List of Knight's Cross recipients 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS
|Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Knight's Cross With Oak Leaves: awarded to Alfons Rebane as the only officer of the Estonian Division to receive the award
|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|
Divisional insignia of 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS
20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Estonian) (German:20.Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (estnische Nr.1)), (Estonian:20. Eesti relvagrenaderide SS-diviis) was formed in Spring 1944  after general conscription-mobilization was announced in Estonia on 31 January 1944 by the German occupying authorities. 38 000 men were conscripted and other Estonian units that had fought on various fronts on the German side were rushed to Estonia. Estonian officers and men in other units that fell under the conscription proclamation and had returned to Estonia had their rank prefix changed from "SS" to "Waffen" (Hauptscharführer would be referred to as a Waffen-Hauptscharführer rather than SS-Hauptscharführer). The wearing of SS runes on the collar was forbidden, and these formations began wearing a national insignia instead.
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. 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.
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 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 Oakleaves
- Alfons Rebane Waffen-Obersturmbannführer, 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Estonian), 9 May 1945
- Franz Augsberger, SS-Brigadeführer, 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Estonian), 8 March 1945
Waffen Grenadier Regiment 45
- Paul Maitla, Hauptsturmführer, I.Battalion, 45th Waffen Grenadier Regiment der SS, 23 August 1944
- Harald Riipalu, Obersturmbannführer, Commander of the 45th SS-Grenadier Regiment
Waffen Grenadier Regiment 46
- 20. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (estnische Nr. 1) at axishistory
- mobilisation in Estonia estonica.org
- Waffen-SS at jewishvirtuallibrary.org
- Encyclopædia Britannica
- @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
- 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.
- 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.