Order of the Cross of Vytis, Type I, Military Division, III Class Cross
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The Order of the Cross of Vytis was created as an extension of the Cross of Vytis in 1927 and is the oldest order in Lithuania. It was suppressed during the Soviet occupation, but it was officially re-instated in 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet regime and the declaration of the Republic of Lithuania.
This Order is conferred upon Lithuanian civilians and military personnel in recognition of the heroic defence of Lithuanian independence and freedom. Following its reinstatement in 1991, it was conferred in recognition of resistance activities during the occupation of Lithuania from 1940-1990. Today, recognised actions include the meritorious command of troops during combat, acts of bravery during combat, the defence of public and private property, the aid of national defence organisations, and all other acts which demonstrate bravery, heroism, and dedication to Lithuania and its citizens. It may also be awarded to foreigners, as well as posthumously to foreigners and Lithuanians.
The Order is classified into three types according to the time period in which it was awarded. Type I decorations were awarded from 1927-1930, Type II decorations were awarded from 1930-1940, and Type III decorations have been awarded since 1991.
There are four versions of the Type I III Class Cross. The first version was awarded to military personnel and features crossed swords and an inscription that translates to "For Courage." The other versions were awarded to civilians. The second version features an inscription that translates to “For Merit,” the third version features an inscription that translates to “For Diligence,” and the fourth version does not feature an inscription.
There may be additional versions that differ in manufacturer or composition.
See also the Type II decorations in the Orders of the Republic of Lithuania (1918-1940) and the Type III decorations in the Orders of the Republic of Lithuania (1991-).
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