Bavaria Military Merit Order 1st Class with Swords
Replica of the Bavaria Military Merit Order 1st Class with Swords. Was a Maltese cross of blue enamel with a center medallion over a breast star. Between the arms of most classes were golden flames. The obverse of the center medallion had a gold crowned "L" cipher on the black-enameled center and the word "MERENTI" on a ring of white enamel edged in gold.
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The Bavarian Military Merit Order (Militär-Verdienstorden) was established on July 19, 1866 by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. It was the kingdom's main decoration for bravery and military merit for officers and higher-ranking officials. Civilians acting in support of the army were also made eligible for the decoration. The Military Merit Order ranked below the Military Order of Max Joseph (Militär-Max-Joseph-Orden), which was Bavaria's highest military honor for officers (and conferred a patent of non-hereditary nobility on officers who were not already nobles).