Order of Michael the Brave, I Class Cross
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The Order of Michael the Brave was created by King Ferdinand I during the First World War in 1916. It is named in honour of Michael the Brave, the great Romanian military leader of the 16th century. It was conferred exclusively during wartime until 1947 when it was discontinued following the abolition of the Romanian monarchy. It was not awarded again until 2003 when it was revived following the collapse of the communist regime.
During the First World War, and immediately following the Second World War, the Order of Michael the Brave was conferred upon Romanian and Allied military personnel in recognition of exceptional acts of bravery. During the Second World War, it was conferred upon Romanian and Axis military personnel. It is currently conferred upon Romanian citizens in recognition of heroism and distinguished service, both in times of peace and times of war.
In total, 16 I Class Crosses were awarded in the First World War and 15 in the Second World War.
There are four versions of this the I Class Cross that differ in inscription. The first version, awarded during World War I, features a surmounting royal crown, the cypher of King Ferdinand I, and the date “1916.” The second version, awarded from 1941-1944, features a surmounting royal crown, the cyphers of King Ferdinand I and King Mihai I, and the dates “1916 1941.” The third version, awarded from 1944-1947, features a surmounting royal crown, swords, the cypher of King Mihai I, and the dates “1916 1944.” The fourth version, awarded since 2003, features a surmounting wreath, and “1916 2000.” The first three versions are pinback breast badges, but the fourth version is a cross worn on a neck ribbon with an accompanying Breast Star.
There may be additional versions of the I Class Cross that differ in size, composition, and enamel colour due to a variety of manufacturers.
The first three versions are listed in the Orders of the Kingdom of Romania (1881-1947).
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