History of the Germans

Ep. 135 - After Tannenberg - The rule of the Teutonic Knights in Prussia weakened

Jan. 25, 2024

Last week we ended with the famous battle of Tannenberg or as the Poles would call it Grunwald and the Lithuanians Zalgiris. This battle is not just famous for its outcome but also for the various accounts of what happened. There is a Polish version there is a Lithuanian version and there's obviously a German version, actually 2 German versions. Though the one German version that blames the defeat on betrayal by Polish vassals is now debunked.

With that exception I find it rarely matters who did what during the battle but what the outcome was and what happened afterwards.

And afterwards the Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen and all his major officers were dead as well as hundreds of Knights brothers and thousands of secular knights, crusaders, squires and mercenaries. What was also lying there prostrate on the battlefield was the notion of the invincibility off the Teutonic Order. As the Polish and Lithuanian troops pursued what remained of the order’s forces, the Prussian cities and castles opened their gates to the winners.

A complete victory? Well as it happened it would take another nearly 60 years before Poland would regain control of Pomerelia and its capital Gdansk. And even that wasn’t the end of the Teutonic Knights. Despite the devastating defeat, the loss of its purpose, and the fundamentally changed political structure inside their state, the Teutonic order soldiered on, how they managed is what we will explore in this episode.

Episode Website with transcript, maps and lots more: Episode 135– After Tannenberg • History of the Germans Podcast

The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.

As always:

Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.com

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To make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season.

So far I have:

The Ottonians:

The Hanseatic League

The Teutonic Knights

The Holy Roman Empire 1250-1356

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