Military Order of Max Joseph (Bavaria)

Military Order of Max Joseph (Bavaria)

The Military Order of Max Joseph (German: Militär-Max-Joseph-Orden) was the highest purely military order of the Kingdom of Bavaria. It was founded on 1 January 1806 by Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, the first king of Bavaria. The order came in three classes:

  • Grand Cross (Großkreuz)
  • Commander's Cross (Kommandeurkreuz)
  • Knight's Cross (Ritterkreuz).

Individuals who received the order and were not already members of the nobility were ennobled and would add the title of "Ritter von" to their family name. A Bavarian title of nobility obtained through the Military Order of Max Joseph was valid for the recipient's life only.

The order became obsolete in 1918 with the collapse of the Bavarian monarchy on Germany's defeat in World War I. However, the orders chancery continued to process outstanding award recommendations to at least 1922. Such a patent of nobility only applied to Bavarian subjects; non-Bavarians could receive the Military Order of Max Joseph but not use a title because of this. Thus for example General Erich Ludendorff remained plain Ludendorff, although he was decorated with the Grand Cross of the order in 1916.

CommanderDate  Command
Kptlt. Georg, Carl-Siegfried Ritter von25 Apr 1918  U 101

Kptlt. Weddigen, Otto11 Oct 1914  U 9

2 officers decorated with Military Order of Max Joseph (Bavaria) located.

Note: This listing is still being compiled and some recipients might be missing.

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