Genuine German WW1 / WW2 mounted medal grouping: Bavarian Military Merit Cross With Swords & Crown III. Class, Honour Cross With Swords, Civil Faithful Service Cross for 25 Years' Service, Hungarian War Commemorative Medal for Combatants & Bulgarian War Commemorative Medal for Combatants, matching ribbon bars & butonhole ribbon bunch, ABSOLUTELY MINT CONDITION, GENUINE RIBBONS, WORKING PIN DEVICE, AMAZING GROUPING
Bavarian Military Merit Cross (Militär-Verdienstkreuz) was that kingdom's main decoration for bravery and military merit for enlisted soldiers. It was intended "to reward extraordinary merit by non-commissioned officers, soldiers, and lower-ranking officials." It was originally established on July 19, 1866 as the 5th Class of the Military Merit Order, which was the 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 Cross ranked after the Gold and Silver Military Merit Medals (renamed the Bravery Medals in 1918), which were Bavaria's highest military honors for NCOs and enlisted soldiers. The cross was a Maltese cross with a center medallion. The obverse of the center medallion had an "L" cipher of King Ludwig II in the center and the word "MERENTI" on the ring. The reverse had a Bavarian lion with the date of founding, "1866", on the ring. The center medallion was enameled (the original Military Merit Cross was distinguished from the Knight 2nd Class of the Military Merit Order only by having silver instead of blue enameled arms). The first recipient appears to have been Gendarm Johann Winter, who received the Military Merit Cross in the Armee-Befehl (Army Order) of August 20, 1866 The Bavarian Military Merit Cross underwent three major revisions. In February 1891, awards with swords were authorized to distinguish wartime awards, whether for bravery or military merit, from peacetime awards. This was made retroactive for wartime awards from the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 and Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. In 1905, the statutes of the Military Merit Order were revised and the Military Merit Cross was divided into two classes. The former Military Merit Cross became the Military Merit Cross 1st Class, and a new second class was created which had no enamel on the medallion. The distinction in classes was based on the rank of the recipient. In 1913, another revision of the statutes of the Military Merit Order divided the Military Merit Cross into three classes. The old non-enameled 2nd Class became the 3rd Class and was changed from silver to bronze. The old 1st Class became the 2nd Class. The new 1st Class was identical to the 2nd Class except that it was gilt rather than silver. In addition, all classes were authorized to be awarded with a crown. The crown could be used for a second award to an NCO or soldier who already had received a particular class and whose rank precluded award of a higher class, or to recognize greater merit. There were then effectively 12 combinations: 3 classes each with or without crown, and each with or without swords. This doubled when one takes into account that there were two possible ribbons, one for soldiers and one for officials (Beamtenband). World War I broke out the following year, and the Military Merit Cross became Bavaria's main decoration for bravery and merit by enlisted soldiers in that war, roughly equivalent to Prussia's Iron Cross (except unlike the Iron Cross, the classes of the Military Merit Cross were awarded based on rank). According to one source, the total number of awards of all classes was 380,976 . Approximately 290,000 were of the 3rd Class with Swords and approximately 73,000 of the 3rd Class with Crown and Swords, the two lowest grades. The Military Merit Cross became obsolete with the fall of the German Empire and the Bavarian Kingdom in 1918, although the Bavarian government continued to process awards up to 1920.
Cross of Honour, also known as the Honour Cross or, popularly, the Hindenburg Cross, was a commemorative medal inaugurated on July 13, 1934 by Reichspräsident Paul von Hindenburg for those soldiers of Imperial Germany who fought in World War I. It came in three versions: Honour Cross for Combatants (Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer) - for soldiers who fought on the front, Honour Cross for War Participants (Ehrenkreuz für Kriegsteilnehmer) - for non-combatant soldiers, Honour Cross for Next-of-Kin (Ehrenkreuz für Hinterbliebene) - for the next-of-kin of fallen soldiers. After the annexation (Anschluss) of Austria in 1938, Austrian veterans of World War I were also eligible for the Cross of Honour. A total of 6,250,000 Crosses were awarded to combatants, 1,200,000 were awarded to non-combatants and 720,000 medals were awarded to next-of-kin. The medal was designed by Eugene Godet, its shape is similar to the Iron Cross (although smaller in size), in the center of the obverse are the dates of the First World War (1914-1918) surrounded with a wreath of oak leaves, the reverse of the medal in plain. A variation with an anchor in the center, and referred to as the Naval Cross, was issued to veterans of the Imperial German Navy. The Honour Cross for War Participants differed from the Honour Cross for Combatants by not having the crossed swords. The Honour Cross for Next-of-Kin also lacked swords, was lacquered in black, and had a different ribbon. The medal is suspended from a ribbon with a thin black lines of its sides, a red line in the center and next to it a black and white lines on each side, on the next-of-kin medal the ribbon colors are reverse.
Civil Service Faithful Service Medal (Treudienst-Ehrenzeichen für Beamte Angestellte und Arbeiter im öffentlichen Dienst) was founded on the 30th of January 1938, in two grades, to reward civilians in the employ of the German public services for long and faithful service. All officials, employees, and laborers at any level of the public service (local, regional or national) who complete 25 or 40 years service we eligible. The second class award was for 25 years of service was a silver cross, with a silver wreath and a black enameled swastika in the center of the cross. The first class award was for 40 years of service was a gold cross, with a gold wreath and a black enameled swastika in the center of the cross. The reverse of both classes was stamped with 'Für Treue Dienst' (For Faithful Service). The ribbon for the medal is cornflower blue.
Hungarian Commemorative Medal of the World War - Awarded "with helmet and swords" to soldiers and other combattants or "without helmet and swords" to all other war participants or to the nearest relative of a soldier. This medal was instituted on 26 May 1929 by the Regent, Admiral Horthy. The obverse shows the weapon shield of Hungary surmounted by a crown and, if so awarded, with swords underneath the shield. The reverse bears the text "PRO DEO ET PATRIA / 1914-1918" (for God and Fatherland 1914-1918) and, if so awarded, with a WWI helmet over the dates. In case of the award "without helmet and swords", the ribbon is white with green-red-white side stripes.
Bulgarian Commemorative Medal for the War of 1915-1918 - Circular gilt metal medal with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with the crowned state coat of arms imposed on crossed swords encircled by a wreath of oak and laurel; the reverse with the dates ‘1915-1918’ encircled by a wreath of wheat, oak, roses and laurel. The medal is 3.6mm thick and thus of Swiss manufacture. The medal was created by decree on 9 December 1933 and awarded to all participants then living in World War I, both military and civilian, until 31 December 1939. The medal could be awarded to military from the Central Powers and to foreign citizens; in the event the largest such group was German military. Bulgaria felt a great sense of grievance following the loss of territory at the conclusion of the second Balkan War in 1913. When Germany offered to restore all of the lands she had been promised in 1878, Bulgaria, which had the largest army in the Balkans, declared war on Serbia in October 1915. In return, Britain, France and Italy then declared war on Bulgaria. After initial victories, the war became unpopular because of food and other shortages and the revolution in Russia in 1917 had a profound effect on Bulgarian sentiment. When the Allies finally broke out of the Salonika pocket, Bulgaria sued for peace and King Ferdinand I abdicated in favour of his son who became King Boris III. The Treaty of Neuilly that concluded the war took significant territory from Bulgaria and imposed severe restrictions on the future size of her armed forces.