Otto Edler von Ballasko
German bomber pilot and Knight's Cross recipientDied when: 85 years 282 days (1029 months)
Star Sign: Taurus
The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) and its variants were the highest awards in the military of Nazi Germany during World War II.
The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded for a wide range of reasons and across all ranks, from a senior commander for skilled leadership of his troops in battle to a low-ranking soldier for a single act of extreme gallantry.
Presentations were made to members of the three military branches of the Wehrmacht—the Heer (Army), Kriegsmarine (Navy) and Luftwaffe (Air Force)—as well as the Waffen-SS, the Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD—Reich Labour Service) and the Volkssturm (German national militia).
There were also 43 recipients in the military forces of allies of Nazi Germany.There is currently no official German Government list of KC recipients.
Analysis and acceptance of the order commission of the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR) indicates that up to 7,321 awards may have been made between its first presentation on 30 September 1939 and its last bestowal on 17 June 1945.
These recipients are listed in the 1986 edition of Walther-Peer Fellgiebel's book, Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945].
Fellgiebel was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, and was also the former chairman and head of the order commission of the AKCR.
In 1996, a second edition of this book was published with an addendum delisting 11 of the recipients.In 2007, Veit Scherzer published his Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945].
Scherzer's book was compiled from documents held by the German Federal Archives, and cast doubt on 193 of the listings in Fellgiebel's 1996 book.
The majority of the disputed recipients were listed as having received the award in 1945, when the deteriorating situation of the Third Reich during the final days of World War II left a number of nominations incomplete and pending in various stages of the approval process.
Listed here are the 368 Knight's Cross recipients of the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS whose last name is in the range "Ba–Bm".
Scherzer has challenged the validity of 13 of these listings.This is the first of two lists of all 725 Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients whose last name starts with "B".
The recipients whose last name is in the range "Bn–Bz" are listed at List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients (Bn–Bz).