Order of Maria Theresia, also called Military Order of Maria Theresia; created by the monarch herself. The highest decoration for bravery, this order was first awarded to officers of the imperial troops who had won victory in the Battle of Kolin on June 18, 1757. The order was awarded to officers for distinguished service on the battlefield without regard to either their social rank or their religion. At first the order existed in two different categories, to which a third was added in 1765 (Great Cross, Commander´s Cross, Knight´s Cross). Those who had been awarded this decoration received a pension out of the order´s funds. By 1931 (the year in which the last session of the order´s chapter was held) 1,241 officers had been awarded the order. Its last holder, Baron G. v. Banfield, died in 1986. He had fought as a naval airman in World War I.