Military Order of Savoy, Type I, Grand Cross Breast Star
Image courtesy of "The Book of Orders of Knighthood and Decorations of Honour of all Nations" by Sir Bernard Burke
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The Order was founded by King Victor Emmanuel I, and it was awarded to military personnel in recognition of acts of honour, bravery, and merit during times of war; it was rarely awarded to foreigners. This Order was conferred upon all military personnel of all ranks.
In 1833, King Charles Albert instituted the Military Medal of Valour to circumvent the strict awarding criteria within the Order and reward all soldiers within the military for meritorious service, regardless of rank. The institution of this medal caused the Order to fall into disuse until it was re-organized in 1855.
Thus the Order Statutes were amended by King Victor Emmanuel II on September 28, 1855, resulting in a new design for the Order awards, and the addition of the grades of Grand Officer and Officer.
Following the fall of the Monarchy in 1946, the Order was not discontinued, it was renamed the Military Order of Italy on January 2, 1947.
The Type I crosses feature the form of the Savoy cross surrounded by a green enamelled wreath and surmounted by a crown.
The Type I Grand Cross was never awarded.
The Grand Cross and Commander grades were awarded to high ranking military personnel for extraordinary merit in leading an army, division, or regiment.
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