Original WW1 German Bavarian Merit Cross 3rd Class w/ Swords For Nobility + Case For Sale
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Original WW1 German Bavarian Merit Cross 3rd Class w/ Swords For Nobility + Case:
Up for sale is an Original WW1 Imperial German Bavarian Military Merit Cross 3rd Class in Bronze w/ Swords For Nobility (Crown) + Award Presentation Box. The name of the award/variant is printed on the front of the box, and the medal's manufacturer is printed on the lower reverse. The ribbon measures approx. 6.25 inches long.
The Bavarian Military Merit Cross (Militär-Verdienstkreuz) was that kingdom's main decoration for bravery and military merit for enlisted soldiers. It was intended "to reward extraordinary merit by non-commissioned officers, soldiers, and lower-ranking officials." It was originally established on July 19, 1866 as the 5th Class of the Military Merit Order, which was the main decoration for bravery and military merit for officers and higher-ranking officials. Civilians acting in support of the army were also made eligible for the decoration.
In 1913, another revision of the statutes of the Military Merit Order divided the Military Merit Cross into three classes. The old non-enameled 2nd Class became the 3rd Class and was changed from silver to bronze. The old 1st Class became the 2nd Class. The new 1st Class was identical to the 2nd Class except that it was gilt rather than silver. In addition, all classes were authorized to be awarded with a crown. The crown represented the distinction between those recipients who were of a status of nobility (kaiser, prince, baron, knight, etc.) and those were simply commoners. During the last years of WW1, the authorization of the crown was also amended to include commoners as well, to be used for a second award to an NCO or soldier who already had received a particular class and whose rank precluded award of a higher class, or to recognize greater merit in the field of battle. 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 (Beamtenband).
World War I broke out the following year, and the Military Merit Cross became Bavaria's main decoration for bravery and merit by enlisted soldiers in that war, roughly equivalent to Prussia's Iron Cross (except unlike the Iron Cross, the classes of the Military Merit Cross were awarded based on rank). According to one source, the total number of awards of all classes was 380,976. Approximately 290,000 were of the 3rd Class with Swords and approximately 73,000 of the 3rd Class with Crown and Swords, the two lowest grades. The Military Merit Cross became obsolete with the fall of the German Empire and the Bavarian Kingdom in 1918, although the Bavarian government continued to process awards up to 1920.
After the end of World War I, the newly formed nation Finland bought medals from all over the world because they lacked proper industry and military honor yet. They bought 339 Military Merit Crosses from Germany and got 7 Iron Cross medals and 332 Bavarian Medals, 299 of these were given out to soldiers after World War II and the rest were either melted down or put in museums, only a handful remain today.
Overall these items are in excellent condition; exhibting only minor wear and some natural aging.
OTM guarantees these items to be 100% Authentic and Absolutely Original.