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Tannenberg 1410: Disaster for the Teutonic Knights (Campaign) Paperback – May 20, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Highly visual guides to history's greatest conflicts, detailing the command strategies, tactics, and experiences of the opposing forces throughout each campaign, and concluding with a guide to the battlefields today.

About the Author

Stephen Turnbull is recognised as one of the world's foremost military historians of the medieval and early modern periods. He first rose to prominence as a result of his book published in 1977, The Samurai: A Military History. Since then he has achieved an equal fame in writing about European military subjects and has had over 30 books published.
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Product Details

  • Series: Campaign (Book 122)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (May 20, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841765619
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841765617
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #598,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on August 4, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thankfully, Osprey turned its Campaign series volume #122, Tannenberg 1410, over to Stephen Turnbull, rather than its household medieval specialist, Dr. David Nicolle. Turnbull, who is well known for his earlier works on Japanese Samurai, is able to deliver passion and humanity into his historical narrative, unlike the erudite but dull Nicolle. While Tannenberg might not have been one of the most critical battles in history, it was the kind of battle that created legends and historical traditions that greatly influenced future German-Slav relations. Turnbull's telling of this classic battle between the Polish-Lithuanian allies and the German Teutonic knights is first rate.
Tannenberg 1410 follows the standard Osprey Campaign series progression from introduction, through chronology, opposing commanders, opposing armies and opposing plans. The campaign narrative itself is 49 pages long. The aftermath section is fairly long at 12 pages, since the war continued for decades after Tannenberg. Turnbull uses five 2-D maps (Eastern Europe 1386, castles of the Teutonic order, the Polish invasion of Prussia, Kauernick to Tannenberg, Eastern Europe 1466) and three 3-D Birds Eye View maps on the Battle of Tannenberg itself. The three battle scenes by artist Richard Hook are quite good: the confrontation at the Kauernick ford, the Lithuanian charge, and the death of the Grand Master. Turnbull also provides notes on sources used and a visit to the modern-day battlefield.
The Teutonic Knights are rich in imagery, clad in white tunics with black crosses, ravaging Eastern Europe with fire and sword for generations. Although the Order, as it was called, was primarily German in origin, Turnbull notes that the organization was open to "guest crusaders.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Fred M. Blum on January 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
Tannenberg 1410: Disaster for the Teutonic Knights by Stephen Turnbull is a concise but interesting history of a little known part of European History that had little immediate importance, but significant long term effect. In 1410 the Teutonic Knights of Prussia invaded Polish territory with the intent of expanding their empire. The Poles, along with their Lithuanian allies and a contingent of Czech mercenaries were able to rout the Knights, killing their Grand Master. Because of indecisive moves the Polish/Lithuanian allies they were unable to take advantage of their decisive victory; however, the victory weakened the Knights to such an extent that they eventually became inconsequential in European affairs.
In 96 pages, following the standard Ospery format, Turnbull concisely discusses the above in a well thought out and written manner. The book is well written and interesting to read. It is highly recommended for anyone who wants a taste of this part of European history.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Richard Brzostek on September 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
July 15, 1410 is an important date in Polish history. For on this date, the Polish, Lithuanians, and hired Czech mercenaries won an epic battle against the Teutonic Knights. This battle is know as "Tannenburg" to the Germans, "Grunwald" to the Polish, and "Zalgiris" to the Lithuanians.
"Tannenburg 1410: Disaster for the Teutonic Knights" by Stephen Turnbull and illustrated by Richard Hook is a concise account of the origins of the campaign, the battle itself, and its aftermath. This volume has photographs of various castles, views of the battlefield, statues, and paintings. Various maps and illustrations are also included.
In the 96 pages of this book, the reader is given a thorough overview of the events that lead up to this significant battle, how the battle unfolded, and the effects of the Polish/Lithuanian victory.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Omer Belsky on April 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
As I'm more interested in political and intellectual history than military history, I probably do not appreciate this book as its target audience, presumably military history aficionados, do. For me this is a double introduction: this is the first of Ospery's 'Campaign' series books I've read, and a rare detailed look into the tormented history of Poland, known to its people as the 'Christ of the nations'.
The Teutonic Order, originally ser out to battle crusades against the infidels, became a Prussian state, and its battles against the Poles, although dressed up in religious rhetoric were actually grabs for territories and power, as became increasingly apparent after the 1386 conversion of Lithuania, which the Teutonic Knights conveniently dismissed as a sham.
The session of hostilities between Poland and Lithuania, and Lithuania's Grand Duke Vytautas acceptance of the rule of Polish King Jagiello, led to increased confrontations with the Teutonic order, culminating in a Teutonic declaration of war and a Polish/Lithuanian invasion in 1410. The approximately 27 thousand Teutonic Knights out of whom, Turmbull estimates, only 250 were heavily mounted and armored knights (p.29) were defeated by the 39 thousand soldiers on the Polish/Lithuanian side near the village of Tannenberg on July the 15th, 1410.
Turnball's book begins with an introduction, tracing the events since the foundation of the Teutonic order in 1190 to the outbreak of the war. This part of the narrative was as exciting as high school history, a long list of Kings and campaigns, with very little description or analyses. I suppose it explains the background for the struggle - but that is all it does.
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Tannenberg 1410: Disaster for the Teutonic Knights (Campaign)
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