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17 December 2006

The last update for the year deserves a special mention to Stijn and once again Erich for all the help they have been.  Erich has been instrumental in taking the total of the list to what it is.  I'd hate to call him the deathcard man and, as unglamourous at it may seem, its provided me the ability to at least put a footnote for a deserving soldier rather than rely on a piece of documentation that may never arrive.   Stijn has been my research man, he has delved into books, websites and covered the foreign volunteer area that again, is rare and mostly unsung.   They have both been been reliable and if I could afford to employ these fellows I would, we make a great team!

Okay enough chest beating.   Towards the end of the year you may have noticed I started to enhance the list by adding a comments field as well as adding extra information to the rank field.   When I was able to get on top of the avalanche of Death Cards provided to me by Erich, I noticed a lot of information that would not normally be found on the Urkunde, like births, deaths and where the man served during his service before he died.  This information, where provided has now been added to the comments field.   Also added to the comments field is the "where awarded" part of the urkunde, eg. at headquarters, in the field, etc.  

When I am less busy I will start to retrospectively look at my archive of cards and urkundes and back fill this information.

Have a Merry Christmas and a happy 2007.

06 July 2006

No I didn't find a 'Russian Horde' of EK1s!  Jan managed to get his hands on a SS-Dienstalterliste.  This contained a huge list of high-ranking SS men that received the 1939 ek1.  Unfortunately, not much more ek1-relevant was to be had, only their ranks and station in late 1944.   Keep them coming guys, its been a bit slow with certificates lately!

03 June 2006

If anyone is still looking I apologise again for not keeping to schedule, fatherhood is a challenge and it has "encouraged" me to
let other things slide in priority.  I thank you for your patience, especially around adding new functionality on the
website, it will happen, its just a matter of when.  Thanks to Erich for being especially regular with his contributions, it encourages me to update this site.

Of interest recently is the steady trickle of new sterebilds (death cards) that have been coming in.  Whilst not ideal, (in terms of detail) I have realised that there would most certainly be more of these about ( as far as records for ek1 recipients ) than the original urkunde.  In fact if you look at the numbers, an official urkunde is issued to the recipient, a duplicate made and kept for the records.  If we make the assumption that most soldiers never got an ausweis urkunde to replace theirs (due to death for instance) then the prevalance of death cards over urkundes is almost certain.

17 April 2006

On 11 April I became a father to a lovely daughter.  Daughter and Mother are well but its been a bit hard going with the site committments on the dad so please be patient, I'll have some more names up later on in the week.

19 March 2006

Ok failed dismally with the A-K L-Z thing but managed a compromise, the newcomers list, at least everyone will know who is new to the list.
I have added a new section though which, hopefully, will get more exciting as time goes by.  Called "In the field" this is a profile section on certain winners of the EK1.  I want to keep it strictly non-ritterkreuz or even DKIG as I think those Knights have enough songs sung about them already.  This section will reenforce, just how hard it was to win the EK1 (for infantry anyhow), that was not just a handout for morale even towards the end of the war.
If you have a profile that you'd want to write about any member of the Wehrmacht in any branch and you have the papers and awards to back it up, please feel free to submit them to me, I'll have a look and we'll both decide whether or not it would be feasible to put up here.

05 March 2006

I'd like to congratulate two people who have been exceptional this week, Erich Stapersma and
Peter Janssen.  They popped out of the blue 1 minute after updating my website last week and have been submitting between them over 50 names, many of which I still have not found time to do my checking for and put in for this week's list!  I've also put a new section that just occured to me was sorely needed.  Its one thing saying that 10 new names have arrived on the list but where?  Finding 10 new names out of 3666 is a hard task for anyone so now a separate page exists for newcomers of the week.  They will remain for the week and will be replaced by the following week's newcomers.  If I have time next week I will try to split the list into Alphabetical order (maybe an A-K / L-Z  or more.

26 February 2006

Its been a great new year with scores of awards still coming in even during this traditionally slow couple of months in the year.  I have the pleasure to announce a new feature to my site, the statistics area.  Still way too early to compile accurate stats of 1939-1945 but, like all good elections, counts are made and predictions forecast long before the voting closes, so please, click on the link on the homepage or here and let me know by email what you all think.

Special mentions to Denis again, without which I sometimes find it hard to actually get my act together to have this to you on a week by week basis!

Happily though I have found a perfect reason to be tardy now over the next month or three.  My wife is giving birth to our first daughter and I've been told it gets hard on iron cross researchers during these times :-)

I ask you all to please be patient, updates will not be regular from about Mid-March onwards and will probably not happen at all in April but I am still taking emails and submissions, and rest assured, the project WILL go on.

I've also made changes to some of the dates so that the formats will import into my access database and I can do comparisons and changes.  Entries that were for instance MAY 40 have been changed to 1/05/1940 but their statuses still remain 'Partial' so that, should the data be confimed later, it will be rechecked.  This was done so that the statistics will be easier to compile.  Microsoft Access does not like "odd dates" :)  Also, should you notice some dates ending in 1900, this is not an error, these dates were previously blank, and again are not allowed by Access so I had to put something.

14 January 2006

Denis Bosvin has written to me and provided sources for his original 3000+ list which started off this project.  It seems the student of the Ritterkreuz has outdone himself this time.  He appears to have revisited every name and listed the book he obtained the name from ... by hand!   It looks as if we have lost 30 or so names as a result of that work, as we did on 23/10/05 (see older news below), but accuracy is our game, so much the better. I have added an extra column to the list to differentiate sources from submitters, I hope this makes it clearer.

As its been a busy start to the year workwise for me I've only been able to add Denis' changes into the master list but the promised additions will definintely come with the next update.   Keep those names coming.   Have a great week!

8 January 2005

Happy New Year for 2006 !!

Following on from all the responses in December, I have posted up the first 49 new names for 2006.  I still, however,  have a considerable backlog and will be updating the site with the balance hopefully at the next scheduled update.

Denis Bosvin, to this date, the largest contributer to this site and the guy who really helped me kick this off has come back with the sources for all his data.  Mostly from the  Biblio Verlag RKTseries of books.  A Serious collection of hard data and biographies of all RK Tragers by type of soldier from 1939 - 1945.   Click Here for an example of an entry from one of these tomes.

I must express my thanks for him having to have hand-typed all the original data and then for him to go back and name all his 3000+ entries all over again.  

I will endeavour to get as much of Denis' source material into the list so we can answer a few of your queries as to where the data has come from.

In the final analysis, when I am old and grey, and this list will be more or less complete, it will be the efforts of people like Denis and Jeremy Green and countless others who would have made this site a success, I would have just been the librarian :)

Take care and enjoy your holidays, all of you lucky ones.
Click on cross for older news.