Order of Military Merit of Charles Frederick, Grand Cross (in gold)
Image courtesy of Robert Prummel and Wikipedia
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The Order was instituted by Grand Duke Charles Frederick and it was originally restricted to Officers in recognition of distinguished military merit or an outstanding act of courage.
This Order originally featured three grades: Grand Cross with Grand Cross Breast Star, Commander, and Knight.
In 1807, the Military Merit Medals were added to the Order with gold and silver grades and the medals could be awarded to Non-Commissioned Officers and enlisted men.
These Military Merit Medals were considered the highest military decoration awarded for bravery that could be conferred upon Non-Commissioned Officers and enlisted men.
The Commander grade was divided into two separate grades in 1840, I Class Commander and II Class Commander.
The crosses of the Order were originally composed of Gold, but following 1916, the crosses were predominately composed of Silver gilt.
Variation in the appearance of the Grand Cross is due to the various locations, in which the medal was produced (ex: Paris, Carlsruhe).
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