Military Merit Cross, Type II, Civil Division, II Class Cross
Image courtesy of “Das Ordensbuch Der Gewesenen Osterreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie Orden, Kreuze, Ehrenzeichen, Medaillen, Denkmunzen, Dienstzeichen, Matrikelzeichen, Amtsabzeichen Etz.” by Hauptmann Heinrich F. Michetschlager
Estimated market value:
This decoration was founded by Emperor Franz Joseph I. It was awarded to Officers in the Austrian Army who displayed extraordinary courage and merit in wartime, or who rendered outstanding service in peacetime.
On January 12, 1860 an Imperial decree added a War Decoration to the cross. The War Decoration is a gilt laurel wreath between the cross arms. It was added to the cross of recipients that had courageously faced the enemy during wartime.
Consequently, from 1860 onward the peacetime awards do not feature a laurel wreath, and the wartime awards do have a laurel wreath.
There were several changes made to the cross during Type II (1914-1918).
On September 23, 1914 the Order was amended by an Imperial decree that divided the cross into three separate grades, I Class, II Class, and III Class. Furthermore, on December 13, 1916 crossed swords were added to all crosses awarded for wartime merit, alongside the War Decoration. The III Class, swords were attached to the triangular ribbon. The I and II Class decorations received the crossed swords through the body of the cross. The lower grade swords are made of oxidized silver. The I Class was ranked just below the Order of St. Stephen Grand Cross, and the II Class was ranked just below the Commander.
The Type II II Class Cross also has varying levels of the War Decoration, including the regular War Decoration, and the III Class War Decoration.
The regular War Decoration is a large enamelled laurel wreath between the cross arms, it continued to be awarded to Officers for wartime merit.
The III Class War Decoration is a small laurel wreath without enamel that surrounds the centre medallion. The III Class War Decoration was added to the II Class Cross when the recipient had previously been awarded the III Class Cross (with War Decoration). If the recipient had previously been awarded the III Class Cross (with War Decoration and swords), silver-coloured crossed swords and the III Class War Decoration were added to the II Class Cross.
If the recipient was awarded the II Class Cross a second time, a surmounting laurel wreath was added to the award between the cross and the suspension.
Sign in to comment and reply.