Karl Troop Cross (in aluminum)
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This medal was instituted by Karl I on December 13, 1916 to recognize Austro-Hungarian Army personnel, regardless of rank, who had served on the front lines and been part of a unit for at least twelve weeks during World War I.
The obverse inscription GRATI – PRINICEPS ET PATRIA – CAROLVS IMP. ET REX translates “In Gratitute – Prince/Ruler and Fatherland – Karl Emperor and King”. The reverse inscription VITAM ET SANGVINEM – MDCCCCXVI translates to “Life and Blood – 1916”.
It is worn on a red ribbon with horizontal red and white stripes at the edges. The manufacture of the crosses was originally meant to be carried out by the central mints in Budapest and Vienna. Later makers such as the Schneider Brothers, Winter & Adler and Joseph Zimbler also became involved later. It is believed that roughly 800,000 to one million were produced.
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