords|
Leopold "Bazi" Steinbatz (born 25 October 1918 in Vienna, Austria, killed in action 23 June 1942 near Vovchansk, Kharkiv Oblast, on the Eastern front) was a German former Luftwaffe fighter ace and sole non Officer recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords during World War II.
Luftwaffe career 
After service in the Austrian Army Steinbatz joined the Luftwaffe as a trainee pilot in 1939. By November 1940 Steinbatz was posted to 9 Staffel of Jagdgeschwader 52. He often flew as wingman to future high scoring ace Hermann Graf, first seeing combat during the invasions of the Balkans and Crete.
He gained his first victory over the Soviet Union in early August 1941, by the end of November, he had claimed some 25 kills. In February 1942, Feldwebel Steinbatz was awarded the Ritterkreuz for 42 victories. He continued to score consistently through the summer air offensives and shot down seven Soviet aircraft on 8 May. Oberfeldwebel Steinbatz was awarded the Eichenlaub in June 1942. By mid June 1942, he had 95 claims to his credit.
However Steibatz had some fatigue problems after returning from leave in January 1942. He had dislayed a combat fever. Hermann Graf said:
After his return he proved to be absolutely reckless. He entered an unparalleled victory march, scoring one victory after another! As he achieved his no. 80 and was expected to be awarded the Oak Leaves, I urged him to take some leave. The combats had put a tremendous strain on his nerves. This was shown on several occasions. I grounded him for a couple of days, but then he requested that I allow him to start flying combat sorties again.
On 15 June 1942, Steinbatz recorded his 99th victory but, during the return from a combat sortie on this day, his Bf 109-F was hit by Soviet anti-aircraft fire and he was killed after crashing into a forest near Vovchansk. Steinbatz was posthumously promoted to the rank of Leutnant and awarded the Schwertern on 23 June 1942. By this time "Bazi" Steinbatz had flown about 300 combat missions and shot down 99 enemy aircraft, all on the Eastern Front.
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (8 December 1941)
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe in Gold with Pennant "300"
- Combined Pilots-Observation Badge
- Iron Cross (1939)
- German Cross in Gold on 22 January 1942 as Feldwebel in the 9./JG 52
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht
Reference in the Wehrmachtbericht 
|Date||Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording||Direct English translation|
|Sunday, 3 May 1942||Am gestrigen Tage errangen an der Ostfront Leutnant Koeppen seinen 80. bis 84. Leutnant Graf seinen 70. bis 76. und Feldwebel Steinbatz seinen 44. bis 49. Luftsieg.||Yesterday on the Eastern front, Leutnant Koeppen achieved his 80th to 84th, Leutnant Graf his 70th to 76th and Feldwebel Steinbatz his 44th to 49th aerial victory.|
|Friday, 12 June 1942||Oberfeldwebel Steinbatz errang an der Ostfront seinen 95. Oberleutnant Marseille in Nordafrika seinen 78. bis 81. Luftsieg.||Oberfeldwebel Steinbatz recorded his 95th on the Eastern Front, Oberleutnant Marseille in North Africa his 78th to 81st aerial victory.|
- Bergstrom 2007, p. 52.
- Obermaier 1989, p. 32.
- Thomas 1998, p. 345.
- Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 456.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 720.
- Fellgiebel 2000, pp. 409, 505.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 2, p. 103.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 2, p. 157.
- Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges (in German). Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 3-9501307-0-5.
- Bergstrom, Christer (2007). Stalingrad - The Air Battle: November 1942 - February 1943. London: Chervron/Ian Allen. ISBN 978-1-85780-276-4 .
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945 (in German). Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
- Patzwall, Klaus D. and Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 - 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
- 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 (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 3-7648-2300-3.
- Williamson, Gordon (2006). Knight's Cross, Oak-Leaves and Swords Recipients 1941-45. Osprey Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84176-643-7.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943. München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.
- Helden der Wehrmacht III - Unsterbliche deutsche Soldaten (in German). München, Germany: FZ-Verlag GmbH, 2007. ISBN 978-3-924309-82-4.
- "Aces of the Luftwaffe". Leopold Steinbatz. Retrieved 25 April 2007.
- "Lexikon der Wehrmacht". Leopold Steinbatz. Retrieved 16 May 2007.