Lead­ers and com­man­ders

The knights were led by re­mark­able sol­diers and grand masters dur­ing their long his­tory

History of War - - CONTENTS -

Af­ter a catas­tro­phe in Cili­cia in which the ma­jor­ity of the Teu­tonic Knights were slain, in 1210 lead­er­ship of the Or­der fell to Her­mann von Salza. As hochmeis­ter, or grand mas­ter, von Salza over­saw a re­mark­able re­vival of the Or­der. He was an able diplo­mat who was able to win the af­fec­tion of both the pope and the Holy Ro­man em­peror.

In 1211, in re­sponse to an in­vi­ta­tion from King An­drew II of Hun­gary, the Or­der moved a large portion of its forces to Hun­gary to de­fend against raids by the pa­gan Cu­mans. The knights pro­vided se­cu­rity and re­cruited Ger­man set­tlers to the lands ceded to them by An­drew.

An­drew be­came wor­ried by the Or­der’s suc­cess, and he ex­pelled them in 1225. The Teu­tonic Knights went next to Livo­nia where an­other cru­sad­ing or­der, the Sword Brethren, was al­ready ac­tive. Their pri­mary op­po­nents were the pa­gan Prus­sians who lived deep in swampy lands and prac­tised hu­man sac­ri­fice.

Prus­sian raids were so fe­ro­cious that Duke Con­rad of Maso­via had given up the province of Chelmo. He asked the Teu­tonic Knights to take posses­sion of Chelmo and also granted to them the ti­tle to any lands that the knights might seize. Von Salza was given the Golden

Bull of Ri­mini, which gave him com­plete sovereignty over the lands held by the Or­der.

Von Salza died in 1239, hav­ing set the Teu­tonic Or­der firmly on its course of cru­sad­ing in the Baltic lands of Europe.

Her­mann von Salza won sovereignty for the Or­der over the lands it held in north­east­ern Europe Her­mann Balke was an im­pla­ca­ble foe of the pa­gan Prus­sians and cru­saded against them with­out pause

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