List of Knight's Cross recipients 3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf

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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
3rd SS Division Logo.svg
Divisional Emblem 3rd SS Division Totenkopf

The SS Division Totenkopf ("Death's Head" or "Skull") is also known as 3. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division "Totenkopf" and 3. SS-Panzer-Division Totenkopf. It was one of the 38 divisions fielded by the Waffen-SS during World War II. Prior to achieving division status, the formation was known as Kampfgruppe Eicke. The division is infamous due to its insignia and the fact that most of the initial enlisted men were SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS concentration camp guards).

The Totenkopf division was numbered with the "Germanic" divisions of the Waffen-SS. These included also the SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Das Reich, and SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Wiking.[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]

Knight's Cross with Oakleaves[edit]

Theodor Eicke displays the Knight's Coss with Oakleaves

Knight’s Cross[edit]

HQ Staff[edit]

SS Panzer Regiment 3 Totenkopf[edit]

1 SS Totenkopf Infantry Regiment[edit]

Eduard Deisenhofer showing Knight's Cross and Totenkopf collar badge

1 SS Panzergrenadier Regiment Totenkopf[edit]

  • Walter Reder, 03.04.1943 SS-Hauptsturmführer Commander I./1st SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt SS-Div Totenkopf
  • Joachim Schubach, 03.04.1943 SS-Sturmbannführer Commander III./1st SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Totenkopf [6]

SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 5 Totenkopf[edit]

SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 6 Theodor Eicke[edit]

  • Hellmuth Becker, 07.09.1943 SS-Standartenführer Commander SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Theodor Eicke
  • Hans Endreß, 23.03.1945 SS-Hauptsturmführer Commander II./6th SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Theodor Eicke
  • Johann Fiedler, 16.06.1944 SS-Unterscharführer platoon commander, 5th Company, 6th SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Theodor Eicke
  • Kurt Franke, 03.10.1943 SS-Hauptscharführer Stoßtruppführer 11th Company SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Theodor Eicke
  • Kurt Launer, 15.08.1943 SS-Sturmbannführer Commanderr II./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Theodor Eicke
  • Heinz-Fritz Müller, SS-Hauptsturmführer Commander III./6th SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt Theodor Eicke [6]

3 SS Totenkopf Infantry Regiment[edit]

  • Otto Baum, 08.05.1942 SS-Sturmbannführer Commander III./3rd SS-Totenkopf-Inf.Rgt [6]

SS Panzer Artillery Regiment 3 Totenkopf[edit]

Ernst Häussler with Knight's Cross
  • Walter Gerth, 31.03.1943 SS-Obersturmführer Commander 7th Battery SS-Totenkopf-Art.Rgt
  • Hermann Prieß, 28.04.1943 SS-Oberführer Commander SS-Art.Rgt Totenkopf
  • Ernst Stäudle, 10.04.1942 SS-Oberscharführer 8th Battery SS-Art.Rgt Totenkopf
  • Josef Swientek, 16.06.1944 SS-Obersturmbannführer Commander 3rd SS-Pz.Art.Rgt [6]

SS Panzerjäger Battalion 3 Totenkopf[edit]

SS Sturmgeschütz Battalion 3 Totenkopf[edit]

SS Reconnaissance Battalion Totenkopf[edit]

  • Walter Bestmann, 28.09.1941 SS-Sturmbannführer Commander SS Totenkopf Reconnaissance Btn (mot) [6]

SS Motorcycle Battalion Totenkopf[edit]

  • Franz Kleffner, 19.02.1942 SS-Sturmbannführer Commander SS Totenkopf Motorcycle Btn [6]

SS Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion 3 Totenkopf[edit]

  • Lino Masarie, 03.04.1943 SS-Hauptsturmführer Commander Reconnaissance Btn SS Totenkopf Div
  • Alfred Titschkus, 11.12.1944 SS-Unterscharführer Gruppenführer, 3rd Company 3rd SS Pz.Rec Btn [6]

SS Pionier Battalion 3 Totenkopf[edit]

  • Max Seela, 03.05.1942 SS-Hauptsturmführer Commander 3rd SS-Pi.Btn Totenkopf
  • Karl Ullrich, 19.02.1942 SS-Sturmbannführer Commander Pi.Btn SS Totenkopf Div [6]

SS Flak Battalion 3 Totenkopf[edit]

  • Otto Kron, 28.06.1942 SS-Hauptsturmführer Commander Flak Btn SS Totenkopf Div [6]

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 p q "axis.history". 

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