The Battle of Grunwald/Tanneberg 1410 – an important battle in the history of Poland and the Baltic Region. Fought between the Teutonic Knights with guest crusaders on one side against a combined Polish/Lithuanian army. Also discussed is the battle’s aftermath and its relevance today
In the 14th century Lithuania became a major European power under the leadership of Algirdas, his brother Kęstutis, and their respective sons Jogaila and Vytautas (pictured), This episode describes Lithuania and her relations with the Teutonic Knights leading up to the Battle of Grunwald 1410
Struggle for Pomerania and Danzig/Gdansk between the native population, Teutonic knights and Kingdom of Poland. Teutonic knights move base to Marienberg. King Casimir the Great of Poland. Dynastic union of Poland and Lithuania in 1390’s. Includes quotes from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Picture: Marienberg/Malbork fortress (courtesy of visitmalbork.pl)
Background to the Battle of Nicopolis 1396. The rise of the Ottomans in the 1300’s at the expense of the Byzantine Empire, and then their expansion into the Balkans. Brief description of the geography of the Balkans and (Blue) Danube, and histories of 14th century Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Romania – a golden age in the minds of some nationalists.
In 1396 a large crusader army assembled, made up of numerous nationalities- French, German and Burgundian knights, together with soldiers from Hungary and Romania (Wallachia), plus a fleet from Venice, Genoa and Rhodes. The aim was to drive back the Ottomans, who had already conquered much of the Balkans and now threatened central Europe. The crusaders were confronted by an Ottoman army led by Sultan Bayezid at the strategic city of Nicopolis, on the lower Danube. Pictured: John Count of Nevers, King Sigismund of Hungary, Sultan Bayezid
In September 1380 Grand Prince Dmitri of Moscow led an army which confronted an invasion force of Mongols on the banks of the River Don. After his victory he became known to history as Dmitri Donskoi, and a great Russian hero. But to what extent is it justified to portray Dmitri as a symbol of Russian resistance against Tatar repression?