SEE BELOW FOR DESCRIPTION
G006473 BAVARIAN MILITARY MERIT CROSS 3RD CLASS WITH CROWN AND SWORDS.
BACKGROUND:This medal was originated in 1866 as a decoration for bravery and military merit for enlisted soldiers. Civilians acting in support of the army were also eligible for this award. This medal underwent three major revisions. In 1891, awards with swords were used to distinguish wartime awards from peacetime awards. In 1905, the Military Merit Cross was divided into two classes. The original Military Merit Cross became Military Merit Cross 1st Class and a second class was created that had no enamel on the medallion. These distinctions were based on the rank of the recipient. In 1913, the crown could be used for a second award to an NCO or solider. There were then effectively 12 combinations: 3 classes each with or without crown, and each with or without swords. This doubled when one takes into account that there were two possible ribbons, one for soldiers and one for officials. The Military Merit Cross became obsolete with the fall of the German Empire and the Bavarian Kingdom in 1918.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION. A Maltese cross with a center medallion with an "L" cipher of King Ludwig II with "Merenti" on the ring. The reverse has a Bavarian lion with "1866" (the date of founding) above. The arms of the Maltese cross are bronze with crossed swords and crown. The medal measures approximately 7cm x 4cm with its original two piece constructed box. Gilt lettering "Bayr. M.V. Kr. 3 Kl. m.d. Kr." to the cover. Some water stains to the top of the box. Maker marked to Deschler.
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