Friedrich Cross was instituted by the Duke of Anhalt Friedrich II (Leopold Friedrich Eduard Karl Alexander, Herzog von Anhalt; 19.08.1856 – 21.04.1918) on December 12, 1914 and was awarded to military personnel, military officials and civilians regardless of rank, position and social status for merits in battlefield as well as at homefront in support of the war. The cross was instituted in one class only but had two types of ribbon – for military personnel and non-combatants.
Decoration represents an equilateral (37x37 mm) Teutonic cross with a pebbled surface and with a loop for ribbon suspension. Wreath made of two rows of oak leaves is situated between arms of a cross intersecting its left and right arms.
Obverse has a circular central medallion with a gothic capital letter “F” standing for the ruler of Anhalt. Upper arm of the cross has the crown of the Duchy, its lower arm bears a date “
Reverse also has a circular central medallion that bears a horizontal inscription in four rows: “For Merit in War” (“Für Verdienst Im Kriege”).
There were two types of a ribbon: for military personnel (Friedrich Kreuz am Kämpferband) and that for non-combatants (Friedrich Kreuz am Nichtkämpferband).
The former was green with two thin red stripes at both edges while the latter also green but with thin white stripes.
Initially Friedrich Cross was made of nielloed bronze but closer to the end of the war zinc was used due to economy reasons.
Decoration with Friedrich Cross stopped in late 1918 with the abolishment of monarchy. Nevertheless those who were not able to receive an award during the war still had a chance to get deserved Cross in Weimar-era until 1924.
Miniatures of the Friedrich Cross were manufactured as well.
Approximately 20,000 awards were made for military personnel and about 800 for non-combatants.
Pinback cross to be worn on the breast pocket regarded as “Friedrich Cross 1st Class” was manufactured unofficially as it was never instituted. This badge was available for private purchase by veterans.
It’s obverse was the same as an obverse of an official Friedrich Cross and reverse was blank. The badge was attached by a vertical needle and a hook or a screw.