Battle of Tannenberg

Introduction

One of the largest cavalry skirmishes of the age, the Battle of Tannenberg featured the combined forces of the Poles and Lithuanians against the Order of the Teutonic Knights. The Poles and Lithuanians brought to the field an enormous army that included Moravian, Wallachian, Tatar and Czech fighters, while the Knights were primarily aided by German mercenaries. Despite initial success, the Knights were ultimately defeated, resulting in the loss of its impetus as a crusading force. When German armies defeated the Russians at Tannenberg in 1914, it was portrayed as revenge for the defeat of the order five hundred years earlier.

  • Contents

The defeat was a great blow to the military might and prestige of the order, which lost its impetus as a crusading force. The image of Tannenberg, however, long remained in the German consciousness. When German armies defeated the Russians at Tannenberg in 1914, the high command portrayed it as revenge for the defeat of the order five hundred years earlier.

The Reader’s Companion to Military History. Edited by Robert Cowley and Geoffrey Parker. Copyright © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Article Details:

Battle of Tannenberg

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2009

  • Title

    Battle of Tannenberg

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/topics/battle-of-tannenberg

  • Access Date

    November 23, 2014

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks