Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
|June 3rd, 1940
|Officers and men of all ranks within any branch of the Wehrmacht, Waffen-SS, or the auxiliary service organizations.
For the Luftwaffe:
For the Kriegsmarine:
*Criteria often changed throughout the war
|July 19th, 1940 – to Eduard Dietl
|882 to Germans, 8 to foreigners = 890 total
Distribution Statistics of the Knights Cross with Oakleaves
* These stats are only for the distribution of the Knight’s Cross with Oakleaves, and not the many other grades of the RK
|During the time of the Third Reich, the range of categories of the Iron Cross were as follows:
The Iron Cross
The various grades of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross specifically are discussed within separate entries due to the great importance of each grade. The grades of the Knight’s Cross were as follows:
Method of Wear:
|The Knight’s Cross with Oakleaves was worn in the same manner as the original Knight’s Cross, the only difference being in the addition of oakleaves above the Knight’s Cross itself.
|The Knight’s Cross with Oakleaves was the next higher grade of the Knight’sCross above the original, and as such, was an even more highly regarded award. The number awarded during WWII, 890, is a testiment to the great honor attached to this award. Like the Knight’s Cross, the RK with Oakleaves could also be awarded to foreigners and was also awarded to commanders in recognition of the valor of the unit they commanded. Of the 882 German holders of the RK with Oakleaves, 96 are known to be alive as of 1999 and 234 (27%) are known to have been killed in action or are listed as missing in action during WWII.