Military Merit Badge
1 dot is common. 5 is extremely rare.
There appears to be four different classes of this badge. Two blue enamel versions, one silver and the other
gold gilt. And the same with the red enamel version. One must assume the gold gilt badge is of a higher class
than the silver version, but I'm not sure of the order of the different enamel colors. My gut instinct is to put the red
badge above the blue, but that is just a feeling.
As you may know, Japan spread her influence through Manchuria and up into Mongolia in the 1930s and
1940s. There seems to have been a number of Japanese-led puppet governments in Inner Mongolia, but I am
not exactly sure how many, the names of each, and how long each lasted.
Peterson states that a Free Mongolia government was established in Chahar. A short web search shows that
from 1937 to 1945 Japan controlled Chahar and also established the Mengjiang United Autonomous
Government. And I think that government issued this Military Merit Decoration.
The medal has pin backs–no ribbon. It was designed and made in Japan, and resembles the Type II War
Wound badge in its broad design. However, Peterson states that this is a Military Merit award corresponding to
the Golden Kite.
Peterson doesn’t mention what the Mongolian inscriptions on the reverse and on the case say. The two
Chinese characters do say ‘merit,’ though.
Pictures courtesy of Michael Quigley. Thanks very much!