M217 - Chevalier teutonique, XIIIe
EK Castings - M217 - Teutonic Knight - XIIIe
The Teutonic or German spiritual and knightly Order was formed on the basis of St. Mary of the Teutonic Hospital in Palestine. The Order of Orders divided its members into knights, priests and sergeants. Members of the Order were required to take a vow of poverty, celibacy and obedience. The robe of the knights was a white cloak with a black cross.
In 1230 the Teutonic Order, convinced of the futility of the struggle in Palestine, transferred its main activity to the north-east of Europe. Here the Order actively engaged in the seizure of lands and the conquest of local pagan tribes of Prussians and Lithuanians. In 1237, the German Order of Sword-bearers that existed in the Baltics merged with the Teutonic Order, forming the Livonian Landmastership. Former Knights-swordsmen, under pain of expulsion from the Order, had to wear Teutonic symbols. The military doctrine of the Order was based on the planned capture of territories with the construction of strongholds - fortresses and castles. The main striking force of the Order was the heavy cavalry cavalry. The attacking construction is a wedge, formed by several ranks of horsemen. In the front line stood five to ten knights. In each subsequent rank the number of soldiers increased by two. The depth of construction reached five to seven rows. From the rear, the wedge was complemented by a rectangular column of several dozen rows. The outer sides of the wedge were formed by selected knights in the best outfit.
In 1240-42 the Knights of the Livonian Order attempted to capture the Pskov and Novgorod lands, but in the battle of Lake Peipsi they suffered a crushing defeat from the troops of the Novgorod prince Alexander Nevsky. By 1283, the Order was succeeded by the destruction or forced Germanization and Christianization of the local population to create a powerful order state in the Baltic region between the Vistula and the Neman.