The Knight’s Cross was awarded for a wide range of reasons and across all ranks, from a senior commander for skilled leadership of his troops in battle to a low-ranking soldier for a single act of the iron knight pdf free download valour. A higher grade, the Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross, was instituted in 1940. At the end of 1944 the final grade, the Knight’s Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, was created.
Over 7,000 awards were made during the course of the war. Iron was a material which symbolised defiance and reflected the spirit of the age. The Prussian state had mounted a campaign steeped in patriotic rhetoric to rally their citizens to repulse the French occupation. The award was reinstituted for the wars in 1870 and 1914. German armed forces decreed the renewal of the Iron Cross of 1939. A new grade of the Iron Cross series was introduced, the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. One people, one nation, one leader”.
The German Federal Archives substantiate 863 awards of the Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross, along with the 147 Swords and 27 Diamonds awards. The renewal for the first time had created an honorary sign of the entire German state. As the war progressed four additional years, leaders had to distinguish those who had already won the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross or one of the higher grades and who continued to show merit in combat bravery or military success. Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds.