BAVARIA – MILITARY MERIT CROSS – 3rd CLASS – WITH CROWN AND SWORDS
This is the Military Service Medal 3rd Class. This decoration was first instituted in 1866 after the end of the Austro-Prussian War. This medal was authorized by King Ludwig II (1845-1886). The medal was awarded in three classes. In peacetime it was awarded without swords. During war time, as it was with this example, it was awarded with sword and/or crown.
The third class award does not have enamel center, like the 2nd class. The swords are mounted above the cross and a large articulated crown is attached to the swords. A short length of ribbon is attached.