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This Order was founded by King Frederick I in 1748. It is still technically a Swedish Order, but it has not been awarded since 1975.
It was conferred upon Swedish military personnel for long and meritorious service.
At the time of its creation the Order was composed of only two grades, the I Class Commander and the I Class Knight. The Commander Grand Cross was created in 1772, the II Class Commander was created in 1873, and the II Class Knight was created in 1889.
In 1788 King Gustav III created a wartime grade, the I Class Knight Grand Cross, which was conferred upon senior Officers for distinguished actions in victory. In 1814, a second wartime grade, the II Class Knight Grand Cross, was created. In 1952 the War Cross of the Sword was the final grade added to the Order. It was awarded in gold, silver, and bronze to Swedish military personnel for meritorious war service.
Because all other grades of the Order were awarded to Officers, additional grades were necessary to recognize other military personnel. The Badge of the Sword was created in 1850 and was awarded to Non-Commissioned Officers. The Medal of the Sword was also created in 1850. It was awarded in two grades to enlisted men. Recipients of both the Badge and the Medal had to have at least 16 years of irreproachable military service.
The obverse inscription translates to "King and Fatherland," and the reverse inscription translates to "For the Soldier's Merit."
There were many different manufacturers of this Order, and as a result, there are multiple versions which vary in size, composition, and design.
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