Enemy at the Gates
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The Medal that Major Knig wore when he arrived, and through most of the first part of the movie is the Knights Cross of The Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. There were two grades of the ordinary Iron Cross, then the Knights Cross of The Iron Cross, which was worn around the neck and which the General Paulus appeared to be wearing. Above this were the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, then Oak Leaves and Swords, then Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds and finally Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. This highest award was only given to one recipient throughout the entire war. The other medal that the major wore was is the Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross with Swords, the highest award in its class. There were versions awarded to civilians that didn't have the swords behind the cross. This medal had been awarded posthumously to his son who had fallen in the first attacks on Stalingrad. As well as it being common practice for highly decorated soldiers to wear lower grades of medals than they had been awarded while in combat, to prevent the more valuable awards being lost if they fell, he probably wore his son's medal into battle to honour him.

Page last updated by myk-harwood, 6 years ago
Top Contributors: jmuntmootcourt, myk-harwood

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