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Verdienstkreuz für Aufopferung und Pflichttreue in Kriegszeiten

Merit Cross for Self-Sacrifice and Loyal Duty during the War

Merit Cross for Self-Sacrifice and Loyal Duty during the War was instituted on June 12, 1871 by the Grand Duke of Oldenburg Peter II (Nikolaus Friedrich Peter von Oldenburg, 08.07.1827 – 13.06.1900) and was awarded for outstanding merits and self-sacrifice during nursing of wounded soldiers throughout the Franco-Prussian War (19.07.1870-10.05.1871), charity and other distinguished services for the benefit of fighting troops. It was bestowed on Oldenburg subjects regardless of gender and social background.

Merit Cross for Self-Sacrifice and Loyal Duty during the War had a shape of an equilateral Teutonic cross with rounded raised edges and pebbled surface.

An obverse has a monogram of Peter II – Gothic letter “P” topped with a ducal crown on the upper arm and dates of the Franco-Prussian War – “1870/71” (big “18” and small “70/71” separated by a thin horizontal line) on the lower arm of a cross. A circular medallion representing an enameled white and red emblem of the Red Cross encircled by an oak leaf wreath is superimposed on the centre of the cross.

A reverse doesn’t have any inscriptions and has two pins on the left and right parts of the central medallion holding an enameled emblem.

The cross made of gilt bronze and white and red enamel is 36x36 mm and weighs 15,9 g.

Its ribbon shows traditional Oldenburg colors: red with three wide vertical dark blue stripes.

Merit Cross for Self-Sacrifice and Loyal Duty during the War was bestowed in 1871-1874. Only 161 decorations were made.  

Self Sacrifice Cross