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Berger: The Face of Courage. The 98 Men Who Received Both the Knight's Cross and the Close Combat Clasp in Gold. Hardback

  • The Face of Courage. The 98 Men Who Received Both the Knight's Cross and the Close Combat Clasp in Gold
  • Florian Berger
  • Paperback, c. 600 pages, 580 photos and illustrations
  • The Face of Courage is a rare title that is packed with information and can easily serve as a definitive reference, and yet often reads like a fast-paced novel. It is the story of the 98 soldiers of the German Armed Forces — Army, Air Force and Waffen-SS — who were awarded both the Knight’s Cross and the Close Combat Clasp in Gold during World War II. These men were members of a unique group. They were honored for actions that helped decisively influence the battlefield, and they stared into the eyes of death on no less than 50 occasions. While individuals were often honored for one or the other quality, it was a rare man indeed that showed both leadership prowess and the ability to survive close combat on many occasions. Although more than 7,000 soldiers received the Knight’s Cross — Germany’s highest military award, often compared to the United States’ Congressional Medal of Honor or the British Victoria Cross — only 98 also received the highest award for physical courage in the face of the enemy. While the student of World War II may find many familiar names in this book, there are also a number of less-famous soldiers that achieved this high honor. In addition to offering several pages of text and photographs devoted to each of the individual recipients, the book offers a concise overview of the creation, purpose and award criteria for both of the medals, a discussion of contentious cases and exhaustive footnotes.
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