By Stephen Turnbull
By means of 1400 the lengthy operating clash among the Order of Teutonic Knights and Poland and Lithuania was once coming to a head, partially due to the Order’s meddling within the inner politics of its neighbours. In June 1410 King Wladislaw Jagiello of Poland invaded the Order’s territory with a robust allied military together with all of the enemies of the Teutonic Knights – Poles, Lithuanians, Russians, Bohemians, Hungarians, Tartars and Cossacks. This ebook recounts how, while the armies clashed at the wooded, rolling hills close to the small village of Tannenberg, the Teutonic Knights suffered a disastrous defeat from which their Order by no means recovered.
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Extra resources for Tannenberg 1410: Disaster for the Teutonic Knights
One of the Order’s fortresses (1) (here based on an excellent reconstruction in Robert Sypek’s Zamki i obiekty maromne) dominated the ford from the heights above the river. The castle lay on the southern bank of the river and commanded the crossing but to further hinder the invaders’ progress the Order drove stakes into the river and fortified both banks, erecting crude artillery and archery emplacements (2). The Polish army reconnoitred the position at the ford and a detachment of Polish knights made a wide sweep to ascertain the strength of the enemy.
7. 00pm Under mounting pressure the Teutonic army is steadily driven back. 4. 30am King Wladislaw Jagiello’s bodyguards prevent him from joining the existing melee. BATTLE OF TANNENBERG – DESTRUCTION OF THE TEUTONIC KNIGHTS 62 15 July 1410, c. 00pm, viewed from the south, showing the Grand Master’s charge against the Polish right flank, the return of the Lithuanians and the rout of the Order’s army. B 2. 15am Survivors of the Lithuanian attack and those who did not pursue join the Grand Master.
Gediminas (1257–1341) was the grandfather of both Jogaila (Wladidslaw Jagiello) and Vytautas and the sacred oak was the symbol of his royal house. A Tartar bowman (6) fights from horseback clad in traditional Mongol fashion with heavy coat and boots. The Tartar contingent was led by Jelal-el-Din, son of Toqtamish. At top left a Teutonic Knight carries the banner of the Komtur (Commander) of Königsberg (7), one of the Order’s most important castles. It was on the Order’s left that most of the ‘guest’ crusaders fought.