Original Austria Hungary WWI Military Merit Cross Order 3rd Class Medal w/Swords

Austria Hungary WWI Military Merit Cross Medal 3rd Class with War Decoration and Swords for Bravery
Military Merit Cross 3rd Class medal, with war decoration (wreath between arms of the cross) and crossed swords for bravery.� Awarded to officers for distinguished service or bravery.� Original ribbon, very slightly dingy with age.� Absolutely beautiful example.� I have verified its authenticity with a dealer who has a great deal of experience with late 19th/early 20th century Austrian orders.
The Military Merit Cross was established on October 22, 1849 by Emperor Franz Joseph I.� It was to be awarded to officers who had performed especially praiseworthy service before the enemy in wartime, or outstanding service in peacetime.� It was originally established in a single class.The first awards were made to all officers who had served in the Italian campaigns of 1848-49, especially the Battle of Custoza in 1848 and the Battle of Novara in 1849. Just under 1,500 awards were made in 1849 and 1850, mainly to these officers. After this, the Military Merit Cross was awarded sparingly except during the Austro-Sardinian War of 1859, the German-Danish War of 1864, the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 (when Austria occupied Bosnia-Herzegovina), and the Boxer Rebellion.On December 13, 1916, swords displayed
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