Continued accumulation of points, 1 point for downing a single-engine aircraft, 2 points
for a twin-engine aircraft and 3 points for a four-engine aircraft. All points were
x2 at night. This total was continuously raised as the war went on.
During the time of the Third Reich, the range of categories of the Iron Cross
were as follows:
The Iron Cross
The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
The Grand Cross of the Iron Cross
The various grades of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross specifically are
discussed within seperate entries due to the great importance
of each grade. The grades of the Knight's Cross were as follows:
The Knight's Cross with Oakleaves and Swords was worn in the same manner as the
Knight's Cross with Oakleaves, the only differance being
in the addition of a set of crossed swords to the oakleaves above the
Knight's Cross itself.
The Knight's Cross with Oakleaves and Swords was the next higher grade of the Knight's
Cross above the Knight's Cross with Oakleaves, and as such, was an even more highly regarded
award than all those previous. This grade of the RK was actually instituted
after the first award of it was presented! The number awarded during WWII, 160, is a
testiment to the even greater honor attached to this award. Like the Knight's Cross
with Oakleaves, the RK with Oakleaves and Swords could also be awarded to foreigners and was also
awarded to commanders in recognition of the valor of the unit they commanded.
Of the 160 holders of the RK with Oakleaves and Swords, 14 are known to be
alive in 1999 and of the 159 German holders, 38 (24%) are known to have
been killed in action or are listed as missing in action during WWII.