Battle of Grunwald

by Slawek Guzierowicz

The Teutonic Order was founded around the year 1190. The brotherhood, approved by Pope Celestine III, was one of the first institutions in Europe. They were organized to fight for the church and the religious right. It became a problem due to the dominance of the religious culture. Fought on the 15th of July in 1410, the Battle of Grunwald was one of the biggest battles during the great war between the forces of theTeutonic Order Aided by the knights of Western Europe, under the command of Ulrich von Jungingen , and the combined forces of the Polish and Lithuanian under the command of Polish King Wladyslaw II Jagiello. In German history the battle of Grunwald occurs as the Battle of Tannenberg. The current name of the city is Stębark. The surrounding villages of Grunwald, Łodwigowo and Stębark, with Hills separated by vast valleys with a stream and lake was where the battle occurred. The formation of the land did not allow to find out the quality and quantity of enemy forces; they simply could not be seen. Ulrich von Jungingen chose the field of battle to prepare ambushes and unexpected maneuvers. However, Jagiello and accompanying knights toured the battlefield the morning of 15 July to understand how the battle should be fought. The quite unexpected success of predominantly Polish forces, caused a serious crisis in the Polish-Lithuanian relations and changed the attitude of the king, who feared the strong rise of Poland in the union, delayed the pursuit of the remnants of Teutonic troops and ultimately did not conquer Malbork. The battle itself did not raise any significant tactical innovations. After the battle, there was a slow decline in the importance of foreign mercenary troops. It was an unprecedented and generous gesture of the king who ordered the corpse of Ulrich von Jungingen and his brothers to be found and brought to Malbork with honor. Trophies of war were mainly the flags of the Teutonic soldiers. A detailed description of these, together with illustrations gave Jan Dlugosz in his work Banderia Prutenorum, written in the fifteenth century. Some of them were given to Prince Witold, which were placed in the Wawel Cathedral. But in 1797 they were removed by the Austrians and moved to Vienna but there is no sign of where they are today. In 1937, based on descriptions, the banners have been reconstructed and placed in Wawel. During the German occupation, they were deported to the Malbork Castle. Another trophy of the war was the two famous swords given to Jagiello by the Teutonic Knights. There is no knowledge of where these swords are today. There are nineteenth-century reports of various accidental discoveries - such as a church in Stębark which kept a few stone cannonballs and parts of armor. Also a castle in Dabrowin found ax battlegrounds and other parts of the armor. Polish archaeological research began in 1958 and lasted until the 1990s, but included a small portion of the battlefield. In which there was no grave site found of several hundred notable knights on both sides in the battle that was written down. The archeological research was done nearby the Stębark wooden church and nearby marshes, where allegedly many refugees from the battlefield were killed. Several mass graves near the ruins of the chapel built by the Knights after the battle were found. But the skeletons showed signs of blows inflicted on the sword, ax or after hits Belts with a crossbow. The result of the battle had a major impact on political relations in Europe. Not only did the war break the power of the Teutonic Knights, but also increased the power of the Jagiellon dynasty in Europe.