|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 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS
The 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Latvian) was formed in January 1944 from 2nd Latvian Brigade following the Waffen SS's drive for manpower in the wake of Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. After a successful recruitment drive in the Reichskommissariat Ostland (Baltic states) for the Nazi anti-partisan brigades, Heinrich Himmler formed Baltic legions by late August 1942, including the Lettische SS-Freiwilligen-Legion.
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 Oak Leaves and Swords
- Hinrich Schuldt, Oberführer, 2. lett. SS-Freiwillige-Brigade, 25 March 1944, Killed in action 15 March 1944
Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
- Bruno Streckenbach, Gruppenführer, 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Latvian)
- Hinrich Schuldt, Standartenführer, SS-Brigade Schuldt 2 April 1943
Waffen Grenadier Regiment 42
- Roberts Gaigals, Waffen Obersturmführer, 6 Company, 42nd Waffen Grenadier Regiment der SS Voldemars Veiss
- Nikolajs Galdiņš, Obersturmbannführer, Commander 42nd Waffen Grenadier Regiment der SS
Waffen Grenadier Regiment 43
- Voldemārs Reinholds, Waffen Sturmbannführer, 43rd Waffen Grenadier Regiment der SS Hinrich Schuldt
- Kārlis Sensbergs, Waffen Unterscharführer, 43rd Waffen Grenadier Regiment der SS
Waffen Grenadier Regiment 44
- Miervaldis Ādamsons, Untersturmführer, 6th Company, 44th Waffen Grenadier Regiment der SS
- Žanis Ansons, Waffen Hauptsturmführer, 3rd Company, 44th Waffen Panzer Grenadier Regiment der SS
- Andrejs Freimanis, Waffen Obersturmführer, 13 Company, 44th Waffen Grenadier Regiment der SS
Waffen Fusilier Battalion 19
Waffen Reserve Battalion 19
- Roberts Ancāns, Untersturmführer, 19th Waffen Reserve Battalion der SS
- Žanis Butkus, Waffen Hauptsturmführer, 10th Company, 19th Waffen Reserve Battalion.
- Encyclopædia Britannica
- Majewski, Ryszard: Waffen SS. Mity i rzeczywistość. , Wrocław : Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza, 1983, s. 247, ISBN 83-03-00102-7
- Polski czyn zbrojny w II wojnie światowej., Warszawa : Wydawnictwo Ministerstwa Obrony Narodowej, 1988, s.531 (tom 3), ISBN 83-11-07038-5
- Ważniejsze bitwy na Wale Pomorskim podczas II wojny światowej "webpark". http://sente.webpark.pl/walpom.htm Ważniejsze bitwy na Wale Pomorskim podczas II wojny światowej.
- @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
- SEEMEN, Gerhard von: Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939-1945. Podzun-Pallas, 1976.
- SCHERZER, Veit: Knight's Cross Recipients 1939 - 1945 (Paperback) by Enid Blyton, 1999
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|