Karl Troop Cross

The Karl Troop Cross (German: Karl-Truppenkreuz) was instituted on 13 December 1916 by Emperor Karl I of Austria-Hungary. The cross was awarded until the end of the First World War to soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian Army, regardless of rank, who had been with a combatant unit for at least twelve weeks and who had actually served at the front.

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

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). The design is based on the design of the Army Cross of 1813-1814 (usually known as the ‘Cannon Cross’ – ‘Kanonenkreuz’).

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

A total of 651,000 were awarded.


  • Johann Stolzer/Christian Steeb Österreichs Orden vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart, Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt Graz, ISBN 3-201-01649-7