HEINRICH VON PLAUEN 1370-1429 GERMANY
THIS LEADER PULLED THE ORDER BACK FROM THE BRINK OF DISASTER
Despite its terrible defeat at the Battle of Grunwald in 1410, the Order saved itself from total destruction, largely due to the efforts of Heinrich von Plauen, who became grand master after the death of von Jungingen in the battle.
Von Plauen had not been present at Grunwald, but in its aftermath he moved quickly to take charge of the leaderless knights. He would give no ground to the victorious Poles and Lithuanians, and shored up the Order’s possessions against imminent assault. The city of Marienburg was strongly held and wellprovisioned against a siege. Von Plauen also put out a call for reinforcements. His spirit helped to stiffen the morale of the forces in the city.
Władysław Jagiełło, the king of Poland, had not anticipated encountering such serious resistance at Marienburg and was taken aback by the fierceness of the defenders. After eight weeks of bombardment, Władysław was forced to withdraw. Von Plauen would go on to drive out the enemy and recapture the majority of castles taken by the Polish and
Heinrich von Plauen steadied the reeling Teutonic Knights after Grunwald and preserved much of the Order’s lands