House Order of Hohenzollern, Type II, Military Division, Gold Merit Cross (1916-1918)
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The Order was founded by Prince Konstantin of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Prince Karl Anton of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen on December 5, 1841, and was conferred upon individuals who rendered meritorious service to the Princely house.
The Order originally featured five grades, including three Crosses and two Medals.
In 1852, the two Hohenzollern principalities were annexed by Prussia. The Prussian government expanded the Order and it continued to be awarded in Hohenzollern as a Princely House Order.
The Order underwent several expansions and was reorganized numerous times throughout its history.
In 1866, crossed swords were added to the grades that were conferred in recognition of military merit.
In 1891, the grade of Honour Commander Cross was added to the Order.
In 1910, Gold and Silver Crosses of Merit were added as grades to the Order.
The Gold Merit Cross was primarily conferred upon suboordiante officials.
During the First World War, the Order grades awarded with swords were conferred in recognition of outstanding leadership skills and bravery in the face of the enemy.
This Order continued to be awarded throughout the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich.
In 1935, King Carol II of Romania became a Prince of the House of Hollerzollern and was given the right to confer the Order in Romania.
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