Karl Troop Cross

The Karl Troop Cross (German: Karl-Truppenkreuz) was instituted on 13 December 1916 by Emperor Karl I of Austria-Hungary.[1] The cross was awarded for service up to the end of the First World War to soldiers and sailors of all arms of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces, regardless of rank, who had been with a combatant unit for at least twelve weeks and who had participated in at least one battle. Members of the air service who made ten flights over enemy lines were also eligible.[2][3]

Karl Troop Cross
Karl Troop Cross, obverse and reverse
TypeCampaign medal
Awarded forAt least 12 weeks of service with a combat unit, with service at the front
Presented byAustria-Hungary
EligibilitySoldiers of the Austro-Hungarian Army
Campaign(s)World War I
Established13 December 1916
AUT Karl-Truppenkreuz BAR.svg
Karl Troop Cross ribbon bar
Next (higher)Commemorative Cross 1912-13
Next (lower)Long Service Cross for NCOs and Enlisted Men

The medal is of zinc and consists of a cross pattée resting on a laurel wreath. The obverse bears the Latin inscription "GRATI PRINCEPS ET PATRIA, CAROLVS IMP.ET REX", (A grateful prince and country, Karl, Emperor and King). The reverse shows the Austrian Imperial and Hungarian Royal crowns above the letter "C" (for Carolus) with the inscription "VITAM ET SANGVINEM", (With life and blood) and the date MDCCCCXVI, (1916).[2] The design is based on the design of the Army Cross of 1813–1814 (usually known as the ‘Cannon Cross’ – ‘Kanonenkreuz’).[4]

The cross was worn on the left chest from a red ribbon with alternate red-white side strips towards each edge.[5]

A total of 651,000 were awarded.[2]


  1. ^ "Statutes: Karl-Truppen-kreuz". Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (in German). 1918. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Karl Troops Cross". Orders and Medals Society of America. 1 March 2021. Archived from the original on 22 August 2021.
  3. ^ Stolzer, Johann; Steeb, Christian (1974). Österreichs Orden vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt. p. 245. ISBN 3-201-01649-7.
  4. ^ Měřička, Václav (1969). Orders and Decorations. London: Paul Hamlyn. p. 13. Plates: 62, 77.
  5. ^ Neville, D.G. (1974). Medal Ribbons and Orders of Imperial Germany and Austria. Huntington: Balfour Publications. p. 23. ISBN 0859440095.

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