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Teutonic Knights (Ninety-Five Theses Map Game)

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Teutonic Order
Ordens
Timeline: Ninety-Five Theses (Map Game)
OTL equivalent: Teutonic Order
Teutonic order shield Teutonic Order
1190 - Present
Flag of the Teutonic Order.svg Insignia Germany Order Teutonic.svg
TeutonicOrderLocation.png
Location of the Teutonic Order (Grey) in Eastern Europe
Capital
(and city)
Königsberg
Other cities Marienburg, Allenstein, Elbing, Tilsit
Official languages Latin, German
Regional Languages High Prussian
Ethnic groups  German (Prussian)
Religion Roman Catholicism
Demonym Teutonic
Government Monastic Order
 -  Grand Master Albert of Brandenburg-Ansbach
History
 -  Separated from Knights Hospitaller during the siege of Acre 1190 
 -  Recognized as separate order by Pope Celestine III 1192 
Currency Thaler

The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem (Latin: Ordo domus Sanctæ Mariæ Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum, German: Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus der Heiligen Maria in Jerusalem), commonly the Teutonic Order (Latin: Teutonici Ordinis, German: Ordens) or Teutonic Knights (Latin: Tevtonicorum, German: Deutschritter), is a Catholic religious order originally founded as a military order in the 12th century in Acre.

The order was formed to aid Christians on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to establish hospitals. Its members have commonly been known as the Teutonic Knights, having a small voluntary and mercenary military membership, serving as a crusading military order for protection of Christians in the Holy Land and the Baltics during the Middle Ages.

History

Timeline of Events prior to Ninety-Five Theses

  • 1198 Formation
  • 1218 Siege of Damietta
  • 1228–1229 The Sixth Crusade
  • 1237 absorption of The Livonian Brothers of the Sword
  • 1241 The Battle of Legnica
  • 1242 The Battle on the Ice, 20 Knights killed, 6 captured
  • 1242–1249 First Prussian Uprising
  • 1249 Treaty of Christburg with the pagan Prussians signed on February 9
  • 1249 Battle of Krücken, 54 Knights slaughtered
  • 1260–1274 Great Prussian Uprising
  • 1260 Battle of Durbe, 150 Knights killed
  • 1262 Siege of Königsberg
  • 1263 Battle of Löbau, 40 Knights killed
  • 1264 Siege of Bartenstein
  • 1271 Battle of Pagastin, 12 Knights killed
  • 1279 Battle of Aizkraukle, 71 Knights killed
  • 1308–1309 Teutonic takeover of Danzig and Treaty of Soldin
  • 1326–1332 Polish-Teutonic War (1326–1332) for Kuyavia, with involvement of Lithuania and Hungary
  • 1331 Battle of Płowce, 73 Knights killed, 56 captured
  • 1343 Treaty of Kalisz, exchange of Kuyavia for Kulm and other territories
  • 1343–1345 St. George's Night Uprising
  • 1346 Purchase of Duchy of Estonia from Denmark
  • 1409–1411 Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War, the teutonic knights are defeated by Polish king Władysław II Jagiełło and Lithuanian Grand duke Vytautas the Great at the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg) (1410)
  • 1414 Hunger War, 86 Knights killed
  • 1422 Gollub War ending with the Treaty of Melno
  • 1431–1435 Polish-Teutonic War
  • 1454–1466 Thirteen Years' War
  • 1466 Second Peace of Thorn (1466)
  • 1467–1479 War of the Priests

Height of Power

In 1337, Emperor Louis IV allegedly granted the Order the imperial privilege to conquer all Lithuania and Russia. During the reign of Grand Master Winrich von Kniprode (1351–1382), the Order reached the peak of its international prestige and hosted numerous European crusaders and nobility.

King Albert of Sweden ceded Gotland to the Order as a pledge (similar to a fiefdom), with the understanding that they would eliminate the pirating Victual Brothers from this strategic island base in the Baltic Sea. An invasion force under Grand Master Konrad von Jungingen conquered the island in 1398 and drove the Victual Brothers out of Gotland and the Baltic Sea.

In 1386, Grand Duke Jogaila of Lithuania was baptised into Christianity and married Queen Jadwiga of Poland, taking the name Władysław II Jagiełło and becoming King of Poland. This created a personal union between the two countries and a potentially formidable opponent for the Teutonic Knights. The Order initially managed to play Jagiello and his cousin Vytautas against each other, but this strategy failed when Vytautas began to suspect that the Order was planning to annex parts of his territory.

The baptism of Jagiello began the official conversion of Lithuania to Christianity. Although the crusading rationale for the Order's state ended when Prussia and Lithuania had become officially Christian, the Order's feuds and wars with Lithuania and Poland continued. The Lizard Union was created in 1397 by Prussian nobles in Culmerland to oppose the Order's policy.

In 1407, the Teutonic Order reached its greatest territorial extent and included the lands of Prussia, Pomerelia, Samogitia, Courland, Livonia, Estonia, Gotland, Dagö, Ösel, and the Neumark, pawned by Brandenburg in 1402.

Decline

In 1410, at the Battle of Grunwald (German: Schlacht bei Tannenberg) — known in Lithuanian as the Battle of Žalgiris — a combined Polish-Lithuanian army, led by Vytautas and Jogaila, decisively defeated the Order in the Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War. Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen and most of the Order's higher dignitaries fell on the battlefield (50 out of 60). The Polish-Lithuanian army then besieged the capital of the Order, Marienburg, but was unable to take it owing to the resistance of Heinrich von Plauen. When the First Peace of Thorn was signed in 1411, the Order managed to retain essentially all of its territories, although the Knights' reputation as invincible warriors was irreparably damaged.

While Poland and Lithuania were growing in power, that of the Teutonic Knights dwindled through infighting. They were forced to impose high taxes to pay a substantial indemnity but did not give the cities sufficient requested representation in the administration of their state. The authoritarian and reforming Grand Master Heinrich von Plauen was forced from power and replaced by Michael Küchmeister von Sternberg, but the new Grand Master was unable to revive the Order's fortunes. After the Gollub War the Knights lost some small border regions and renounced all claims to Samogitia in the 1422 Treaty of Melno. Austrian and Bavarian knights feuded with those from the Rhineland, who likewise bickered with Low German-speaking Saxons, from whose ranks the Grand Master was usually chosen. The western Prussian lands of the Vistula River Valley and the Brandenburg Neumark were ravaged by the Hussites during the Hussite Wars. Some Teutonic Knights were sent to battle the invaders, but were defeated by the Bohemian infantry. The Knights also sustained a defeat in the Polish-Teutonic War (1431-1435).

In 1454, the Prussian Confederation, consisting of the gentry and burghers of western Prussia, rose up against the Order, beginning the Thirteen Years' War. Much of Prussia was devastated in the war, during the course of which the Order returned Neumark to Brandenburg in 1455. In the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), the defeated Order recognized the Polish crown's rights over western Prussia (subsequently Royal Prussia) while retaining eastern Prussia under nominal Polish overlordship. Because Marienburg Castle was handed over to mercenaries in lieu of their pay, the Order moved its base to Königsberg in Sambia.

1517-Present

1517

  • Teutonic Knights: In 1517, Hochmeister Albert von Brandenburg-Ansbach notes that Poland-Lithuania is likely to attack the Teutonic Order, claiming that Prussia is rightfully Polish territory, and he therefore begins construction of watchposts along the border, as well as fortresses near it, and increases Teutonic recruitment and shipbuilding massively, recruiting many Prussian men into the Teutonic army alongside volunteers and recruits from all over Europe and beginning construction of several new warships. By the end of the year, the Teutonic army is approximately forty-five-to-fifty thousand men strong, and the navy about 25 ships, with a strong military focus for the country, with administrative matters being secondary priority. Secretly, the Grand Master also sends a letter via the Teutons' representatives in the Holy Roman Empire to Martin Luther, offering him sanctuary in Prussia should he require it, and publicly the Teutonic Order remains as neutral as possible in regards to the beginning of the Reformation.
    • Teutonic Diplomacy: The Teutonic Order requests alliance with the other von Hohenzollerns in Brandenburg and the Grand Prince of Muscovy, as well as requesting defensive alliance with the Kalmar Union, Holy Roman Empire and Hungary, and requesting that the Pope try to find a way to send us more Crusaders.

1518

  • Teutonic Knights: We continue fortifying our borders against probable Polish aggression, having several fortresses reaching completion by the end of the year, we continue mass recruitment throughout the year, reaching an approximately fifty-to-fifty-five-thousand soldier strong army, we begin research into the latest weapons, particularly firearms and cannons, continue building ships, reaching a fleet of about 40 ships by the end of the year, Hochmeister Albert von Brandenburg-Ansbach encourages the peoples of Europe to join the Order, hoping to get as many new recruits as possible, now that the more important fortifications are complete we construct infrastructure, shipyards and other such miscellaneous structures across our lands, and the militaristic focus continues, with quantity ideas being researched.
    • Teutonic Diplomacy: The Teutons ask the Muscovites if they require any help in their war with the Kazanis, offering to send ten thousand Teutonic soldiers under the command of Wolfgang von Luxembourg, one of our more experienced leaders.

Government

The government of the Teutonic Order is a military order, and therefore not subject to the traditional effects and requirements of a monarchy, such as a council of advisors.

Economy

The Teutonic Order's primary economic center is in it's trade with the Hanseatic League and others via the Baltic Sea, as well as trade via land West to the Holy Roman Empire and East to Muscovy.

Military

The military of the Teutonic Order is larger than expected based upon the state's size, similar to that of the Knights Hospitaller, due to it's being a military order, the army and navy of which are primarily made up of Crusaders, typically volunteers and, depending upon their rank, their retinues from across the Catholic world.

Culture

The culture of the Teutonic Order is very strongly German, due to the majority of it's members being German and it's location near the primarily-German Holy Roman Empire, and because of this German symbols and names such as von Hohenzollern, von Sachsen and von Habsburg would be nothing out of the ordinary in Teutonic Prussia, making them something of a "Little Germany", or "Germania Minor", with the Holy Roman Empire representing the equivalent "Germania Major".

Foreign/Diplomatic Relations

  • Muscovy: Alliance
  • Brandenburg: Alliance
  • Poland-Lithuania: Polish-Lithuanian Opinion of Teutonic Knights: -200 (Desires your provinces)
  • Teutonic Knights: Teutonic Opinion of Poland-Lithuania: -200 (Desires your provinces)
  • Ostland/Terra Mariana: Alliance
  • Saxony: Trade Agreement
  • Sweden: Alliance & Trade Agreement
  • Hungary: Alliance & Trade Agreement

To Do List

  • Stop Poland from removing Kebab
  • Help out Moscow friends
  • Form Prussia
  • Join Holy Roman Empire
  • Meet Martin Luther

Footnotes

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