Cross of Merit (Netherlands)

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Cross of Merit
Kruis van Verdienste 1941.jpg
A Cross of Merit. There are several issues and types of this decoration.
Awarded by Flag of the Netherlands.svg Kingdom of the Netherlands
Type Military award
Awarded for For those working in the interest of the Netherlands while faced with enemy actions and distinguishing oneself through valor and resolute behavior
Status Currently awarded
Statistics
Established 20 February 1941
Total awarded 2,099
Precedence
Next (higher) Bronze Cross
Next (lower) Airman's Cross
Ribbon bar Dutch Cross of Merit.jpg
Ribbon bar of the Cross of Merit

On 20 February 1941, the Dutch government in exile in London instituted several new awards for bravery. The new way that wars were fought, with civilian resistance and the merchant navy in great peril, made this necessary. Amongst the new decorations was the "Cross of Merit", (Dutch: "Kruis van Verdienste") an award for "working in the interest of the Netherlands while faced with enemy actions and distinguishing oneself through valor and resolute behavior". One did not have to be on the front line to win this award.

The cross has often been awarded to those who managed to flee to England and to the armed resistance. It was rarely awarded after the Korean War, but since the fighting of the Netherlands army in Afghanistan, Uruzgan, this World War II decoration has been awarded again on a regular basis with the latest on 7 October 2009 to eleven Dutch soldiers. [1] During the second world war in the Far East this cross was awarded to several people employed by the Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij (K.P.M.) as some of their merchant navy ships had been commissioned by the Dutch Navy during the Battle of the Java Sea.

In case of repeated awards a large "2" or "3" is pinned to the ribbon.

The Cross of Merit is the fourth-highest military decoration still being awarded for bravery and has precedence after the Bronze Cross.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • The Cross of Merit - Official site of the Chancellery of the Netherlands Orders (English)
  • (Dutch) Vereniging DMD - Website of the organization of veterans with the Cross of Merit