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
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
Wolfsangel.svg
Divisional Emblem 2nd SS Division Das Reich

The SS Division Das Reich (German 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.

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 Swords[edit]

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[edit]

Knight's Cross[edit]

HQ Staff[edit]

Panzer Kampfgruppe Das Reich[edit]

SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 3 Deutschland[edit]

  • Heinrich Bastian, 06.05.1945 SS-Obersturmführer Commander II./3rd SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Deutschland [Dietrich award]*
  • Wilhelm Bittrich, 14.12.1941 SS-Oberführer Commander SS-Inf.Rgt Deutschland
  • Hans Eckert, 04.05.1944 SS-Obersturmführer Commander II./3rd SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Deutschland
  • Franz Grohmann, 23.08.1944 SS-Obersturmführer Commander 1 Company 3rd SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Deutschland
  • Heinz Harmel, 31.03.1943 SS-Obersturmbannführer Commander SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Deutschland
  • Alfred Koch, 06.05.1945 SS-Obersturmführer Commander 6th Company II./3rd SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Deutschland [Dietrich award]*
  • Heinz Macher, 03.04.1943 SS-Untersturmführer Commander 16th (Pi)/SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Deutschland
  • Walter Mattusch, 06.05.1945 SS-Hauptsturmführer Commander II./3rd SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Deutschland [Dietrich award]*
  • Adolf Rüd, 23.08.1944 SS-Oberscharführer platoon commander HQ Company,3rd SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Deutschland
  • Helmuth Schreiber, 30.07.1943 SS-Hauptsturmführer Commander 10th Company SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Deutschland
  • Felix Steiner, 15.08.1940 SS-Oberführer Kdr SS-Standarte [Rgt (mot)] Deutschland
  • Alois Weber, 30.07.1943 SS-Hauptscharführer platoon commander 16th Company SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Deutschland
  • Günther Wisliceny, 30.07.1943 SS-Sturmbannführer Commander III./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Deutschland
  • Fritz Witt, 04.09.1940 SS-Sturmbannführer Commander I./SS-Standarte [Rgt (mot)] Deutschland[6]
Fritz Klingenberg displays his Knight's cross

SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 4 Der Führer[edit]

  • Simon Grascher, 14.08.1943 SS-Unterscharführer platoon commander 9th Company SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Der Führer
  • Willy Grieme, 17.09.1943 SS-Obersturmführer d.R. Commander 4th Company SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Der Führer
  • Hans Hauser, 06.05.1945 SS-Sturmbannführer und Major der Schupo Commander I./4th SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Der Führer [Dietrich award]*
  • Helmut Kämpfe, 10.12.1943 SS-Sturmbannführer d.R. Commander III.(gp.)/4th SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Der Führer
  • Vinzenz Kaiser, 06.04.1943 SS-Hauptsturmführer Commander III.(gp.)/4th SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Der Führer
  • Georg Keppler, 15.08.1940 SS-Oberführer Commander SS-Standarte [Rgt] Der Führer
  • Ludwig Kepplinger, 04.09.1940 SS-Hauptscharführer platoon commander 11th company SS-Standarte [Rgt] Der Führer
  • Joachim Krüger, 24.06.1944 SS-Untersturmführer Commander 10th Company, 4th SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Der Führer
  • Otto Kumm, 16.02.1942 SS-Obersturmbannführer Commander SS-Rgt (mot) Der Führer
  • Josef Lainer, 08.10.1943 SS-Oberscharführer platoon commander 1st Company SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Der Führer
  • Günther Lange, 06.05.1945 SS-Sturmmann Gruppenführer 16th Company 4th SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Der Führer [Dietrich award]*
  • Alfred Lex, 10.12.1943 SS-Hauptsturmführer Commander I./4th SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Der Führer
  • Adolf Peichl, 16.10.1944 SS-Hauptscharführer platoon commander 12th Company, 4th SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Der Führer
  • Herbert Schulze, 16.12.1943 SS-Sturmbannführer Commander II./4th SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Der Führer
  • Sylvester Stadler, 06.04.1943 SS-Sturmbannführer Commander II./4th SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Der Führer
  • Heinz Werner, 23.08.1944 SS-Hauptsturmführer Commander III.(gp.)/4th SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Der Führer[6]

SS Panzer Regiment 2 Das Reich[edit]

  • Ernst Barkmann, Ernst 27.08.1944 SS-Unterscharführer tank commander 4th Company 2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich
  • Karl Boska, 16.12.1943 SS-Obersturmführer Adjutant II./2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich
  • Rudolf Enseling, 23.08.1944 SS-Sturmbannführer Commander I./2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich
  • Franz Frauscher, 31.12.1944 SS-Hauptscharführer platoon commander 4th company 2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich
  • Horst Gresiak, 25.01.1945 SS-Obersturmführer Commander 7th Company 2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich
  • Friedrich Holzer, 10.12.1943 SS-Hauptsturmführer Commander 1st Company 2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich
  • Dieter Kesten, 12.11.1943 SS-Hauptsturmführer Commander 6th Company 2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich
  • Karl Kloskowski, 11.07.1943 SS-Hauptscharführer platoon commander 4th Company 2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich
  • Fritz Langanke, 27.08.1944 SS-Standartenoberjunker platoon commander 2nd Company 2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich
  • Karl Mühleck, 04.06.1944 SS-Untersturmführer platon commander 2nd Company 2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich
  • Adolf Reeb, 23.08.1944 SS-Untersturmführer platoon commander 7th Company 2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich
  • Hans Albin Freiherr von Reitzenstein 13.11.1943 SS-Obersturmbannführer Commander 2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich
  • Emil Seibold, 06.05.1945 SS-Hauptscharführer platoon commander 8th Company 2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich [Dietrich award]*
  • Willy Simke, 16.12.1943 SS-Hauptscharführer platoon commander 5th Company 2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich
  • Johann Thaler, 14.08.1943 SS-Unterscharführer Panzerfahrer in the 6th Company 2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich
  • Christian Tychsen 31.03.1943 SS-Sturmbannführer Commander II./2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich
  • Johann Veith, 14.02.1945 SS-Obersturmführer Commander 3rd Company 2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich
  • Karl-Heinz Worthmann, 31.03.1943 SS-Hauptscharführer platoon commander 6th Company 2nd SS-Pz.Rgt Das Reich[6]

SS Panzer Artillery Regiment 2 Das Reich[edit]

  • Wolfgang Gast, 04.06.1944 SS-Obersturmführer Commander I./2nd SS-Pz.Art.Rgt Das Reich
  • Karl Kreutz, 27.08.1944 SS-Standartenführer Commander 2nd SS-Pz.Art.Rgt Das Reich
  • Hans Schabschneider, 27.08.1944 SS-Unterscharführer Munitionsstaffelführer 4th Battery 2nd SS-Pz.Art.Rgt Das Reich[6]

SS Sturmgeschütz Battalion 2 Das Reich[edit]

  • Walter Kniep, 14.08.1943 SS-Sturmbannführer Commander 2nd SS-Stug Battalion Das Reich
  • Wolfgang Röhder, 01.12.1943 SS-Obersturmführer d.R. Commander 3rd Battery 2nd SS-Stug.Btn Das Reich[6]

Panzerjäger Battalion Reich[edit]

  • Erich Rossner, Erich 25.08.1941 SS-Unterscharführer Geschützführer 2nd Battery 2nd SS-Pz.Jäg.Btn Reich[6]

Motorcycle Battalion Reich[edit]

  • Fritz Klingenberg, Fritz 14.05.1941 SS-Hauptsturmführer Commander 2nd Company SS-KradSchtz.Btn Reich[6]

Reconnaissance Battalion / SS-Verfügungs-Division[edit]

  • Fritz Vogt, 04.09.1940 SS-Obersturmführer platoon commander 2nd Company, reconnaissance Btn SS-Verfügungs-Division

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

  • Jakob Fick, 23.04.1943 SS-Sturmbannführer Commander I.(Motorcycle)/SS-Schtz-Rgt Langemarck[6]

SS Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion 2 Das Reich[edit]

  • Ernst Krag, 23.10.1944 SS-Sturmbannführer Commander 2nd SS-Pz.Rec Btn Das Reich
  • Alfred Siegling, 02.12.1943 SS-Oberscharfführer platoon commander 1st Company, 2nd SS-Pz.Rec.Btn Das Reich
  • Otto Weidinger, 21.04.1944 SS-Sturmbannführer Commander 2nd SS-Pz.Rec.Btn Das Reich
  • Hans Weiß, 06.04.1943 SS-Hauptsturmführer Commander 2nd SS-Rec.Btn Das Reich[6]

SS Panzer Pioneer Battalion 2 Das Reich[edit]

  • Siegfried Brosow, 13.11.1943 SS-Hauptsturmführer Commander 1st Company 2nd SS-Pz.Pi.Btn Das Reich
  • Karl Gebhard, 06.05.1945 SS-Oberscharführer platoon commander 2nd Company 2nd SS-Pz.Pi.Btn Das Reich [Dietrich award]*
  • Fritz Rieflin, 06.05.1945 SS-Obersturmführer Commander 2nd SS-Pz.Pi.Btn Das Reich [Dietrich award]*
  • Heinrich Schmelzer, 12.03.1944 SS-Obersturmführer d.R. Commander 2nd SS-Pz.Pi.Btn Das Reich [officially] [16.(Pi.)/SS-PGR 4 "DF"/SS-Pz.Kgr "DR"][6]

SS Flak Battalion 2 Das Reich[edit]

  • Franz Joseph Dreike, 06.05.1945 SS-Hauptsturmführer d.R. Commander 2nd SS-Flak.Btn Das Reich [Dietrich award]*
  • Fritz Rentrop, 13.10.1941 SS-Obersturmführer Commander 2nd SS-Flak.Btn SS-Div Reich[6]

Dietrich award[edit]

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[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  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". 
  7. ^ Scherzer p.64

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