Ritterkreuz / Knight's Cross Actions

Discussions on the personalities of the Wehrmacht and of the organizations not covered in the other sections. Hosted by askropp and Frech.
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Oberst i.G. Otto Heidkämper of XXIV. Panzerkorps

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 25 Sep 2021 16:58

Otto Heidkämper (13 March 1901 - 17 February 1969) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 8 February 1943 as Oberst im Generalstab and Chef des Generalstabes XXIV. Panzerkorps. Heidkämper’s Ritterkreuz recommendation reads as follows: “After his commanding general had fallen and his staff had been dispersed by a Soviet tank attack, Oberst i.G. Heidkämper went to the fighting troops on 15 January 1943 (these included the 385. and 387. Infanterie-Divisionen). Along with the Italian Alpine Corps, this group was encircled by the enemy. After the death of the commanding general, Eibl, Oberst i.G. Heidkämper took over command of the group in the place of several Italian and one German generals that were present. With 9000 Germans and 11000 Italians, Oberst Heidkämper fought his way backwards for a period of 14 days, all while being cut off from all friendly contact and surrounded by an enemy that attacked from all sides. He was the soul of the will to break through. His freshness, confidence, energy and leadership were alone responsible for that fact that almost 20000 soldiers were able to escape destruction. In the daily combat, during which most German officers and NCOs became casualties, Oberst Heidkämper repeatedly distinguished himself through personal bravery. On 31 January 1943 he and his group were able to reach German territory, and thereafter the German and Italian troops could once again be reinserted into the main defensive front. The commanding general of the Generalkommando z.B.V., Generalleutnant Cramer, submitted Oberst i.G. Heidkämper for the award of the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes.”

Sources :
https://www.alexautographs.com/auction- ... EEC4EE2A4A
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/616 ... r-Otto.htm
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Gerhard Hein of 58. Infanterie-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 26 Sep 2021 13:49

Gerhard "Gerd" Hein (9 July 1916 - 6 June 2008) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes (#212 Heer award) on 3 September 1940 as Unteroffizier der Reserve and Zugführer in 10.Kompanie / III.Bataillon / Infanterie-Regiment 209 / 58. Infanterie-Division. During the urban combat at St. Evre (a suburb of Toul) on 19-20 June 1940, Unteroffizier Hein was able to achieve successes of great importance for the flow of the battle that also spared his Bataillon the pain of unnecessary casualties. During the attack on the suburb the right wing of the Bataillon was left open and it began taking heavy fire from houses that contained previously unidentified Allied forces. The Bataillon took significant losses and the entire assault threatened to stall. In response Hein took a squad from his Zug on his own initiative, and with this small unit he was able to clear the houses of the opponent. He would receive the Ritterkreuz for this action.

Hein received the Eichenlaub #120 for his Ritterkreuz on 6 September 1942 as Leutnant der Reserve and Führer 5.Kompanie / II.Bataillon / Infanterie-Regiment 209 / 58.Infanterie-Division. The medal was awarded for the following actions: Breaking through the Stalin Line near Priluga, capturing a battery of guns, holding a strongpoint for three days of fighting in the forested terrain near Monastorek, defending against a night attack by about 12 tanks near Alexejewka, combat near Urisk (before Leningrad), and attacking into Lubcy (north of Novgorod) on 15 March 1942.

Sources :
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/390 ... erhard.htm
https://www.warrelics.eu/forum/photos-p ... ein-24445/
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Oberleutnant d.R. Karl-Georg Feig of 1. Panzer-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 05 Oct 2021 15:13

Karl-Georg Feig (27 February 1899 - 12 February 1970) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 4 December 1941 as Oberleutnant der Reserve and Chef 3.Kompanie / I.Bataillon / Schützen-Regiment 113 / 1.Panzer-Division. The following wartime excerpt describes why Feig would receive the Ritterkreuz: “On 14 October 1941 Oberleutnant Feig had the mission of thrusting into the inner part of Kalinin that was located on the left of the road that led into the city. In an unstoppable forward drive, Oberleutnant Feig secured the crossing over the deeply incised creek and took control of the stadium. Oberleutnant Feig then decided to capture the Volga bridge. Although aware of the enemy guns, MG bunkers and field positions on the northern bank of the river, Oberleutnant Feig stormed across the Volga bridge with a few men and prevented the demolition of the bridge through his swift action. An ignition wire was personally cut by Oberleutnant Feig.”

Sources :
https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=11 ... 1820053589
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/425 ... 3KgNj2zEkA
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Oberstleutnant Georg Ritter von Hengl of 2. Gebirgs-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 05 Oct 2021 15:27

Georg Ritter von Hengl (21 October 1897 - 19 March 1952) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 25 August 1941 as Oberstleutnant and Kommandeur Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 137 / 2.Gebirgs-Division. Here follows an excerpt describing Hengl’s Ritterkreuz action: “On 29 June 1941 the Gebirgskorps Norwegen began its attack against the Russian border positions from the area east of Petsamo. During this operation the successful breakthrough against the heavily occupied (and defended to the last man) bunker line commanded by Oberstleutnant von Hengl was of extraordinary importance for the further successful attack of the whole of Gebirgskorps.”

Sources :
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1989-078-16A
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/633 ... -Georg.htm
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General der Infanterie Friedrich Mieth of IV. Armeekorps

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 10 Oct 2021 06:48

Friedrich Mieth (4 June 1888 - 2 September 1944) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 2 November 1943 as General der Infanterie and Kommandierender General IV. Armeekorps. The medal was awarded for his leadership of the IV. Armeekorps during the fighting on the Mius front and east of Nikopol in mid-1943. Previously, when the Rumanian armies collapsed around Stalingrad, Hitler upgraded headquarters’ of 11. Armee to Headquarters of Heeresgruppe Don, and called upon the brilliant Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein to stabilize the front and save the besieged 6. Armee. Manstein hastily summoned Generalleutnant Mieth and named him commander of security and rear-area troops for the new army group. Because of the rapid speed of the Soviet breakthroughs, however, Mieth’s real function was to organize ad hoc units and lead them into combat to help stem the Russian tide. On New Year’s Day 1943, for example, he was in the Zymlia sector, commanding four ad hoc combat groups, each of approximately regimental strength, plus the 336. Infanterie-Division and what was left of the 7. Luftwaffe Feld-Division. With these forces he was conducting a delaying action near the Don River. His hastily organized headquarters was already known as Korps Mieth. From January to July 1943, Mieth fought in the battles along the Don, in the Donetz, and in the retreat to the Mius. During this period he had to maintain constant flexibility because his units were always changing, as the southern sector of the Eastern Front underwent crisis after crisis. On March 4, for example, Mieth controlled the 336. and 384. Infanterie divisions and the 23. Panzer-Division. Five weeks later all these units had been transferred, and Mieth was directing the 3. Gebirgs and the 304. and 335. Infanterie divisions. Mieth, however, proved himself to be an excellent field commander, and on April 20, 1943 (Hitler’s birthday), he was promoted to General der Infanterie. His headquarters was recognized as a permanent formation on July 20, when it was upgraded to IV. Armeekorps—named after a unit destroyed at Stalingrad. In the meantime, it received its corps units, including the 404th Artillery Command (Arko 404), the 44th Signal Battalion, and the 404th Supply Troop.

Mieth received the Eichenlaub #409 for his Ritterkreuz on 1 March 1944 as General der Infanterie and Kommandierender General IV. Armeekorps. The medal was awarded for his continued distinguished Korps command during the fighting for the Nikopol bridgehead in the winter of 1943/44. Here the Germans inflicted heavy losses on the Soviet forces that sought to crush this position. Wehrmachtbericht 18 February 1944: "In the heavy fighting in the area of Nikopol, the Ostmark, Bavaria, Rhineland-Westphalia, Saxony, Mecklenburg, Pomerania and East Prussia Division under the command of the General of Mountain Troops Schörner and the generals Brandenberger, Mieth and Kreysing in the time frame of 5 November 1943 to 15 February 1944 in offensive and defensive actions, prevented Bolsheviks attempts to break through with cold steel and inflicted heavy losses. Thereby have been captured or destroyed 1754 tanks, 533 guns, many other weapons and other military equipment. Also 56 enemy aircraft have been shot down by infantry weapons."

Sources :
https://stalinogorsk.ru/112pd
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/121 ... edrich.htm
https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2020/01/2 ... ich-mieth/
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Oberleutnant zur See Siegfried Wuppermann of 3. Schnellbootsflottille

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 10 Oct 2021 14:12

Siegfried Wuppermann (15 December 1916 - 15 April 2005) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 3 August 1941 as Oberleutnant zur See and Kommandant Schnellboot "S 60" / 3.Schnellbootsflottille. The medal was awarded for the successes achieved by him and his boat on all fronts. In the Norwegian campaign he sunk a freighter with 3000 GRT. On the night of 27-28 May 1940 he sunk the French destroyer "Sirocco" and a tanker with 1000 GRT. As the deputy commander of the 3. Schnellbootsflottille, he achieved a notable success on 7 March 1941 near Great Yarmouth / Lowestoft. In three attack runs he sank two destroyers, two freighters with 5700 GRT and a tanker with 8000 GRT. Later on, in actions against the Soviets, he destroyed two armed Soviet freighters with 3577 GRT on 22 June 1941, and two days later the Soviet submarine S 3. On 27 June 1941 his and three other boats engaged with 7 Soviet destroyers and 1 torpedo boat. In a half hour fight he and his ships sunk 2 of these destroyers and also the torpedo boat.

Wuppermann received the Eichenlaub #226 for his Ritterkreuz on 14 April 1943 as Oberleutnant zur See and Kommandant Schnellboot "S 56" / 3.Schnellbootsflottille. It was achieved due to further successes as the commander of S-56. He sank a Soviet patrol vessel on 18 August 1941. Sank a British patrol vessel in the Mediterranean on 7 May 1942. Sank another British patrol vessel and a submarine chaser on 10 May 1942. Torpedoed and severely damaged the British cruiser "Newcastle" on 14 June 1942. Destroyed a number of British ships as they attempted to flee the port of Tobruk when it fell on 21 June 1942 (3 small ships with 350 GRT, 4 barges, 1 freighter with 5000 GRT that had already been damaged by the Luftwaffe, 1 steamship with 6810 GRT, 1 large and 2 smaller landing craft).

Sources :
Bundesarchiv Bild 101II-MW-2061-35
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/345 ... gfried.htm
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Wachtmeister Otto Bösel of Flak-Regiment 43

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 20 Oct 2021 06:09

Otto Bösel (12 July 1913 - 5 November 1975) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 11 June 1944 as Wachtmeister and Geschützführer in 1.Batterie / I.Abteilung / Flak-Regiment 43 / 6.Flak-Division. The medal was awarded for distinguishing himself in the North Africa campaign, as detailed by the following excerpt from the ‘Wittenberger Tageblatt’ (dated 3 August 1944): “Wachtmeister Bösel has distinguished himself on all fronts in an exemplary way. During all his battles he demonstrated great readiness for duty, bravery and outstanding leadership abilities. He proved to be particularly successful in engaging enemy tanks and often brought about achievements of battle-deciding importance.”

Sources :
https://ar.pinterest.com/pin/280278776786081479/
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/221 ... l-Otto.htm
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Korvettenkapitän Kurt Thoma of 2. Minensuchflottille

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 22 Oct 2021 14:19

Kurt Thoma (4 August 1901 - 11 April 1971) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 6 October 1940 as Korvettenkapitän and Chef 2. Minensuchflottille. The following press release describes why Korvettenkapitän Thoma received the Ritterkreuz: "Korvettenkapitän Thoma, commander of a Minensuchflottille, has seen constant action since the start of the war. During the Norwegian campaign and the battle for Narvik his flotilla (inferior to every enemy destroyer unit in terms of armament and speed) was fully successful. Korvettenkapitän Thoma has conducted all of his operations with calm and pragmatism. The numerous successes of the flotilla can largely be attributed to the skill of its commander."

Sources :
https://de.metapedia.org/wiki/Thoma,_Kurt
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/134 ... o-Kurt.htm
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Hauptmann Martin Eder of 256. Infanterie-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 02 Jan 2022 04:08

Martin Eder (22 December 1902 - 6 April 1983) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 28 November 1940 as Hauptmann and Führer I.Bataillon / Infanterie-Regiment 481 / 256.Infanterie-Division. The following wartime excerpt describes why Eder would be awarded the Ritterkreuz: "On 26 May 1940, during the fighting for the Lys Canal (near Ecclee), Hauptmann Eder took up the leadership of the battle on his own initiative. He forced a crossing over the canal with his Kompanie and penetrated to a depth of 4 km into the enemy positions. He then held this position against violent enemy counterattacks, and in doing so enabled his Regiment to thrust through the forest positions near Cleith on the following day. This in turn led to the capitulation of the Belgian army on 28 May 1940."

The following press article provides some additional comments on this action: "Hauptmann Eder already outstandingly distinguished himself during the breakthrough of the Peel position near Mill. Here he placed himself at the head of his assault units and captured four bunkers that were flanking the anti-tank ditch all on his own. Later, at the Lys canal, he forced a crossing over the canal at the head of his Kompanie and penetrated 4 km deep into the enemy position. This action enabled the Regiment to launch its own thrust near Cleith, which led to the capitulation of the Belgian army. Hauptmann Eder also forced the canal crossing near Nieuport, held his position against tank-led counterattacks and thereby established the preconditions for the destruction of the Royal Fusileers and the capture of a substantial amount of British war materiel that would otherwise have been shipped to England."

Sources :
viewtopic.php?p=2380019#p2380019
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/387 ... Martin.htm
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Hauptmann Hansjörg Hauser of 25. Panzergrenadier-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 23 Jan 2022 08:27

Hansjörg Hauser (6 March 1916 - 30 August 1944) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 17 August 1943 as Hauptmann and Kommandeur II.Bataillon / Grenadier-Regiment 35 (motorisiert) / 25.Panzergrenadier-Division. In mid-July 1943 Hauptmann Hauser and his II./Grenadier-Regiment 35 were deployed to guard the left flank and retreat road (Kirejkowo—Sereditschi) of the 25. Panzergrenadier-Division from Soviet forces attacking from the direction of Nogaja. Despite very strong opposing pressure, the Bataillon was able to master all crises it came up against and fulfill its vital mission for the Division. Hauptmann Hauser would be awarded the Ritterkreuz for his particularly flexible and successful combat leadership during this battle.

Sources :
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... Hauser.jpg
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/608 ... 3%B6rg.htm
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Leutnant Johannes Lutz of 116. Panzer-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 18 Mar 2022 15:31

Johannes "Hans" Lutz (11 March 1920 - 26 August 2005) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 9 December 1944 as Leutnant and Zugführer in Divisions-Begleit-Kompanie / 116. Panzerdivision "Windhund" / 7.Armee / Heeresgruppe B. The following text by Divisionskommandeur von Waldenburg describes the actions by which Lutz would receive the Ritterkreuz:

“On 6 November 1944 Leutnant Lutz received the order to participate in a large-scale counterattack, in which his role was to take his Zug and capture the village of Vossenack from the south. The neighbouring formations were to attack it from the north and east. Despite the heaviest defensive fire from all weapons, including direct fire by enemy tanks, Lutz and his men succeeded in taking their assigned portion of the village.

After breaking into the village he was able to grasp the overall situation: The attacks of the other German forces had bogged down in heavy defense fire, and only Lutz and his Zug had managed to get as far as the village. All connection to neighbouring units had been lost. The enemy tanks and APCs had bypassed him to the rear and were currently pushing in the direction of the Mestringer mill. Their obvious goal was to catch the Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung employed there in a flank attack and prevent the imminent encirclement of their American comrades at Kommerscheidt.

In light of this situation, Leutnant Lutz made the independent decision to thwart this enemy move to the best of his abilities. At the very least he would try to throw the enemy into confusion close a the frontline gap by drawing closer to the rest of his Kompanie. And so, without hesitating on account of the inferiority of his force against tanks and APCs, he attacked the much larger enemy group with his Zug. At the head of his men he personally destroyed 2 fully-manned American APCs and 1 armoured command vehicle in the first attack with Panzerfausts. As the AT weapons of his Zug were thereby expended, he and his Zug were attacked by enemy tanks while still being deployed on open ground. In order to save his men he gathered everyone together and charged the enemy tanks while firing with all their weapons, personally shooting off his machine-pistol and inspiring his men by his example. With a loud “Hurra” they approached the enemy tanks, who were intimidated by this fierce attack and forced to fall back.

Through this action Lutz succeeded in resupplying his men after rejoining the Kompanie and closing the existing frontline gap. His attack also managed to confuse the enemy as planned, and the Americans halted their attack on the Mestringer mill in order to reform in a secure area.

After this was completed 5 enemy tanks drove towards Lutz’s position, making a new attempt to break through to the mill. Immediately Leutnant Lutz hurried into action, procuring 2 Panzerfausts and some hand grenades, and worked his way to within a few metres of the tanks. With the 2 Panzerfausts he destroyed one enemy tank at very close range and set a second one on fire with hand grenades. At the same time the other enemy tanks were destroyed with Panzerfausts by an Oberfeldwebel from the left neighbouring formation. With this the attempted enemy armoured breakthrough to Mestringer mill was once again stopped in its tracks.

Leutnant Lutz (who was still suffering from the effects of an old wound) was once again wounded twice while leading a forcefully conducted attack on Würselen, however stayed with his men by his own wish. He is the model of an experienced and outstandingly brave frontline officer, who demands the utmost of himself. Through this superbly led operation he prevented a dangerous breakthrough by a much superior combat force against the Mestringer mill, while removing a great danger to the flank of the Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung. He thus made a major contribution to the later encirclement of strong enemy forces south of Mühle, near Kommerscheidt.

Following this action Leutnant Lutz was once again heavily wounded by a shell splinter on 8 November 1944.”

Sources :
https://de.metapedia.org/wiki/Lutz,_Johann
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/362 ... hannes.htm
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Re: Ritterkreuz / Knight's Cross Actions

Post by harmel » 16 May 2022 21:39

Oberst.d.R Paul Adam KC Holder-awards dates-IC 2nd Class (13/2/15). -IC 1st Class(15/4/18)
Spange 2nd Class(26/9/39) Spange 1st Class(20/7/40) Biblio has it 20/7/41.
WB(Black) 5/7/40-General Assault Badge(7/1/42)-WB(Silver) 14/10/44
Arm Band(Kurland) 5/5/45.
Harmel

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Oberstleutnant Benno Kosch of Kampfgeschwader 1 (KG 1) "Hindenburg"

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 24 Jul 2022 08:06

Benno Kosch (12 March 1900 - 16 June 1975) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 1 October 1940 as Oberstleutnant and Gruppenkommandeur II.Gruppe / Kampfgeschwader 1 (KG 1) "Hindenburg". The following newspaper article (dated 29 October 1940) describes why Kosch received the Ritterkreuz: "Oberstleutnant Kosch has led his bomber Gruppe from success to success right from the very outbreak of the war, and in this capacity he has provided a shining example of courage for his crews. His Gruppe was particularly successful in its operations against the Albert Marth airfield, the Potez factory, the main aviation department Paris-Monterne and the port facilities at Le Havre, Cherbourg, Brest, Lorient and Bordeaux. The Gruppe was able to destroy 80 aircraft on the ground. Later, during the attacks against England, Oberstleutnant Kosch went on to lead his Gruppe against its assigned targets with bitter determination despite the very strong enemy fighter defenses. A notable case of this was during an attack on London. During this attack the other aircraft in Oberstleutnant Kosch’s Kette were put out of action, while he personally received two bullet wounds in the shoulder and one in the head. Despite this he fearlessly kept up his attack until his engine was also shot up. After dropping his bombs onto the southern part of London he succeeded in landing his damaged aircraft safely at his airbase despite encountering powerful enemy fighter attacks en-route."

Sources :
https://www.alexautographs.com/auction- ... EF8449EAEE
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/449 ... -Benno.htm
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Oberfeldwebel Josef Portsteffen of Pionier-Bataillon 51 (motorisiert)

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 03 Aug 2022 14:54

Josef Portsteffen (4 October 1913 - 21 June 1974) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 21 May 1940 as Oberfeldwebel and Stoßtruppführer in 1.Kompanie / Pionier-Bataillon 51 (motorisiert). Following the German aerial assault on the Eben Emael fortress, it was vital for the ground troops to link up with the Fallschirmjäger as soon as possible. The initial efforts were thwarted however due to the destruction of the bridge over the Albert Canal at Kanne, which prevented a swift push to the fortress. The initial efforts of the Pionier-Bataillon 51 on the afternoon of 10 May 1940 to cross the canal were stopped dead by fierce Belgian fire, as were two further attempts later that day.

Finally, during the evening, an assault team lead by Oberfeldwebel Portsteffen launched a crossing under cover of darkness. Paddling furiously, they managed to cross the canal unscathed along the NW side of the fortress. They immediately scaled the hill up to the top and began destroying the Belgian fortifications there. One of the most important ones destroyed was the so-called Werk 4. Armed with flamethrowers, the Pioniere forced the Belgians to close the shutters which then allowed the assault team to close in and knock it out with explosives. In doing so the path was cleared for further German troops to move up on the NW side of the fortress.

By the early morning of the next day Portsteffen and his team became the first German ground troops to make contact with the Fallschirmjäger, and were joined by the rest of the Bataillon later that day. Portsteffen would receive the Ritterkreuz for his efforts in securing the German victory in this battle.


Source :
https://audiovis.nac.gov.pl/obraz/31028/
https://audiovis.nac.gov.pl//obraz/35900/
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/843 ... -Josef.htm
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Re: Ritterkreuz / Knight's Cross Actions

Post by Dave Danner » 03 Aug 2022 22:31

Most of these are generals, so they are probably already well-documented.
EKRK 1940.jpg
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