Military Merit Order (Bavaria)


Military Merit Order (Bavaria)

The Militär-Verdienstorden was Bavaria’s main decoration for bravery and military merit for officers and higher-ranking officials. It established by King Ludwig II of Bavaria on July 19, 1866 and ranked below the Militär-Max-Joseph-Orden (Military Order of Max Joseph).

The design was of a Maltese cross of blue enamel with a center medallion. Between the arms of were golden flames (silver flames for the 4th Class). The obverse of the center medallion had a gold crowned "L" cipher (for the founder King Ludwig II) on the black-enameled center and the word "MERENTI" on a ring of white enamel edged in gold (later silver-gilt). The reverse had a gold Bavarian lion on black enamel with the date of founding, “1866”, on the white-enameled ring.

By World War I, the order had six classes, with the rank of a recipient determining the level of the award:

  • Grand Cross (Großkreuz) - Cross worn from a sash with a breast star
  • 1st Class (1. Klasse) - Smaller cross worn from a sash with a breast star
  • 2nd Class (2. Klasse) - Smaller cross worn from a ribbon around the neck
  • Officer’s Cross (Offizierskreuz) - Pinback cross worn on the lower left chest; the cross had an elongated lower arm.
  • 3rd Class (3. Klasse) - Smaller cross worn from a ribbon on the upper left chest.
  • 4th Class (4. Klasse) - Same cross as the 3rd Class, except with silver flames

For wartime or combat awards, the order was awarded with swords. The 3rd and 4th classes could also be awarded with a crown, indicating a higher or repeat award. Awards to officials aiding the war effort were typically made with a different ribbon, the Band für Kriegsverdienst.

There was also a Military Merit Cross associated with the order, which was open to non-commissioned officers and enlisted soldiers.

The prewar awards to Paech and Schneider were of the 4th Class without swords.

CommanderDate  Command
Oblt. Amberger, Gustav3 Jan 1917  
Oblt. Amberger, Wilhelm3 Jan 1917  UB 38

Oblt. Beulwitz, Eugen von3 Jan 1917  

Oblt. Georg, Carl-Siegfried Ritter von15 Dec 1915  
Kptlt. Gercke, Hermann3 Jan 1917  
Oblt. Gerke, Bernhard3 Jan 1917  

Oblt. Hamm, Max3 Jan 1917  

Kptlt. Kroll, Carl Albrecht3 Jan 1917  

Oblt. Marschall, Wilhelm3 Jan 1917  UC 74
Kptlt. Middendorff, Heinrich3 Jan 1916  

Kptlt. Neureuther, Karl3 Jan 1917  UC 55
Kptlt. Ney, Otto3 Jan 1917  

Oblt. Paech, Georg11 Jan 1913  
Oblt. Plum, Richard3 Jan 1917  

Oblt. Ries, Johannes3 Jan 1917  

Kptlt. Schapler, Kurt4 Jan 1917  UC 73
Kptlt. Schneider, Rudolf9 Jul 1912  
Ltn. Schöller, Ernst3 Jan 1917  
Oblt. Sichart von Sichartshofen, Friedrich Karl2 Jan 1917  UB 41
Ltn. Slevogt, Kurt   
Oblt. Spieß, Johannes3 Jan 1917  U 19
Oblt. Steinbauer, Wolfgang3 Jan 1917  UB 47

Ltn. Utke, Kurt3 Jan 1917  

Oblt. Wenninger, Ralph3 Jan 1916  UB 17
Oblt. Wäger, Franz3 Jan 1916  UB 18

25 officers decorated with Military Merit Order (Bavaria) (Militärverdienstorden) located.

Note: This listing is still being compiled and some recipients might be missing.

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