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Hans-Peter Knaust
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from left to right: Generalfeldmarschall Walter Model, Generaloberst Kurt Student, Generalmajor der Waffen-SS Wilhelm Bittrich, Major Hans-Peter Knaust, Generalmajor der Waffen-SS Heinz Harmel
Born (1906-08-07)7 August 1906
Died 22 October 1983(1983-10-22) (aged 77)
Place of birth Kiel
Place of death Kevelaer
Buried at Ohlsdorf Cemetery
Field BO/64-Grave 411
Allegiance Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Reichsheer
Heer
Years of service 1924–1945
Rank Oberstleutnant
Unit 490. Infanterie-Division
Commands held II./Schützen-Regiment 4
Panzergrenadier-Ausbildungs- und Ersatz-Bataillon 64
Kampfgruppe "Knaust"
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Hans-Peter Knaust (7 August 1906 – 22 October 1983) was a highly decorated Oberstleutnant in the Wehrmacht during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Career[edit | edit source]

Knaust was born on 7 August 1906 in Kiel in the Province of Schleswig-Holstein, a province of the Kingdom of Prussia. Knaust joined Infanterie-Regiment 4 (4th Infantry Regiment) on 5 March 1924 and was transferred to Infanterie-Regiment 5 (5th Infantry Regiment) on 1 April 1934. Both regiments were subordinated to the 2. Division of the Reichswehr in the Weimar Republic.

Battle of Arnhem[edit | edit source]

Knaust led a Kampfgruppe (battle group) against John Frost's forces in the Battle of Arnhem (17–26 September 1944) during the Western Allies' Operation Market Garden, the ill-fated attempt to capture the bridges over the Rhine.

Awards and decorations[edit | edit source]

Wehrmachtbericht reference[edit | edit source]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
18 April 1945 (addendum) Bei den schweren Kämpfen in Nordwestdeutschland hat sich die 490. Infanterie-Division unter Führung von Oberst Behrend, ausgezeichnet mit dem Eichenlaub zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes, durch vorbildliche Standhaftigkeit hervorragend bewährt. Der mit dem Ritterkreuz zum Eisernen Kreuz ausgezeichnete Oberstleutnant Knaust, Regimentskommandeur dieser Division, hat sich bei diesem Kämpfen durch persönlichen Einsatz ganz besonders hervorgetan.[6] The 490th Infantry Division under the command of Colonel Behrend, awarded with the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, has excelled by showing exemplary steadfastness in the heavy fighting in north-western Germany. The winner of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross Lieutenant Colonel Knaust, regimental commander in this division, has personally particularly distinguished himself in these battles.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. According to Scherzer as ommander of Kampfgruppe "Sonnenstuhl" [an alarm unit with the II. SS-Panzerkorps, in the battle area of Arnhem/Netherlands].[4]
  2. According to Scherzer as commander of Regiment "Knaust" (Divisions Nr. 490).[4]

References[edit | edit source]

Citations
  1. 1.0 1.1 Thomas 1997, p. 380.
  2. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 237.
  3. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 262.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 452.
  5. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 102.
  6. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 544.
Bibliography
  • Bennett, David (2011). A Magnificent Disaster: The Failure of Market Garden, the Arnhem Operation, September 1944. Casemate Publishers. ISBN 978-1-935149-97-2.
  • Bishop, Chris and Williams, Michael (2003). SS: Hell on the Western Front : the Waffen-SS in Europe, 1940–1945. Zenith Imprint. ISBN 978-0-7603-1402-9.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Huß, Jürgen; Viohl, Armin (2003). Die Ritterkreuzträger des Eisernen Kreuzes der preußischen Provinz Schleswig-Holstein und der Freien und Hansestadt Lübeck 1939-1945. VDM Heinz Nickel. ISBN 3-925480-79-X. 
  • Mitcham, Samuel W. (2006). Retreat to the Reich. Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3384-7.
  • Mitcham, Samuel W. (2009). The Siegfried Line: The German Defense of the West Wall, September – December 1944. Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-4386-0.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. and Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941–1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall (in German). ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 3-7648-2299-6.
  • Williamson, Gordon (2004). The SS: Hitler's Instrument of Terror. Zenith Imprint. ISBN 978-0-7603-1933-8.
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.

External links[edit | edit source]

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