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
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
When crusaders arrived at Constantinople in 1203 they gazed in wonder, having never imagined that there could be so fine a place in the world. The ‘Queen of Cities’, founded by Constantine The Great in the early fourth century, had become imbued over the centuries with legends and Christian myths that gave the place a spiritual aura to match its physical grandeur. Yet in 1204 the city would be violently sacked and the once mighty Empire brought to its knees.
After the disaster at Hattin in 1187 Saladin appeared on the verge of completely wiping out the Crusader States from the Middle East. Instead he was met by stubborn resistance at Tyre, and the Acre. And when the kings of France and England arrived at Acre the tide began to turn in favour of the Christians, who now set the sights on recapturing Jerusalem