Awarded for his successes during the defensive battles on the western front in early 1945. His skillful leadership was largely responsible for ensuring that the allied attempt at a breakthrough at the southwest edge of the Teutoburg forest towards Ibbenbüren came to nought, and that a new defensive front could be created here.
Later, during the hard defensive battle on the 05-06.04.1945 at Dreierwalde and Hopsten, counterthrusts personally led by Knaust succeeded in destroying 2 enemy tanks, capturing another 2 and capturing a number of prisoners. Though his prosthetic leg was shot up badly in this fight, he continued to lead his Kampfgruppe and thereby permitted the disengagement of the 15. Panzergrenadier-Division.
Last formally assigned number in the row of the Eichenlaub.