a change on the Polish-French side.  In June 1340, Casimir returned with a larger army, conquered Lviv and burned down the Lviv High Castle. Swietopelk II encouraged the Prussians to rebel while he began raiding the Knights holdings on the Vistula River with a fleet of 20 ships. With the death of 150 Teutonics at the hands of Lithuanian pagans, there was no better time for the Prussians to rebel against the Teutonic Order. These militias were tough and durable, and one from Sros County defeated Nogais troops and sent many severed heads to King Ladislaus. Subutai Khan surprised the Hungarians by using catapults to launch not only stones but ordinance that was new to Europeans: balls of flaming tar and Chinese exploding shells. Rumors of divine intervention in the unlikely victory led many to call the battle The Miracle On The Vistula -- named for the river that runs through Warsaw. To defend this long front, Army Group Vistula had an assortment of units, many of them untried. According to Max Hoffmann, the third ranking member of Ninth Army Staff, they pulled back without alerting the nearby German unitsthey escaped only because they were warned by a German telephone operator. Initially, the Prussians planned on blockading Knigsberg with a navy, but the knights sent a saboteur to drill holes in the Prussian ships. On our bayonets we will bring happiness and peace to the toiling masses of mankind.". It appeared that the First Prussian Uprising would result in a bloody stalemate. The Polish advance on Kyiv had given the Russian communists exactly the pretext they needed. Within days of Yuri Boleslav's murder, Casimir III of Poland invaded the kingdom to save Polish merchants and Catholic residents from attacks in Lviv. In the World War cavalry was placed in the background, but only two years later it came back into its own and the opinion, that no more cavalry battles would be fought after the World War, was nullified. It was pitiful to see these noble women, who had been brought up as gentlewomen, who now had to suffer such painful humiliation and were brutally forced to work. Poland acquired a territory of approximately 52,000 square kilometres (20,000sqmi) with 200,000 inhabitants.. The Hungarians and their allies should have had an advantage. In 1376 the war resumed: Liubartas, Kstutis, and Yuri of Belz attacked Sandomierz and Tarnw, reaching as far as Krakw and taking many prisoners.  According to the Austro-Hungarians they arrived too late to prevent the crossings. In less than 30 years, the Teutonic Knights had conquered all of Prussia, but The Great Prussian Uprising of 1260 illustrated that their conquests were not yet secure. The war-leader of the Natangians, Herkus Monte (1225/12301273) was knowledgeable of siegecraft and the Teutonic Orders tactics thanks to his education in Germany. Although Prussia began to Germanize rapidly following the end of the Prussian uprisings, their language did not disappear until the beginning of the 18th century. The Prussian freedom fighter was dead. After that, Central Europe was spared Mongol wrath until 1285. The tide truly turned against the pagans in 1272 with the arrival of Margrave Dietrich of Meissen (ruled 12911307). By mid-March, 50,000 Mongol soldiers had crossed the Carpathian Mountains into Hungary, and the battle began near the Sajo River on April 11th. It became known as the Miracle of the Vistula, and the . But luck spared both the Polish and Hungarian Kingdoms from Mongol subjugation in 1242, dynastic infighting in Central Asia led to the Golden Horde leaving the area, despite their impressive victories. Burundai Khan forced Daniel into exile in Poland.  However, already in 1353, Liubartas attacked again. A video with maps showing the dramatic changes of territory during the Polish-Bolshevik Russia War. These reisen would be composed of thousands of soldiers, ranging from knights, to mercenaries, to Prussian auxiliaries, who had converted to Christianity. Nicolaus von Jeroschins (12901341) The Chronicle of Prussia, best describes the sheer scale of the First Prussian Uprising: When the Prussians from all over the country had come together in rebellion, this deceitful, disloyal prince, became their duke and their commander, and travelled with them into lower Prussia, causing great damage and wreaking havoc among the Christians; because with his arm outstretched, and weapons in his hand, the Devils champion killed and martyred all the old Christians who had come from Germany to protect the faith and settle there. In 1366, Casimir, allied with Siemowit III of Masovia and nephews of Liubartas, resumed the war. Many chose to continue living in Prussia. The stalemate broke thanks to the outside intervention of the papal legate, now Jacques Pantaleon (later Pope Urban IV, 11951264), and secular crusaders. The battle indirectly lead to the Second Battle of the Vistula River months later, as the Ruthenian army realized from the first battle that it would . When the crusading nobility returned home, the Order secured the region through the building of castles and forts alongside smaller reisen of their own. Map: How Polish Fighters Beat Back Lenin's Communists. By 1264, the situation look bleak for the Teutonic Knights in Prussia. The Teutonic Order rallied an army of 400 to confront Swietopelk IIs second incursion and caught the Prussians crossing a swamp. We owe a special debt of gratitude to the brave knights and foot soldiers who defended Central Europe and the West from the Golden Horde. The Battle at the Vistula in 1945. In 1271 the Prussians nearly captured Christburg, but suffered heavy casualties. Moreover, for many of them, anything imported from the east was automatically tainted by association with Poland's historic oppressor and occupier, Russia. After a prolonged conflict, GaliciaVolhynia was partitioned between Poland (Galicia) and Lithuania (Volhynia) and Ruthenia ceased to exist as an independent state. , By 20 October, Radko Dimitriev's Russian Third Army had established 5 bridgeheads across the San, which Ferdinand's Austro-Hungarian Fourth Army was unable to dislodge. At its heyday, the Commonwealth comprised the territories of present-day Poland, and large parts of Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Russia, and represented a major European power. The uprising's failure allowed the pro-Soviet Polish administration, rather than the Polish government-in-exile in London, to gain control of Poland. Battle of the Vistula (1341) - YouTube 0:00 / 8:26 Sign in to confirm your age This video may be inappropriate for some users. In response, the Prussians built a bridge guarded by two large towers, blocking any shipments bound towards Knigsberg, and sallied out in boats in a desperate bid to destroy the bridge. On 28 September, the Germans started their advance, while Dankl's First Army crossed the Vistula, reaching Bogoria on 1 October. It should be unsurprising that the dramatic events that unfolded in these rebellions impacted the mentality of Teutonic Knights well beyond the memory of the actual participants. After Louis death in 1382, Liubartas captured castles ruled by Hungarians (including Kremenets and Przemyl), but did not renew a full-scale war. The Teutonic Knights immediately hanged him from a tree, while running him through with a sword. Captured Red Army soldiers look on after the battle. This meant Nogai and Talabuga constantly ran into small defensive forces recruited from individual Hungarian counties.  At the time Lithuania, Poland, and Hungary, all three main contenders for the former GaliciaVolhynia, were engulfed in dynastic succession disputes. The Prussians killed two of their masters in Prussia and razed many of their strongholds including the fortress of Marienwerder. Not only had they secured their possessions from Prussian rebels, but were beginning to become self-reliant. Casimir responded by organizing a large campaign against the pagan Lithuanians with a special permission from Pope Innocent VI. While the victories of the Hungarians and Poles in the 13th century did not stop the growth of Mongol power in Eastern Europe, they did check Mongol expansion into Central Europe.  John of Winterthur reports attacks by the Mongols on Hungary, the March of Brandenburg and Prussia during this period as well. In the forested and swampy terrain, the Teutonic Knights could not properly utilize their crossbowmen, or their heavily armored mounted knights. : Jack Weatherford, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004): 135. Hindenburg reached the Vistula River by 9 October and was only 19km (12mi) away from Warsaw. Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, Battles of the Eastern Front (World War I), http://www.cgsc.edu/CARL/nafziger/914GJAE.pdf, Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information. Future French President Charles de Gaulle, who served as a military adviser during the war, wrote on August 17: "Our Poles have grown wings.  Yuri Boleslav did not have an heir and his death upset fragile power balance in the region. Corps (37th & 41st Infantry Divisions; mid-Oct: reinforced with Austrian 3rd Cavalry Division)), Landwehr Corps "Woyrsch" (3rd & 4th Landwehr Infantry Divisions), Combined Corps "Frommel" (8th Cavalry Division, 35th Reserve Division, Landwehr Division "Bredow", 21st Landwehr Brigade; mid-Oct: reinforced with Austrian 7th Cavalry Division), Landsturm Brigades Rintelen, Hoffman & Westernhagen, I. The Mongols did not spare Europe. One fighter described the sense of vulnerability on the rapidly shifting battlefields: "One had to expect an attack from any [direction] and in consequence the fighting was bloodthirsty as you either won or you perished. The URL has been copied to your clipboard. With the assistance of outside nobles such as Henry of Silesia (11961241), Christian rebuilt the fortress of Culm by 1222, restoring Christendoms foothold in Prussia. Artillery captured during Russia's civil war is displayed next to Moscow's Kremlin in 1920. , The Germans calculated that until extensive repairs were finished the furthest the Russians could advance over the devastated countryside was 120km (75mi), so they would have some weeks respite before the Russians could invade Silesia, but they had been forced back. On the behalf of Grand Master Anno von Sangerhausen (d.1273), Urban IV ordered crusaders originally set on fighting the Mongols to fight the Prussians instead. Fifth Army was still be deployed north of them, while closest to Warsaw was the Second Army, consisting of I, XXVII and II Siberian Corps. 'Raciecki! Unlike the messages sent in the clear during the first weeks of the war, now they were in the new Russian code, which by the end of September had been broken by a German reserve officer, Professor Deubner. That same day Konev's spearheads reached the Silesian frontier of prewar Germany. This will also allow our fans to get more involved in what content we do produce. Secular crusaders played a vital role in future reisen against Lithuania, but they arrived as guests of the Order, not its saviors. Yet, for the Austro-Hungarian forces, in the words of Buttar, "All the gains of the October campaign were to be abandoned, and a new line would be held through the winter, running along the Carpathians and then to Krakow.  Liubartas could expect little help from Lithuania as his brother Algirdas died in 1377. , On 10 October, the Russians were ordered to attack from their positions along the Vistula. The Russians attacked Mackensen on 16 October after two days of bombardment. With most of Kulms defenders dead, it appeared that Swietopelk II would quickly take the Teutonic Orders stronghold. Their wives and children were taken prisoner in scenes of great wretchedness, and kept as slaves in perpetual captivity. Regardless, Nogais Golden Horde still continued to raid Europe in the following years, and in the 1290s, his army forced Serbia to accept vassalage. But they dissipated their advantage by indecision about their next move and confusion in their administrative arrangements , On 1 November, Hindenburg was given command of all of the German forces on the Eastern Front. The kings army then chased the defeated Mongols all the way into the Carpathian Mountains, where they were trapped by bad weather and harassed by a peasant insurgency. The Vistula rises at Barania Gra in the south of Poland, 1,220 meters (4,000 ft) above sea level in the Silesian Beskids (western part of Carpathian Mountains ), where it begins with the Little White Vistula ( Biaa Wiseka) and the Black Little Vistula ( Czarna Wiseka ). Originally formed as a hospital in the Latin East in 1190, the Teutonic Order under Grand Master Hermann von Salza (11651239) began gaining experience fighting European pagans. 5 Historiography.  However, that did not appease Vytautas, who sought to regain his patrimony in Trakai and gain power in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and he started the Lithuanian Civil War (138992). A wounded Polish fighter being transported from the front line. The battle, fought between August . We've created a Patreon for Medievalists.net as we want to transition to a more community-funded model. Some states fared better than others. A Polish horseman described watching one tense face-off between Polish and Bolshevik Cossack cavalry: "A colorfully-dressed rider galloped out of the swarm of Cossacks on a magnificent black horse and, waving his sword above his head shouted: 'Well, my lords, I'm Cossack Kuzma Kruchkov. In order to assist Casimir, a Hungarian contingent commanded by William Drugeth entered the Ruthenian border and fought against the Mongols. , To face the threat from Silesia, the Russians withdrew men from East Prussia and from the front facing the Austro-Hungarians The geographical barrier that separated the bulk of the opposing armies was the Vistula River. The 1920 Battle of Warsaw 19 Aug 2022 It was a battle that Poland was not supposed to have won. German XI, Guard and Austro-Hungarian I Corps marched in heavy rain toward Delsalle's group. It now became the intention of Hindenburg and Ludendorff to try to tie down as much of the Russian strength as possible, thus allowing the k.u.k. Contents 1 Background 2 Battle Polish troops just east of Warsaw await the communists. The initial conflict ended with the Treaty of Christburg on February 2, 1249. In 1274, the Teutonic Order marched into Pogesanian territory and seized the castle at Heilssberg. Germany was in economic turmoil after World War I and, with the streets seething with unemployed soldiers and political extremists, a communist revolution there looked increasingly possible if Lenin's cavalry could clatter into German cities to help kick off a violent uprising. The Mongol destruction of Baghdad was far worse for the Muslim world than the Crusades; Muslims flourished in the Crusader states after the fall of Jerusalem in 1099. After the Lithuanians were defeated in the Battle of Strva by the Teutonic Knights in 1348, Liubartas lost all territories except for eastern Volhynia with Lutsk to Casimir and his ally Louis I of Hungary (Louis was promised the territories if Casimir died without an heir). ", After several skirmishes with Russian troops in the blurred border areas, Polish along with some nationalist Ukrainian fighters captured Kyiv in the spring of 1920. Amos Chapple is a New Zealand-born photographer and picture researcher with a particular interest in the former U.S.S.R. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty 2023 RFE/RL, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disaster struck as a stiff wind blew Swietopelk IIs ships far from the shore. Patrick Eickman is a graduate student at Marquette University. Herkus Montes decisive victory routed the other half of the crusading army. . By 1215, Prussian raiders, incentivized by Konrad I of Masovias (11871247) policy of paying raiders tribute, reached as far as Konrad Is castle in Plock and besieged Culms fortress. "Polish-American Participation in the Armed Struggle for the Independence of Poland in World War I and in the Russian-Polish War." M.A. Much like the later heroism of King John III Sobieski against the Ottomans at Vienna in 1683, the Poles and Hungarians proved their might as Christian warriors against a foreign force. Polish dukes and kings sent both missionaries and soldiers to Prussia as early as 997 to expand their domain. They converted to Islam in the 14th century, and Mongol raids became infused with the fervor of jihad. In this desperate situation, all the fortresses were captured from the Christians by their malevolent visitors, so that none were left under their control in the area between Balga and Elbing. The few Russian bridgeheads on the west bank were invested. : William Urban, The Teutonic Knights: A Military History (Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Frontline, 2018): 37. Despite taking an estimated 12,000 Russian prisoners, First Army had lost over 40,000 men, and had failed to eliminate any of the Russian bridgeheads across the Vistula." General Nikolai Ruzsky, commander of the Russian Northwest Front, brought up significant reinforcement against the Ninth Army. Zapolowski, Wladimir, Zapolovskyi, Mykola (2021). It already had mauled two Russian armies at Tannenberg and at the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes. The only thing standing between Russia and Germany was Poland. He then paid for a fort in the region, named Knigsberg in his honor. Instead of promoting his son Liubartas (who was married to Andrew's daughter) and causing a war with Poland, Gediminas of Lithuania compromised with Wadysaw I of Poland. On August 6, Polish forces planned a final stand at Warsaw as vast dust clouds from the advancing communist horsemen were spotted smudging the horizon, and panic swept over the city. Red Army soldiers stand alongside an armored train used in the war. In the country's west, no clear border divided the land held by Russia and by newly independent Poland. The treaty acknowledged the grievances of Prussian converts to Christianity against the Teutonic Order, promised to uphold civil liberties of Prussian Christians, and ended Swietopelk IIs alliance with the Prussian pagans. , The Austro-Hungarian First Army, which was taking over the German right flank, was unable to defend the crossings over the Vistula. Following the Orders disastrous defeat at the Battle on the Ice, Prussian tribesmen, backed by both Pomeranian Christians, and Lithuanian pagans, launched a series of rebellions which nearly broke the Teutonic Orders grasp on the Baltic and left an indelible mark on the knight brothers psyche. Brother Konrad von Dortmund, a pure warrior, and careful in battle and warfare, was killed with all his men. From 1211 to 1225, the Teutonic Knights fought the nomadic Cumans in Transylvania on behalf of Andrew II of Hungary (11771235) before being expelled for forming their own state. Commander-in-chief Nikolai Ruzsky. After four weeks he reached an agreement with local nobles and their leader Dmytro Dedko: in return for their services, local nobles would enjoy protection from the Polish king. Booty was the primary object of this invasion, but it was also part of a plan to punish Poland for giving shelter to Prince Daniel of Galicia-Volhynia (modern-day Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, and Slovakia), who had declared independence from the Golden Horde in 1253. , Mackensen was within 6 miles (9.7km) of Warsaw, when a set of orders were found on a Russian staff officer corpse. With the High Duke of Poland unable to defend his own territory, outside intervention became a necessity. Burundais army later invaded Lithuania and raided the Teutonic Knights in Prussia. The Lithuanians were the natural allies of the Prussians, as both were pagan Balts targeted by the Teutonic Order. Nonetheless, the siege continued for three more years. In 1254, King Ottokar II of Bohemia (12331278) a joined a Reisen, against the Sambia, the last independent Prussian tribe. It is necessary to study the Prussian uprisings in order to understand not only the history, but also the mentality, of the Teutonic Knights. By this time the Mongol Empire had broken up into several "Hordes" who ruled independently of one another. He was poisoned in April 1340 by local nobles who resented growing Polish and Bohemian influence in the court. On 7 October, Archduke Joseph Ferdinand's Fourth Army captured Rzeszw, while Svetozar Boroevi's Third Army advanced towards Przemyl. Mackensen was then forced to withdraw, while Grand Duke Nikolai ordered a general offensive for 20 October. Himmler thus ended up commanding a front with many bends and twists from the mouth of the Vistula in the north to Glogau on the Oder where it tied into the new Army Group Center. 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