Blue Max

The Pour le Mérite, known informally during World War I as the Blue Max, was the Kingdom of Prussia’s highest military order for German soldiers until the end of World War I. The award was a blue-enameled Maltese Cross with eagles between the arms based on the symbol of the Johanniter Order, the Prussian royal cypher, and the French legend Pour le Mérite (‘for Merit’) arranged on the arms of the cross. A civil version of the order, for accomplishments in the arts and sciences, still exists in the Federal Republic of Germany.

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