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Sale 38 Lot 1104

GERMAN CROSS CONFERRAL SIGNED BY KNIGHT'S CROSS AWARDEE
A unique document with superb content and association T.L.S., 5pp., folio., [n.p.], Jan. 11, 1944, a recommendation to confer Hitler's German Cross on Major Franz Josef Czech, a supply officer in the Wehrmacht's disgraced 46th Infantry Division. In part: "...After the transition from the Tama Kerch Peninsula in early September 1942, the division in the Western Caucasus was the left flank in the Jager attack group. As the Infantry Division was not equipped for this Gebirgskrieg [Mountain Warfare], Major Czech, through difficult weather and in a short time, brought supplies through the mountains to the fighting units...The timely removal of large quantities of immovable goods by use of horses through the Crimea was particularly good work. This ensured that the division did not see substantial loss of equipment...I think Major Czech, the officer in charge of supply for the entire company through the four stages of the fight and again now tirelessly working to supply the conservation of camp power, is particularly worthy for the German Cross...". Boldly signed by his commander, major general KURT ROEPKE, a Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves-holder. Czech's award was verified and agreed on by three additional Wehrmacht generals holding the Knight's Cross, all signing. General MAXIMILIAN FRETTER-PICO, Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, notes in part: "...I consider the conditions for the awarding of the German Cross in Silver fulfilled and support the proposal...". Colonel-General KARL HOLLIDT, Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, additionally agreed and signed, as did General ERICH VON MANSTEIN, Knight's Cross with Swords. Hitler instituted the German Cross in 1941 as an award marking merit higher than an Iron Cross-First Class but not deserving the Knight's Cross; silver denotes distinguished service. Czech's unit, the 46th Infantry Division, saw its commanders, Count Hans von Sponeck and General Kurt Himer, stripped of rank and jailed for their unauthorized retreat from the Crimea during the above-mentioned fighting in 1942. The division would finally surrender to the Soviets in Czechoslovakia in May, 1945. Age toned, with punch and staple holes on all, none affecting signatures, else very good .
Estimate $ 400-500

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