In 1939 a new grade in the Iron Cross series was introduced, the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). It was awarded for a variety of reasons, from skilled leadership to a single act of extreme gallantry, and was bestowed across all ranks, grades, and branches of service. As the war progresed, further distinctions were created for bestowal on existing winners, namely Oak-Leaves (Eichenlaub); Oak-Leaves with Swords (Eichenlaub und Schwertern); and Oak-Leaves with Swords and Diamonds (Eichenlaub, Schwerter und Brillanten). This book, the first in a sequence of four, covers winners of the Knights Cross and the Oak-Leaves distinction in the period 1939-40.
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