DE Band mit RK (1)

The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes, often simply Ritterkreuz) was a grade of the 1939 version of the 1813 created Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was the highest award of Germany to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership during World War II. It was second only to the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross (Großkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) in the military order of the Third Reich.

Knight's Cross in The War That Came EarlyEdit

Lt. Hans-Ulrich Rudel was awarded the Knight's Cross for proposing and testing 37mm anti-panzer cannons on Stukas, the first in his squadron to do so. The citation read "In recognition of Lt. Rudel's cleverness in suggesting the installation of antipanzer cannon on the Ju-87, and in recognition of his gallantry in personally testing the new weapons system against the enemy".[1]

Knight's Cross in WorldwarEdit

The Knight's Cross was the highest military award given by Germany under the Nazi Party. In 1942, Heinrich Jäger was offered the Knight's Cross and promotion to Lieutenant Colonel for his role in bringing a supply of plutonium captured from the wreck of the 56th Emperor Jossano, but he instead opted to accept the German Cross and promotion to Colonel.


  1. West and East, pgs. 199-201, HC.

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