List of Knight's Cross recipients 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS

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Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Kcog.jpg
Knight's Cross With Oak Leaves: awarded to Alfons Rebane as the only officer of the Estonian Division to receive the award
Awarded by Nazi Germany
Type Neck order
Eligibility Military personnel
Awarded for Awarded to holders of the Iron Cross to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership
Campaign World War II
Status Obsolete
Statistics
Established 1 September 1939
First awarded 30 September 1939
Last awarded 11 May 1945 / 17 June 1945[a]
Precedence
Next (higher) Grand Cross of the Iron Cross
Next (lower) Iron Cross 1st Class
Estonian Division.jpg
Insignia of 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS

20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Estonian) (German:20.Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (estnische Nr.1)), (Estonian:20. Eesti relvagrenaderide SS-diviis) was formed in Spring 1944 [1] after general conscription-mobilization was announced in Estonia on 31 January 1944 by the German occupying authorities. 38 000 men were conscripted and other Estonian units that had fought on various fronts on the German side were rushed to Estonia.[2] Estonian officers and men in other units that fell under the conscription proclamation and had returned to Estonia had their rank prefix changed from "SS" to "Waffen" (Hauptscharführer would be referred to as a Waffen-Hauptscharführer rather than SS-Hauptscharführer). The wearing of SS runes on the collar was forbidden, and these formations began wearing a national insignia instead.[3][4]

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 [5] 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 [6] of June 3, 1940. In 1941 two higher grades of the Knight's Cross were instituted. The enactment Reichsgesetzblatt I S. 613 [7] 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 [8] of December 29, 1944 concluded the variants of the Knight's Cross.

Prerequisites[edit]

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[edit]

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

  • Knights Cross
  • Knights Cross with Oak Leaves
  • Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and swords
  • Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds
  • Knights Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds

Knight's Cross with Oakleaves[edit]

Knight's Cross[edit]

Waffen Grenadier Regiment 45[edit]

Waffen Grenadier Regiment 46[edit]

Panzerjäger Battalion 20[edit]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ 20. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (estnische Nr. 1) at axishistory
  2. ^ mobilisation in Estonia estonica.org
  3. ^ Waffen-SS at jewishvirtuallibrary.org
  4. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica
  5. ^ @ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I S. 1573; 1 September 1939
  6. ^ @ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I S. 849; 3 June 1940
  7. ^ @ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I S. 613; 28 September 1941
  8. ^ @ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Reichsgesetzblatt 1945 I S. 11; 29 December 1944

References[edit]

  • SEEMEN, Gerhard von: Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939-1945. Podzun-Pallas, 1976.
  • SCHERZER, Veit: Knight's Cross Recipients 1939 - 1945 (Paperback) by Enid Blyton, 1999