(Ritterkreuz des Eisernes Kreuzes)


Date Instituted

1 September 1939


* Awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class
* Repeated acts of bravery above and beyond the call of duty (or a single act if it was of great importance)

Number Awarded

7.318 (42 to Axis allies)


Anti-Aircraft defenses
- Herzog, Otto 15.04.1945 SA-Obergruppenführer Führer der Volkssturm-Einheiten i. d. Festung Breslau und Führer einer Kampfgruppe
- Packebusch, Karl 26.04.1945 Fhr eines Volkssturm-Btls in Berlin-Wedding
- Tiburczy, Ernst 10.02.1945 Volkssturm-Btl-Führer des Volkssturm-Btl 25/82 i. d. Kgr Mikosch (Festung Königsberg)
Foreign Volunteers
Germany's Allies
Relatives holding high awards

Holders of the Knight's Cross & the Blood Order
Holders of the Knight's Cross & the Golden Military Merit Cross (Prussia)
Holders of the Knight's Cross & the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa (Austria-Hungary)
- Dr. Friedrich von Franek (10 June 1921, 4 Nov 1941)
- Alois Windisch (4 Dec 1917, 20 June 1940)
Holders of the Knight's Cross & the Military Order of Maximilian Joseph (Bavaria)
Holders of the Knight's Cross & the Pour le Mérite (Prussia)

NVA Generals & Admirals who were awarded the Knight's Cross (German Democratic Republic)

Kapitän der Handelsmarine Paul Hellmann was the only member of the merchant navy to recieved the Knight's Cross, he recieved it on 6 January 1944 as captain of the blockade runner MS "Osorno".

The holders of this award are listed on the individual unit histories as part of the Holders of high awards project.

Known makers/markings

4, 20, 64, L/12, L/15, L/52

Kapitänleutnant Heinz Franke
(Courtesy of D.W. Paul)

Oberst Heinz Trettner
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3 0 Germany)

SS-Standartenführer Wilhelm Mohnke recieves the Knight's Cross from SS-Obergruppenführer Josef "Sepp" Dietrich
(Courtesy of Die Deutsche Wochenschau/Ivan)


The OBdW postponed, and thereby temporarily blocked, the awarding of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for "remarkable services in troop leadership" between 3 August 1940 and 16 March 1941.

Photo courtesy of Rusfront

Sources used

Christopher Ailsby - World War 2 German medals and political awards
John R. Angolia - For Führer and Fatherland: Military awards of the Third Reich
David Littlejohn - Orders, decorations, medals and badges of the Third Reich

Reference material on this award

Dietrich Maerz - The Knights Cross of the Iron Cross
Stephen Thomas Previtera - The Iron Time: A History of the Iron Cross
Gordon Williamson - The Iron Cross
Gordon Williamson - The Iron Cross of 1939