Military Merit Cross, Type II, Military Division, III Class Cross (with swords & brilliants)
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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 Type II III Class Cross has only one level of the War Decoration.
The III Class War Decoration is a large laurel wreath between the cross arms, and the crossed swords were worn on the ribbon instead of through the centre of the cross.
If the recipient was awarded the III Class Cross a second time, a gold-coloured clasp was added to the ribbon.
If the recipient was awarded the III Class Cross for a third time, two gold-coloured clasps were added to the ribbon.
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