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Elite 123: Knight’s Cross and Oak-Leaves Recipients 1941–45

by Gordon Williamson, illustrated by Ramiro Bujeiro

Osprey Publishing Ltd, ISBN 1-84176-642-9, 64 pages.

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Here are the stories of 23 winners of this award, only one of them for successful high command with all the other being genuine battle honours. Some are Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine, but most are Heer (no Waffen-SS here I’m glad to say).

The book begins with a description of the Oak-Leave themselves and the award documentation, then give potted biographies of each Eichenlaubtraeger with details of their winning fights.

Among them are two anti-tank gunners, two Panzer officers and one NCO, one armoured reconnaissance officer, one Panzergrenadier officer, and three Fallschirmjaeger officers including a medical officer who led his unit in battle. Fighter pilots and U-boat commanders feature heavily as well, and though the ten mentioned will probably be the most interesting to Missing Links readers the others deserve attention too.

Each gets at least one photograph or contemporary sketch, and the plates show typical actions. All the illustrations and plates have good captions, and though none of the photos show the men in battle they still show some useful uniform details.

Recommended to anyone interested in the Oak-Leaves.

John Prigent

More details from Osprey Publishing

Read an extract at Osprey Publishing

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