Knight's cross

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Knight's Cross referred to faleristics a level or class of orders and decorations . Usually, this is used internationally to designate the lowest level of the order of merit (apart from the "affiliated" merit markings, merit crosses and medals), which is usually worn as an award on the ribbon on the (left) chest.


As a model for the division of the Order of Merit into five levels (knight - officer - commander - grand officer - grand cross), the system that was first introduced in France in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte at the foundation of the Legion of Honor ( Légion d'honneur ) is used as a model. With the establishment of numerous other orders of merit in the 19th and 20th centuries, this pattern was often adopted and thus achieved worldwide distribution. Orders of merit with three levels (knight - commander - grand cross) have existed since the middle of the 18th century. B. the Hungarian Order of St. Stephen .

Position within the order hierarchy

Wearing the medal badge
  1. Knight (also "Knight's Cross" or "Member")
  2. Officer (also " officer's cross ")
  3. Komtur (also "Komturkreuz", "Kommandeur", "Commander", "Komtur 2nd class")
  4. Grand Commander (also "Grand Officer Cross ", "Grand Officer", " Knight Commander ", "Commander 1st Class")
  5. Grand Cross



Well-known exceptions, which do not correspond to the currently usual scheme of dividing the Order of Merit into five levels, are the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross , the Knight's Cross of the War Merit Cross and the Knight of Honor and the Knight of Law Cross of the Order of St. John , which are named "Knight's Crosses" According to the international classification, however, they are more likely to be classified as commander's crosses.

A non-governmental, private award was the German Knights Cross , donated by Alfred von Randow in 1919 , which was only awarded in one step.

Web links

Wiktionary: Knight's Cross  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations