This is a fine preliminary “Vorläufiges” Testimonial of Ownership for a Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). It states “The Führer awarded Senior Lieutenant Gustav Ellmers, Chef 2./Panzer Grenadier Regiment 14, the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 28.2.1945”. It is dated March 27, 1945 and measures 209 mm x 146 mm, with very light creasing with two hole-punch holes on the left side, but overall near mint condition.
Footnote: Panzer Grenadiers consisted of multi-role infantry transported in armoured combat vehicles such as Halftracks or Trucks. Panzer Grenadiers worked alongside tanks during Blitzkrieg campaigns to break through the enemy’s line of defence, using short, fast, and powerful attacks to surprise, confuse, and encircle the enemy. The 2nd Panzer Grenadier Regiment 14 was attached to the 5th Panzer Division. The 5th Panzer Division was formed on November 15, 1938 in Eastern Germany, and consisted mainly of Silesians and Sudeten Germans. The division participated in the Invasion of Poland in 1939 and the Invasion of France and Belgium, where it took part at the Battle of Dunkirk. The division was then sent to Romania and Bulgaria in early 1941, and saw further action in Yugoslavia and Greece, and during Operation Barbarossa within Army Group Center. It became entrapped near Kaliningrad April 1945, with part being evacuated by the German Navy (thereby surrendering to the Western Allies), while the remaining troops were forced to surrender to the Soviet Army later the same month. The division was seen as one of the best German units by the Soviets, with the Soviet High Command advising the Soviet Forces against directly engaging the division if possible.