Bronze Maltese cross with ball-tipped finials, crossed swords between the arms, on swivel crown suspension; the face with a circular central medallion bearing the lion rampant of Belgium within a circular beaded border; the reverse with a circular central medallion bearing the monogram of King Leopold III within a circular beaded border; on original age-faded ribbon mounted for wear in the Belgian style and with bronze palm citation bearing the cipher of King Leopold III.
The Cross was instituted on 20 July 1941 by the Belgian government in exile based in London to reward military virtue on the field of battle. It was awarded to military and also to active civilian members of the Resistance. The Cross resembles that for World War I but has the royal cipher of King Leopold III rather than King Albert I and a different ribbon.
The speed of German victory in 1940 and the occupation of both Belgium and France by German forces meant that the 1940-1945 cross is much rarer than its earlier counterpart.