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Hans-Peter Knaust

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Hans-Peter Knaust

Hans-Peter Knaust
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)
Buried at Ohlsdorf Cemetery
Field BO/64-Grave 411
Allegiance Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany
Service/branch Reichsheer
Years of service 1924–45
Rank Oberstleutnant
Unit 490. Infanterie-Division
Commands held II./Schützen-Regiment 4
Panzergrenadier-Ausbildungs- und Ersatz-Bataillon 64
Kampfgruppe "Knaust"

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: 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.


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

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

Wehrmachtbericht reference

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.


  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]


  1. ^ a b Thomas 1997, p. 380.
  2. ^ Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 237.
  3. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 262.
  4. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 452.
  5. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 102.
  6. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 544.

External links

  • "Hans-Peter Knaust". Lexikon der Wehrmacht (in German). Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  • "Hans-Peter Knaust". World War 2 Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
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