Battle of Grunwald
The Battle of Grunwald, First Battle of Tannenberg or Battle of Žalgiris, was fought on 15 July 1410 during the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War. The alliance of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, led respectively by King Władysław II Jagiełło (Jogaila) and Grand Duke Vytautas, decisively defeated the German–Prussian Teutonic Knights, led by Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen. Most of the Teutonic Knights' leadership were killed or taken prisoner. Although defeated, the Teutonic Knights withstood the siege of their fortress in Marienburg (Malbork) and suffered minimal territorial losses at the Peace of Thorn (1411) (Toruń), with other territorial disputes continuing until the Peace of Melno in 1422. The knights, however, would never recover their former power, and the financial burden of war reparations caused internal conflicts and an economic downturn in the lands under their control. The battle shifted the balance of power in Central and Eastern Europe and marked the rise of the Polish–Lithuanian union as the dominant political and military force in the region. The battle was one of the largest in Medieval Europe and is regarded as the most important victory in the histories of Poland and Lithuania, and is also widely celebrated in Belarus. It has been used as a source of romantic legends and national pride, becoming a larger symbol of struggle against foreign invaders. During the 20th century the battle was used in Nazi and Soviet propaganda campaigns. Only in recent decades have historians moved towards a dispassionate, scholarly assessment of the battle, reconciling the previous narratives, which differed widely by nation.
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