Knights Cross

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Knight's Cross Signature Prints.

Rare Knight's Cross signature prints with edition sizes of less than 50.

All the prints shown on this page have editions which have been signed by at least one Knight's Cross winner.  These military, aviation and naval prints have been personally signed by famous pilots like Gunther Rall and Erich Rudorffer, U-Boat Commanders like Jurgen Oesten and Alfred Eick, or tank commanders like Erwin Kressmann and Gerhard Fischer.  A lot of the prints have several editions, each signed by different Knight's Cross winners; and some have editions signed by more than one, so it is worth browsing through all the editions - each edition has the information about the signatures on its page.  

 

To help you browse, we have split the full list featured on this page into smaller galleries, of Luftwaffe Knight's Cross Winners, U-Boat Knight's Cross Winners and Military Knight's Cross Winners.  You can also view a list of the signatures, with a short biography of the person and (occasionally) a photograph.  Also, if you click on the signature name highlighted in the text for an edition, you can see all prints signed by that person.

 

Major Erich Rudorffer (deceased)

Erich Rudorffer was born on November 1st 1917 in the town of Zwickau in Saxony. Erich Rudorffer joined the Luftwaffes I./JG2 Richthofen in November 1939, and was soon flying combat patrols in January 1940 and was assigned to I/JG 2 Richthofen with the rank of Oberfeldwebel. He took part in the Battle of France, scoring the first of his many victories over a French Hawk 75 on May 14th, 1940. He went on to score eight additional victories during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. Rudorffer recalled an incident in August 1940 when he escorted a badly damaged Hurricane across the Channel - ditching in the English Channel was greatly feared by pilots on both sides. As fate often does, Rudorffer found the roles reversed two weeks later, when he was escorted by an RAF fighter after receiving battle damage. By May 1st 1941 Rudorffer had achieved 19 victories, which led to the award of the Knights Cross. In June 1941 Rodorffer became an Adjutant of II./JG2. In 1942 Rudorffer participated in Operation Cerberus (known as the Channel Dash) and flew over the Allied landings at Dieppe. Erich Rudorffer along with JG2 was transferred to North Africa in December 1942. It was in North Africa that Rudorffer showed his propensity for multiple-victory sorties. He shot down eight British aircraft in 32 minutes on February 9th 1943 and seven more in 20 minutes six days later. After scoring a total of 26 victories in Tunisia, Rudorffer returned to France in April 1943 and was posted to command II./JG54 in Russia, after Hauptmann Heinrich Jung, its Kommodore, failed to return from a mission on July 30th 1943. On August 24th 1943 he shot down 5 Russian aircraft on the first mission of the day and followed that up with three more victories on the second mission. He scored seven victories in seven minutes on October 11th but his finest achievement occurred on November 6th when in the course of 17 minutes, he shot down thirteen Russian aircraft. Rudorffer became known to Russian pilots as the fighter of Libau. On October 28th 1944 while about to land, Rudorffer spotted a large formation of Il-2 Sturmoviks. He quickly aborted the landing and moved to engage the Russian aircraft. In under ten minutes, nine of the of the II-2 Sturmoviks were shot down causing the rest to disperse. Rudorffer would later that day go on and shoot down a further two Russian aircraft. These victories took his total to 113 and he was awarded the Oak Leaves on April 11th 1944. Rudorffer would on the 26th January 1945 on his 210th victory receive the addition of the Swords. In February 1945 Rudorffer took command of I./JG7 flying the Me262. He was one of the first jet fighter aces of the war, scoring 12 victories in the Me262. He shot down ten 4-engine bombers during the "Defense of the Reich missions". He was the master of multiple scoring - achieving more multiple victories than any other pilot. Erich Rudorffer never took leave, was shot down 16 times having to bail out 9 times, and ended the war with 222 victories from over 1000 missions. He was awarded the Knights Cross, with Oak Leaves and Swords. Erich Rudorffer died on 8th April 2016.

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Erwin Kressmann (deceased)

Oberleutnant, schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 519. Awarded the Knights Cross in 1944. Erwinn Kressmann died on 19th March 2017.

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Jurgen Oesten (deceased)

Jurgen Oesten joined the Kriesgmarine in April 1933. He first served on the Admiral Graf Spee and Karlsruhe but transfered to U-Boats in May 1937. In October 1937 he became Watch Officer on U-20 and in August 1939 he joined the new U-Boat U-61 which he served on for 8 patrols, sinking 6 ships during his mine laying patrols. In November he joined U-106. During her first patrol U-106 sank two ships on her way to her new base at Lorient. Jurgen Oesten was awarded the Knights Cross on his second patrol, off Africa where he sank eight ships. During this attack he torpedoed and damaged the British attleship HMS Malaya. In March 1942 he became Admiralstabsoffizier in Norway with Admiral Nordmeer and directed U-boat operations in the Arctic. In September he again joined the U-boats and joined U-861 and in April 1944 she joined the Monson Boats which was a special Wolfpack operating far away from germany, out of japanese bases in Indonesia at Jakarta, Penang and Sebang, sinking two ships on her way to Penang. U-861 operated at sea for five months, after which she was ordered back to Germany with vital supplies. On the 15th January 1945 U-861 left Soerabaya in Indonesia. On the return journey off Greenland Oesten struck an Iceburg but managed to reach Trondheim on 19th April 1945. His awards were as follows: 6th June 1939, The Spanish Cross, 3rd December 1939 Iron Cross 2nd Class, 27 February 1940, Iron Cross 1st Class, 26th March 1941 Knights Cross. Sadly, Jurgen Oesten passed away on 5th August 2010.

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Leutnant Hugo Broch

Vital to all fighter units are the pilots who make such superb wingmen that their leaders are loath to part with them. Hugo Broch was one such wingman. Having joined VI./JG54 in January he flew first with Horst Adameit (166 victories), and later with Bazi Sterr (130 victories), but soon demonstrated his own skill in combat. By the end of 1944 he had lifted his personal score to 71 victories. One of JG54s great Fw190 Aces, Hugo Broch saw combat on the Eastern and Baltic Fronts, and completed the war having flown 324 combat missions, and claiming 81 victories. He was awarded the Knights Cross.

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Gerhard Fischer (deceased)

German Army Panzer Tank Ace - Knights Cross. Awarded the Knights Cross.

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