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AWARDDOCS #41219 Knight's Cross Award Document & Folder Awarded to Hauptmann Karl Koetz

This astounding Knight's Cross Document has just been freshly received from the veteran family. The WWII Army veteran, Thomas B. Courtney, served as a Tec 3 general clerk in G-2 division SHAEF in Northern France and Central Europe. Courtney was in charge of top secret files for Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces, Operational Intelligence Section, and supervised 6 men. Courtney's job was to read and classify intelligence reports from Counter Intelligence agents. He obtained the Knight's Cross document while assigned to SHAEF, and sent it home to his father contained in the original issue box. A testamentary notarized letter from Courtney's son, William Courtney, accompanies the document along with a copy of Courtney's service record.

The document folder is in choice condition, measuring 14 inches x 17 3/4 inches. The leather covering is a deep red color, having a gold embossed Wehrmacht eagle in the center. The leather is in nearly full mint condition, having only modest wear to a couple of the corners. The gold eagle is in perfect mint condition with no flaws. The inside back edge on the folder has the name "Frieda Thiersch" in fine gilding, being the talented producer of these hand-made documents for the heroes of the 3rd Reich Wehrmacht. The document is also accompanied with the original document box. The box lid has the APO service return address of Courtney written in pencil and is addressed to R.A. Courtney of Fairmont, West Virginia, who was Courtney's father and the grandfather of the consignor, William Courtney. The box has old tape repairs to the corners and other areas, but is still totally intact.

The document vellum is in totally perfect condition throughout. The original red folder retaining string remains in place and is also in perfect condition. The document awards the Knight's Cross to "Hauptmann Karl Koetz" in gilded lettering, being issued from the "Führerhauptquarter" on "2. Oktober 1941". The document appears to have an original Adolf Hitler signature, not a printed copy. The document also contains the two original white felt buffers which were issued with the document to preserve the outer vellum flap from marring the meticulously rendered text on the document. Accompanying the document is an unissued mint conditioned cloth version of the German Cross in Gold. Since I do not see a record of Koetz earning this award, the Cross may or may not have anything to do with this Knight's Cross, but since it is included within the folder it is part of the package.

Karl Koetz was born 8 February 1908 and died June 17, 1977, so he survived the war. On 13 June 1940 he was awarded the 2nd Class Iron Cross, and 1 July 1941, the 1st Class Iron Cross. While holding the rank of Hauptmann and Commander of 11/ Infantry Regt 46, he was awarded the Knights Cross on 2 October 1941. Koetz went on to win the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross on 1 January 1944, He was an Oberstleutnant at that time and served as Commander of Grenadier Regiment 185. On 12 January 1944, Koetz was promoted to Generalmajor.

Obviously this officer was an important part and a major contributor to the German successes during the war. Accordingly, he was a highly decorated officer, especially since he eventually became a Heer General. There is much research that could be conducted on this officer's career, as I have only scratched the surface here. This Knight's Cross document to date has been unknown to the collecting community and has safely remained with the Courtney family these past 7 decades. I believe this to be a major opportunity here for an advanced collector to acquire an invaluable piece of documented history. A truly wonderful, fully documented offering here, easily of museum quality.

Near Mint. $18,995