Kingdom of Italy - Croce al Merito di Guerra. Instituted on January 19, 1918, the Italian War Merit Cross was awarded to members of the armed forces who had served at least five months in the war zone or had been wounded in combat or had distinguished themselves in operations of considerable importance. There were other conditions as well that could have granted the award. It is constructed out of a die stamped zinc base that has been bronze washed. The obverse features on a Greek style cross, the crowned monogram of Vittorio Emanuele III (top arm), above “Merito di Gverra” (center), above a Roman gladius with oak leaves and acorns (lower arm). The reverse shows a centrally placed star with rays to the background. The top features a decorative piece with a ball loop and triangular ring. The ring holds 6 ¼ inches of blue ribbon. The ribbon is incorrect for this piece yet would be correct for the Military Valour Medal. Fading to the bronze wash. The cross measures 1 9/16 inches square.
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