Hubert Brinkforth

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Hubert Brinkforth
Hubert Brinkforth.jpg
Born 15 April 1916
Died 5 June 1942(1942-06-05) (aged 26)
Soviet Union
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1938–42
Rank Unteroffizier
Unit 14.(Panzerjäger)/Infanterie-Regiment 25

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Hubert Brinkforth (15 April 1916 – 5 June 1942) was a highly decorated Unteroffizier in the Wehrmacht during World War II. He was the first enlisted soldier to receive the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.


Hubert Brinkforth served as a Richtschütze (aiming gunner) during the Battle of France. In the heavy defensive battles in the vicinity of Abbeville, his regiment was ordered to take on an advanced position, securing the beachhead, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the main battle line. At the southern rim of Huppy his 3.7 cm Pak 36 gun repulsed a British tank attack on 27 May 1940. He succeeded in destroying nine enemy tanks during the course of the 20 minute battle. For this feat he was promoted to Gefreiter (private) and received the Iron Cross 2nd Class. General Erich von Manstein also nominated him for the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Brinkforth received the Knight's Cross on 1 April 1941 from General Josef Harpe at the training grounds in the Tucheler Heide. Brinkforth was killed on 5 June 1942 by Soviet artillery near Pogostje, Russia.

Awards and decorations[edit]



  1. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 123.


  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [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. 
  • Thomas, Franz; Wegmann, Günter (1993). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil III: Infanterie Band 3: Br–Bu [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the German Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Part III: Infantry Volume 3: Br–Bu] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-1734-3. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 1, 1 September 1939 to 31 December 1941] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2.