List of foreign recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

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In total, 43 individuals in the military of allies of Nazi Germany were awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes), the highest award in the military of Nazi Germany during World War II. Eight of these men were also honoured with the next higher grade, the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub), and one senior naval officer, Fleet Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, was additionally awarded the Swords to the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern). Among the recipients were eighteen Romanians, nine Italians, eight Hungarians, two Slovaks, two Japanese, two Spaniards, two Finns, and one Belgian.[Notes 1]

Colonel General Dezső László of Hungary became the last foreign recipient of the award on 3 March 1945. The last surviving foreign recipient of the award was Belgian politician Léon Degrelle, who died on 31 March 1994, fifty years after receiving the medal from Hitler's hands.

Background[edit]

The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht kept separate Knight's Cross lists, one for each of the military branches, Heer (Army), Kriegsmarine (Navy), Luftwaffe (Air force) and for the Waffen-SS. Within each of these lists a unique sequential number was assigned to each recipient. The same numbering paradigm was applied to the higher grades of the Knight's Cross, one list per grade. Once the four lists of the Knight's Cross recipients were merged into one listing, the chronological order was abandoned and the list was converted to an alphabetical list of recipients. Foreign recipients were never integrated into this list. The Wehrmacht also refrained from assigning a numbering scheme to the different lists of foreign recipients. Two principles were retained: the foreign Knights Cross recipients were ordered alphabetically and the recipients of the higher grades were ordered chronologically.[2]

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 of 1 September 1939 instituted the Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz) and the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.[3] 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 of 3 June 1940.[4] In 1941, two higher grades of the Knight's Cross were instituted. The enactment Reichsgesetzblatt I S. 613 of 28 September 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.[5] At the end of 1944 the final grade, the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit goldenem Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten), based on the enactment Reichsgesetzblatt 1945 I S. 11 of 29 December 1944, concluded the variants of the Knight's Cross.[6]

Recipients[edit]

The recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross are initially ordered alphabetically whereas the recipients of the higher grades are initially ordered chronologically. The rank listed is the recipient's rank at the time the Knight's Cross or the Oak Leaves were awarded.

      This along with the * (asterisk), indicates that the Knight's Cross was awarded posthumously.

Recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords[edit]

The Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords is based on the enactment Reichsgesetzblatt I S. 613 of 28 September 1941 to reward those servicemen who had already been awarded the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Isoroku Yamamoto was the sole non-German combatant to be honoured with the Swords to the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves.

Name Country Rank Unit Date of award Notes Picture
Yamamoto, IsorokuIsoroku Yamamoto Japan Fleet Admiral Commander-in-chief of the IJN Combined Fleet 27 May 1943* Killed in action 18 April 1943[7] Isoroku Yamamoto.jpg

Recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves[edit]

The Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves was based on the enactment Reichsgesetzblatt I S. 849 of 3 June 1940.

Name Country Rank Unit Date of award Notes Picture
Lascăr, MihailMihail Lascăr Romania Major General (General de divizie)[8] 6th Infantry Division of the 3rd Romanian Army 22 November 1942
Gen mihail lascar-177072629.jpg
Muñoz Grandes, AgustínAgustín Muñoz Grandes Spain Lieutenant General Blue Division (250. Infantry Division) 13 December 1942
Agustin Munoz Grandes.jpg
Yamamoto, IsorokuIsoroku Yamamoto Japan Fleet Admiral Commander-in-chief of the IJN Combined Fleet 27 May 1943* Awarded Swords 27 May 1943 Isoroku Yamamoto.jpg
Teodorini, CorneliuCorneliu Teodorini Romania Brigadier General (General de brigadă)[9] 6th Cavalry Division 8 December 1943
Corneliu Teodorini.jpg
Dumitrescu, PetrePetre Dumitrescu Romania Lieutenant General (General de armată)[10] 3rd Romanian Army 4 April 1944
Petre Dumitrescu.JPG
Koga, MineichiMineichi Koga Japan Fleet Admiral Japanese Chief of Fleet 12 May 1944* Killed in action 31 March 1944[11] Koga Mineichi.jpg
Mannerheim, Baron Carl Gustaf EmilBaron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim Finland Marshal of Finland President and Commander-in-chief of Finnish Defense Forces 5 August 1944
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim.jpg
Degrelle, LéonLéon Degrelle Belgium SS-Sturmbannführer 5. SS-Freiw.-Sturm-Brig. "Wallonien" 27 August 1944
Léon Degrelle.jpg

Recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross[edit]

The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross is based on the enactment Reichsgesetzblatt I S. 1573 of 1 September 1939 Verordnung über die Erneuerung des Eisernen Kreuzes (Regulation of the renewing of the Iron Cross).

Name Country Rank Unit Date of award Notes Picture
Antonescu, IonIon Antonescu Romania General Commander-in-chief of the Military of Romania 6 August 1941
Ion Antonescu.jpg
Carolis, Ugo deUgo de Carolis Italy Brigadier General (Generale di Brigada) Italian 52nd Motorised Division Torino 9 February 1942* Killed in action 12 December 1941[12] Ugo de Carolis.jpg
Cavallero, UgoUgo Cavallero Italy General (Generale di Corpo d'Armata designato d'Armata Chief of the Italian Supreme Command 14 February 1942
Ugo Cavallero.jpg
Dragalina, CorneliuCorneliu Dragalina Romania Lieutenant General Romanian 6th Army Corps 6 August 1942
Corneliu Dragalina.jpg
Dumitrache, IoanIoan Dumitrache Romania Major General 2nd Romanian Mountain Division 21 November 1942
Ioan Dumitrache.jpg
Dumitrescu, PetrePetre Dumitrescu Romania Lieutenant General (General de armată)[10] 3rd Romanian Army 1 September 1942 Awarded Oak Leaves 4 April 1944 Petre Dumitrescu.JPG
Esteban Infantes, EmilioEmilio Esteban Infantes Spain Lieutenant General Blue Division (250. Infantry Division) 3 October 1943
Emilio Esteban Infantes.JPG
Fecia di Cossato, CarloCarlo Fecia di Cossato Italy Frigate Captain (Capitano di Fregata) Italian submarine Enrico Tazzoli 19 March 1943
Carlo Fecia di Cossato (pre 1943).jpg
Gariboldi, ItaloItalo Gariboldi Italy General (Generale di Corpo d'Armata designato d'Armata) 8th Italian Army 1 April 1943
ItaloGariboldi.jpg
Gazzana-Priaroggia, GianfrancoGianfranco Gazzana-Priaroggia Italy Corvette Captain (Capitano di Corvetta) Italian submarine Archimede 26 May 1943* Killed in action 24 May 1943[13] Gianfranco Gazzana-Priaroggia.jpg
Gheorghiu, ErmilErmil Gheorghiu Romania Major General (General de escadră)[14] General Staff of the Romanian Air Force 4 April 1944
Ermil Gheorghiu (ca. 1944).jpg
Giorgis, Fedele deFedele de Giorgis[Notes 2] Italy Major General (Generale di Divisione) Italian 55 Infantry Division Savona 9 January 1942
Fedele De Giorgis.jpg
Grossi, EnzoEnzo Grossi Italy Frigate Captain (Capitano di Fregata) Italian submarine Barbargio 7 October 1942
EnzoGrossi.jpg
Heinrichs, ErikErik Heinrichs Finland General of the Infantry Chief of Finnish General Staff 5 August 1944
Erik Heinrichs (1945).jpg
Heszlényi, József VitézJózsef Vitéz Heszlényi Hungary Field Marshal-Lieutenant 3rd Hungarian Army 28 October 1944
von Horthy und von Nagybánya, NikolausNikolaus von Horthy und von Nagybánya Hungary Admiral Commander-in-chief of the Military of Hungary 10 September 1941
Horthy the regent.jpg
Hristea, Ioan L.Ioan L. Hristea Romania Colonel Romanian 2nd Călărași Cavalry Regiment 28 March 1943
Ibrányi, Mihály vonMihály von Ibrányi Hungary Field Marshal-Lieutenant Hungarian Cavalry Division 26 November 1944
Jány, Gusztáv VitézGusztáv Vitéz Jány Hungary Colonel General 2nd Hungarian Army 31 March 1943
Jany Gusztav.jpg
Ionescu, EmanoilEmanoil Ionescu Romania Major General Commander of the Romanian Air Force's Corpul I Aerian 10 May 1944
Emanoil Ionescu.jpg
Koga, MineichiMineichi Koga Japan Fleet Admiral Japanese Chief of Fleet 12 May 1944* Oak Leaves 12 May 1944 Koga Mineichi.jpg
Korne, RaduRadu Korne Romania Colonel Romanian 8th Cavalry Division 18 December 1942
Lakatos Edler de Csíkszentsimon, Geza VitézGeza Vitéz Lakatos Edler de Csíkszentsimon Hungary Colonel General 1st Hungarian Army 24 May 1944
Lascar, MihailMihail Lascar Romania Brigadier General (General de brigadă)[8] Romanian 1st Mountain Brigade 18 January 1942 Awarded Oak Leaves 22 November 1942 Gen mihail lascar-177072629.jpg
László, DezsőDezső László Hungary Colonel General 1st Hungarian Army 3 March 1945
Dezso Laszlo.png
Macellariu, HoriaHoria Macellariu Romania Counter Admiral Romanian Naval Forces 21 May 1944
Malár, AugustínAugustín Malár Slovakia Generálmajor Slovak Fast Division 23 January 1942
Malár Augustín.jpg
Mannerheim, Baron Carl Gustaf EmilBaron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim Finland Field Marshal Commander-in-chief of the Finnish Defense Forces 30 August 1941 Awarded Oak Leaves 5 August 1944 Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim.jpg
Manoliu, GheorgheGheorghe Manoliu Romania Divisions-General 4th Romanian Mountain Division 30 August 1942
Martinat, GiulioGiulio Martinat Italy Brigadier General (Generale di Brigata) Staff of the Italian Alpini-Corps 3 April 1943* Killed in action 26 January 1943[16] Giulio Martinat.jpg
Messe, GiovanniGiovanni Messe Italy Lieutenant General (Generale di Corpo d'Armata) Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia 23 January 1942
Giovanni Messe.jpg
Miklós de Dálnok, Béla VitézBéla Vitéz Miklós de Dálnok Hungary Field Marshal-Lieutenant Hungarian Fast Corps 4 December 1941
Mociulschi, LeonardLeonard Mociulschi Romania Major General 3rd Romanian Mountain Division 19 December 1943
Muñoz Grandes, AgustínAgustín Muñoz Grandes Spain Lieutenant General Blue Division (250. Infantry Division) 12 March 1942 Awarded Oak Leaves 13 December 1942 Agustin Munoz Grandes.jpg
Pălăghiţă, IoanIoan Pălăghiţă Romania Major Romanian I./Infantry Regiment 94 7 April 1943
Racoviţă, Ioan MihailIoan Mihail Racoviţă Romania General of the Cavalry 4th Romanian Army 8 July 1944
MihailRacovita.jpg
Rădulescu, EdgarEdgar Rădulescu Romania Brigadier General 11th Romanian Infantry Division 3 July 1944
Răscănescu, GheorgheGheorghe Răscănescu Romania Major Romanian I./Infantry Regiment 15 4 December 1942
Gheorghe Rascanescu.jpg
Szügyi, Zoltán C. VitézZoltán C. Vitéz Szügyi Hungary Colonel Hungarian Infantry Division Szent László 12 January 1945
Szügyi Zoltán.jpg
TataranuNicolae Tătăranu Romania Major General 20th Romanian Infantry Division 17 December 1942
Teodorini, CorneliuCorneliu Teodorini Romania Colonel 6th Cavalry Division 27 August 1943 Awarded Oak Leaves 8 December 1943
Turanec, JozefJozef Turanec Slovakia Generálmajor Slovak Fast Division 7 August 1942
Yamamoto, IsorokuIsoroku Yamamoto Japan Fleet Admiral Commander-in-chief of the IJN Combined Fleet 27 May 1943* Awarded Oak Leaves 27 May 1943
Awarded Swords 27 May 1943
Isoroku Yamamoto.jpg

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Léon Degrelle from Belgium had received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross while subordinated to the Wehrmacht. Degrelle had received the Knight's Cross as SS-Hauptsturmführer der Reserve and leader of the 5. SS-Freiwilligen-Brigade "Wallonien" on 20 February 1944.[1]
  2. ^ According to Scherzer name is spelled Fedele Degiorgis while Fellgiebel had listed him as Fedele di Giorgio.[15]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 268.
  2. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 112.
  3. ^ "Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I S. 1573; 1 September 1939" (PDF). ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (in German). Reichsministerium des Inneren (Ministry of the Interior). Retrieved 21 February 2008. 
  4. ^ "Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I S. 849; 3 June 1940" (PDF). ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (in German). Reichsministerium des Inneren (Ministry of the Interior). Retrieved 21 February 2008. 
  5. ^ "Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I S. 613; 28 September 1941" (PDF). ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (in German). Reichsministerium des Inneren (Ministry of the Interior). Retrieved 21 February 2008. 
  6. ^ "Reichsgesetzblatt 1945 I S. 11; 29 December 1944" (PDF). ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (in German). Reichsministerium des Inneren (Ministry of the Interior). Retrieved 21 February 2008. 
  7. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 801.
  8. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 495.
  9. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 739.
  10. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 284.
  11. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 462.
  12. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 257.
  13. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 328.
  14. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 332.
  15. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 268.
  16. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 528.
Bibliography
  • 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. 

External links[edit]