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Teutonic Knights: A Military History

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  90 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The Teutonic knights were powerful and ferocious advocates of holy war. Their history is suffused with crusading, campaigning and struggle. Feared by their enemies but respected by medieval Christendom, the knights and their Order maintained a firm hold over the Baltic and northern Germany and established a formidable regime which flourished across central Europe for 300 y ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 2nd 2006 by Greenhill Books (first published 2003)
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Not as engaging or interesting as some of the histories of the Knights Templer or Knights Hospitaller. The focus more on the military aspect makes sense, as unlike the other orders the Teutonic Knights were in near continuous warfare on crusades against pagans in Eastern Europe. In a sense, it became a 'safe' crusade, offering the noble pursuit of chivalry, a code of behavior taken to ever more romanticized and unrealistic heights. Despite it being a book on the Knights, the situation's complexi ...more
William  Shep
Urban, an expert in Baltic and east european history, has given us a comprehensive account of the rise and fall of a great military order. Most importantly, he has convincingly demostrated that the Teutonic Knights, or more accurately the German Order, was a Roman Catholic organization, like many others, dedicated to helping the sick and advancing Christianity via the crusade and not some kind of twisted forerunner of Nazi Germany. He takes generations of historians and political leaders to task ...more
I applaud the author's knowledge of this period. His comments on the period in general and the Battle of Tannenberg in particular are interesting and insightful, however, like many military history books, a good deal of "The Teutonic Knights" defaults to an endless list of names, places and dates that become incomprehensible after a time. The style of writing is straight forward, and while the author tries to fill out the personalities with background information, it ultimately fails because of ...more
Andrew Davis
Very well balanced. Presents Teutonic Knights within wider perspective of their goals and historical surroundings in the Eastern Europe. Covers a lot of material within a small volume. It does require additional references to follow up the discussion.
The closing sentence best represents the tenor of the book. "Above all, we should remember that historians who simplify the complexity of the past too much do a disservice to future generations who must live with the impressions their work makes on
This book is an exploration of a fascinating perod of history, whereby mainly German crusaders brought christianity to the eastern fringes of Europe. The impact of these events have echoed down the centuries and strands of the teutonic knights story are still relevant today (and were even more so prior to the forced resettlements after WW2)

I liked this book, though I must say that the style is less fluent that I would have wished. Sometimes it just seemed to be a recitation of dates, people and
A Good read over a little covered part of history (in the USA) it helps make sence of the Baltic region and why the USSR thought the region was theirs. Also why there are so many german names in countries you would think were Slavic
A good workmanlike study of the most fascinating military organization this side of the French Foreign Legion or perhaps the United States Marine Corps.
Probably the most authoritative book (in English) on the Order. Not as easy to read as the Northern Crusades.
'tis not an objective historical account Urban
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