List of Knight's Cross recipients 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian)
|Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
|Awarded by Nazi Germany|
|Awarded for||Awarded to holders of the Iron Cross to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership|
|Campaign||World War II|
|Established||1 September 1939|
|First awarded||30 September 1939|
|Last awarded||11 May 1945 / 17 June 1945[a]|
|Next (higher)||Grand Cross of the Iron Cross|
|Next (lower)||Iron Cross 1st Class|
Insignia of 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar
The 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian) was one of the thirty-eight divisions fielded as part of the Waffen-SS during World War II. The Handschar division was a mountain infantry formation. They were used to conduct operations against Yugoslav Partisans in the puppet state of Nazi Germany known as "Independent State of Croatia" from February to December 1944 and spent the remainder of the war fighting against the advancing Soviets in southern Hungary. Sixty percent of its recruits were composed of Muslim Bosniaks, gradually supplemented by ethnic Albanians and Catholic Croatians, while the rest were Yugoslav Volksdeutsche who made up the majority of its officers and NCOs.
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 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. 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. The Oak Leaves, as they were commonly referred to, were based on the enactment Reichsgesetzblatt I S. 849  of June 3, 1940. In 1941 two higher grades of the Knight's Cross were instituted. The enactment Reichsgesetzblatt I S. 613  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  of December 29, 1944 concluded the variants of the Knight's Cross.
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
The Knight's Cross was awarded to the following members of 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian):
- Desiderius Hampel, Brigadeführer, 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian), 3 May 1945.
- Helmut Kinz, Hauptsturmführer and Hauptmann of Schupo, 13th Waffen Gebirgs Reconnaissance Battalion, 3 May 1945.
- Karl Liecke, Obersturmbannführer, 27th Waffen Gebirgsjäger Regiment, 3 May 1945.
- Albert Stenwedel, Sturmbannführer, II Btn,27th Waffen Gebirgsjäger Regiment, 3 May 1945.
- Hans Hanke, Obersturmbannführer, 28th Waffen Gebirgsjäger Regiment, 3 May 1945.
- Tomasevich 2001, pp. 498, 501.
- Pavlowitch 2007, p. 177.
- @ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I S. 1573; 1 September 1939
- @ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I S. 849; 3 June 1940
- @ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I S. 613; 28 September 1941
- @ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Reichsgesetzblatt 1945 I S. 11; 29 December 1944
- Lepre (1997), p. 345
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). 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.
- Lepre, George (1997). Himmler's Bosnian Division: The Waffen-SS Handschar Division 1943-1945. ISBN 0-7643-0134-9.
- Pavlowitch, Stevan K. (2007). Hitler's New Disorder: The Second World War in Yugoslavia. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 1-85065-895-1.
- 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.
- Von Seemen, Gerhard (1976). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 : die Ritterkreuzträger sämtlicher Wehrmachtteile, Brillanten-, Schwerter- und Eichenlaubträger in der Reihenfolge der Verleihung : Anhang mit Verleihungsbestimmungen und weiteren Angaben [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 : The Knight's Cross Bearers of All the Armed Services, Diamonds, Swords and Oak Leaves Bearers in the Order of Presentation: Appendix with Further Information and Presentation Requirements] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7909-0051-4.
- Tomasevich, Jozo (2001). War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945: Occupation and Collaboration. 2. San Francisco: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-3615-4.