The Military Merit Cross (MMC) was an officers-only set of awards that came in several varieties/classes. The MMC was implemented in 1866 by Bavaria’s König (Mad) Ludwig II in response to the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. It first was awarded as a 4th Class decoration during peacetime as well as war. The MMC went through a series of expansions and revisions over the years. Once WW I began, the 4th Class award was also given to officers who were NOT Bavarians, such as Prussian flying ace Manfred von Richthofen. It is an attractive decoration. Its arms are made of blue enamel. The decoration’s center features gold and white enamel embellished with Ludwig II’s gilt-toned royal cypher in its middle. The decoration’s reverse features a rampant Bavarian Lion in its center trimmed with white and gold enamel.