The Knight’s Cross of the War Merit Cross in Gold without Swords
(Ritterkreuz des Kriegsverdienstkreuzes in Gold ohne Schwertern) was the highest class of the War Merit Cross and was identical to the silver variant except that this one was made of genuine silver and subsequently gold plated. The silver grade was stamped on the bottom of the overturned V on the lower arm of the cross. It is still uncertain when this award was introduced. This could have taken place on 8-07-1944 or 13-10-1944; however, it is also asserted that it was never officially introduced at all. It is believed that this badge was made by gold plating an existing Knight’s Cross. Until now, there are only two known cases of an actual conferment of this award. This might have taken place on 20-04-1945 (Hitler’s birthday) when Speer personally presented Franz Hahne (Obermeister in der firma Rheinmetall-Altmärkische Kettenwerke - overseeer in the Rheinmetall-Altmärkische Chainworks) and Karl Otto Saur (Hauptdienststellenleiter und Amtschef im Reichministerium für Rüstung - chief executive in the ministry for armaments) with this cross. It was awarded in the same bleu box as the Knight’s Cross of the War Merit Cross.