History Main / TheTeutonicKnights

19th Apr '13 4:55:34 AM Frank75
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19th Apr '13 4:53:54 AM Frank75
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[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TheTeutonicKnights_6684.jpg]]

->''Throughout the history of the ''Deutschritter'' the German genius is very evident, [[DichterAndDenker romantic idealism]] implemented with [[KnightTemplar utter ruthlessness]].''
-->--Desmond Seward, ''[[WarriorMonk The Monks of War]]''

The ''Deutsche Orden'' (Latin, ''Ordo domus Sanctæ Mariæ Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum'' (OT) or the "Order of the House of St. Mary of the Germans in Jerusalem") is a Roman Catholic religious order, more commonly known as "'''The Teutonic Knights'''." Traditionally founded ''c.'' 1190 A.D. by merchants from Bremen and Lübeck in Acre as a hospital service for Germans in the Holy Land, by 1198 it imitated the older crusading orders, the [[TheKnightsHospitallers Hospitallers]] and [[TheKnightsTemplar Templars]], in acquiring knightly brothers whose original mission was to protect pilgrims, but who soon expanded their activities to include military actions against Muslim enemies of the Crusading states. Like the Templars, whose rule they substantially adopted, they wore as their habit a white mantle with a cross, but a black rather than a red one. (It would be some time before the form was standardized into the ''Tatzenkreuz''‟ or "Cross patée" version borne today;)

After the decline of the Crusader States in [[TheHighMiddleAges the early thirteenth century]], they sought other fields of operation. Under the most important of the early Grand Masters (''Hochmeister''‟, literally "High Master"), Hermann von Salza (1209-1239), a [[TheSixteenLandsOfDeutschland Thuringian]] knight who was a favorite of both [[ThePope Pope Gregory IX]] and of the [[HolyRomanEmpire Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II]], the Order expanded first into the so-called ''Burzenland''‟ of Transylvania, and then, after their expulsion therefrom by the King of Hungary, into the Baltic area at the request of Conrad, Duke of Masovia, to crusade against the heathen ''Pruzzi'' (a people speaking a now-extinct language related to Lithuanian and Latvian) -- after Hermann had carefully made sure that all lands conquered by the Order were to be administered by it. This was the foundation of the so-called ''Ordensstaat''‟ (or "Order-state"). After the fall of Acre in 1291, the Grand Masters moved their residence first to Venice, and then in 1309 to the Marienburg (now ''Malbork'' in Poland).

The Livonian Brothers of the Sword were an originally unrelated crusading group, but were eventually absorbed into the Teutonic Knights as the Livonian Order. Consequently this article (like many others) tends to lump them in together, but an important distinction is that the Livonian Order ruled the northern territory of Latvia-Estonia, whereas the Teutonic Knights controlled East and West Prussia -- conquering Lithuania would have united the two. ThePope turned the Knights' attention to fighting not just the pagan Lithuanians, but also the Russian "schismatics" (hence their appearance as [[{{Expy}} stand-ins]] for the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] in Creator/SergeiEisenstein's ''Film/AlexanderNevsky'').

As the various Prussian tribes were conquered, the Order settled the land with German colonists, developing a powerful and sophisticated civilization outside the borders of the HolyRomanEmpire (though at least at first under nominal suzerainty of the Emperor), which was controlled wholly by the representative of the Order in each particular territory -- the ''Landmeister''‟) and gradually integrating the natives into it. After the conquest of Prussia had been completed, the Order expanded eastward, throughout [[TheLateMiddleAges the 14th and 15th centuries]] -- or at least tried to.

The very success of the Order brought about its downfall. Having substantially converted the heathen populace of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, they came into jurisdictional conflict with the now converted natives, particularly after 1386, when Jogaila, the leader of the Lithuanians, was baptized and became the Christian King Władysław Jagiello of Poland. Recriminations and open warfare between the Order and the Poles were the result, with the latter gradually gaining the upper hand. The defeat in the battle of Grunwald (German name: Tannenberg, 15 July, 1410) and a rebellion by the local nobility and cities aided by a Polish intervention (1455-1466) resulted in the Order sustaining large territorial losses and having to accept Polish suzerainty over the part of East Prussia they retained. Due to the loss of Marienburg, the Order had to move its residence to Königsberg (modern Kaliningrad).

The worst challenge to the Order, however, came with the Protestant Reformation. In 1525, the Grand Master, Albert of Brandenburg, having converted to Lutheranism, repudiated his vows and seized upon the lands of the Order, doing homage for them to his uncle, King Sigismund I of Poland, and making himself the first Duke of {{Prussia}}. Many of the knightly brethren followed suit, while others remained faithful to Catholicism. The Grand Mastership thereafter reverted to the ''Landmaster'' within the Kingdom of Germany, who became known as the ''Hoch- und Deutschmeister''‟ thenceforth.

Outside Germany, the Kingdom of {{Prussia}} is often seen as a direct successor of the Order State, which overlooks that after Reformation the the Duchy became an unremarkable principality, that the nucleus of what became the Kingdom of Prussia lay in Brandenburg (the kingdom was named "Prussia", because it was inherited by the rulers of Brandenburg in the 17th century and lay outside the borders of the Holy Roman Empire, which allowed the Margrave of Brandenburg to declare himself "King in Prussia"). "Prussian militarism" also only came about as a consequence of the devastation of the country during the ThirtyYearsWar; up until then Brandenburg and Prussia had actually been less militaristic than some of its neighbors, most notably Sweden and Bavaria.

From the time of the Reformation to the end of World War I, the Teutonic Order was largely a preserve of the Habsburg monarchy. Notable (and generally temporary) Grand Masters would include the Archduke Maximillian III of Austria, Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria, and Archduke Charles of Austria-Teschen. After the abdication of the last [[HolyRomanEmpire Holy Roman Emperor]], many of the holdings of the Order in Germany were seized by Napoleon and his allies, though some were regained after his fall in 1815, particularly in lands ruled by the Habsburgs. After the fall of the Austrian monarchy, Archduke Eugene of Austria-Teschen, in order to preserve the Order, resigned his position as the last secular ''Hoch- und Deutschmeister''‟ and reconstituted it as a purely religious body, rededicating it to its original purpose of hospital work. In this form, the Teutonic Order has survived up to the present day, though its crusading days are long over.

The Teutonic Knights, who were actually an organization dedicated to conversion rather than colonization (even if they did mix the two together), were later appropriated by the most radical of German nationalists as representatives of the fabled ''Drang nach Osten''‟ ("Drive to the East"). (Note that in some older works, this is [[ValuesDissonance actually viewed as a positive characterization]].) This has led to the real Teutonic Knights, nasty people as they may have been, like most mediæval warriors, being subjected to a HistoricalVillainUpgrade or worse, as an example showing that AllGermansAreNazis.

----

!!Tropes Associated With The Teutonic Knights

* BigBadassBattleSequence: The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Grunwald Battle of Grunwald (a.k.a. Battle of Tannenberg)]] in 1410, in which the Teutonic Knights were defeated by the allied Poles and Lithuanians, was one of the largest battles of the European Middle Ages.
* ChurchMilitant: Among the trope codifiers.
* FalseFriend: The nations opposing the Knights tend to remember them as such. Theirs' and the Knights' versions of the same deals not matching each other and stuff.
* FeudalOverlord: Of course.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Almost everywhere east of the [[IstanbulNotConstantinople Oder/Odra]] river they're known as some variety of ''the Cross-Bearers'', i. e. "Crusaders".
** In Russia and some other post-Soviet states, they are also known under the moniker "Dog-knights" (Псы-рыцари). This name springs from JosephStalin failing his history lessons and not recognizing a typo when the German word "Rittersbunde" (knight unions) was mistyped as "Rittershunde" (broken: knight dogs). Everyone in the USSR repeated the same mistake after him.
* {{Expy}}: As explained above, they are frequently used, after Eisenstein, as [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Nazis By Another Name]].
** NoSwastikas: They are partially responsible for Eisenkreuz, the substitution.
* FacelessGoons: Like most later knights, they had concealing headgear, used to invoke SpikesOfVillainy by Eisenstein.
* KnightInShiningArmor: Or not. (Generally more of a TinTyrant.)
* KnightTemplar: Possibly a better example than the trope namer.
* PuttingOnTheReich: The Nazis stole some of their imagery, such as a stark black-and-white cross, leading to OlderThanTheyThink. Eisenstein also put their foot-soldiers in rather WorldWarI-looking helmets.
* TheSoundOfMartialMusic: After the mastership of the Knights became a Habsburg preserve, one of its most senior regiments (Infantry Regiment No. 4) traditionally had the master as its colonel-in-chief and was thus named the ''Hoch- und Deutschmeister''‟ (famous particularly for its band). The name was later continued to be used for tradition's sake by various formations of the two Austrian republics (and the Wehrmacht) to this day. Moreover, the very last secular ''Hochmeister'' of the ''Deutscher Orden'', Archduke Eugen von Österreich-Teschen, was a field marshal of the Royal-and-Imperial army
** During the reign of Wilhelm II, there were some attempts to revive the traditions of the Teutonic Knights in Prussia, leading to the formation of the ''Deutsch-Ordens-Infanterie-Regiment'' Nr. 152 in 1897 and the field artillery regiments ''Groß-Komtur'' (Nr. 71) and ''Hochmeister'' (Nr. 72) in 1899.
* WarriorMonk: A rare western example.

----

!!Works Associated With The Teutonic Knights:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* On ''AxisPowersHetalia'' the [[MoeAnthropomorphism character]] {{Prussia}} ''was'' the Teutonic Order before becoming Brandenburg-Prussia. At least one strip shows him and several Teutonic Knights in battle with Poland. He "grows up" having gained Baltic territory -- his child-form interacts with Hungary and gallivants around the Burzenland.
* ''FirstSquad'' borrows its ghostly German knights from ''Alexander Nevsky'', so there's probably some Teutonic influence in there.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Thurim in RequiemChevalierVampire used to be one, though he was already evil then.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Commercials]]
* This Russian [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3ExQkVFGJw&feature=rec-LGOUT-exp_stronger_r2-2r-7-HM TV commercial]], re-imagining the Battle of Lake Peipus.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA5f1iUmvzU A Polish beer commercial]], featuring the preliminaries of the Battle of Grunwald, with a somewhat brighter end for the Knights.
* And a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUvX50OAOJM&feature=related Lithuanian vodka commercial]], also featuring the Battle of Grunwald.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/AlexanderNevsky'' is a film by Creator/SergeiEisenstein (which ironically is just the sort of surname you'd expect one of the Knights to have). Wildly historically inaccurate, especially since it was created in Russia during the Stalinist era, it is also full of Soviet propaganda (The Knights' helmets even resemble those of 20th century German soldiers). It nevertheless has dominated the contemporary conception of the Teutonic Order, and is a damn fine film.
** In the novel ''RedStormRising'', this film is shown on Russian TV shortly before the main FalseFlagOperation (detonating a bomb at the Kremlin and blaming WestGermany).
* The 1960 film adaptation of Henryk Sienkiewicz's ''Krzyżacy''. (''See'' {{Literature}},'' below''.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Henryk Sienkiewicz's ''Krzyżacy'' (''Literature/TheKnightsOfTheCross''). The Teutonic Knights are (almost to the last man) AlwaysChaoticEvil stand-in for Germans, Poles are all noble and brave, and there is [[MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch a decent guest of the Order]] who is there to be repulsed by how the Knights turn out to be. In case you haven't already guessed, it was written around the time when UsefulNotes/{{Poland}} was being ruled by the [[TheSoundOfMartialMusic Austrians]] and [[{{Prussia}} Prussians]] ([[AndZoidberg and the]] [[ImperialRussia Russians]]).
* ''Literature/{{Wolfbreed}}'' has them raising werewolves as [[SuperSoldier super soldiers]] at first. When that doesn't work out they move onto Plan B: KillThemAll.
* James A. Michener's ''Poland'' devotes one chapter to a [[ShownTheirWork very detailed]] retelling of the [[CurbStompBattle Battle of Grunwald.]]
* Teutonic Knights and their relationship with the Lithuanians form the central theme of Adam Mickiewicz's epic poem ''Konrad Wallenrod''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* The Russian heavy metal band ''Ariya'' has a song about the Battle of Lake Peipus, called ''The Ballad of the Ancient Russian Warrior''. The song describes the events in a quite supernatural light, with weeping icons, Hell promising help to the Grand Master, and the titular warrior still lingering on the lake shores as a ghost.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]

* {{Warhammer}}: Inner Circle Knights of the Empire. They even sport the same insignia - black cross on white.
* In TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} the Black Templars are some kind of futuristic Teutonic Order. They are dressed in black and white with crosses of the same color. They love to fight with [[{{BFS}} Swords]], have sometimes altered, more mediæval looking helmets and are very fanatic. One of their High Marshals is called "Sigismund" and they've got other [[AsLongAsItSoundsForeign German names]] like "Gervhart" or "Helbrecht." Even among the other Space Marines they're the best example of {{Warrior Monk}}s.
* [[TabletopGame/{{Infinity}} Pan Oceania]] has [[RecycledinSPACE recreated]] this and other [[ChurchMilitant knightly orders]] as elite crack teams. The Teutonic Order is known for being particularly [[BloodKnight brutal]] close up, even in a game which focuses on ranged combat.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the ''Kingdoms'' expansion of [[TotalWar Medieval 2: Total War]], the Teutonic Order is a full-fledged faction in one of the campaigns. They definitely follow Eisenstein's portrayal of the Order, with their most powerful units, the ''Ritterbrüder'', wearing scary looking armor and their sole presence frightening nearby enemy units.
* The Teutons are a playable faction in ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII''. Teutonic Knights are their faction-specific unit.
** And they kick ass in melee combat. They'll get destroyed by archers, though.
* ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' has them -- even though all of the major targets, Muslim and Christian, are actually secret Templars. They can be found harassing street people in German, as opposed to the French spouted by Hospitallers.
* The Teutonic Order appears in ''CrusaderKings'' when the player starts fighting the Baltic pagans, but isn't a playable nation.
* It also appears in ''EuropaUniversalis'', in which it ''is'' a playable nation and one of the more popular. The Livonian brothers are vassals and allies of the Teutonic Order.
** It's also possible that if you play long enough, the option becomes available to become {{Prussia}}.
* Medic's Polycount Set in VideoGame/TeamFortress2 makes him into one of these, comprised of a helmet, a HealingShiv crossbow, and a bonesaw with a Taunt effect similar to the Buff Banner. It's either a play on his German heritage and/or a reference to his KnightInSourArmor attitude towards his job.
* The Teutonic Knights appear in the ''RedAlert3Paradox'' mod as part of the Order of the Talon along with the KnightsTemplar and TheKnightsHospitallers, and specifically are represented by the Chevalier unit. In the Paradox timeline, the Teutonic Knights were virtually extinct until Talon heroine Lady Maria revived them as an AmazonBrigade comprised of her handpicked students.
* They are featured as one of the best armored swordsman units in ''KnightsOfHonor'', but are only limited available to Catholic nations ruling specific provinces.
[[/folder]]

----


to:

[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TheTeutonicKnights_6684.jpg]]

->''Throughout the history of the ''Deutschritter'' the German genius is very evident, [[DichterAndDenker romantic idealism]] implemented with [[KnightTemplar utter ruthlessness]].''
-->--Desmond Seward, ''[[WarriorMonk The Monks of War]]''

The ''Deutsche Orden'' (Latin, ''Ordo domus Sanctæ Mariæ Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum'' (OT) or the "Order of the House of St. Mary of the Germans in Jerusalem") is a Roman Catholic religious order, more commonly known as "'''The Teutonic Knights'''." Traditionally founded ''c.'' 1190 A.D. by merchants from Bremen and Lübeck in Acre as a hospital service for Germans in the Holy Land, by 1198 it imitated the older crusading orders, the [[TheKnightsHospitallers Hospitallers]] and [[TheKnightsTemplar Templars]], in acquiring knightly brothers whose original mission was to protect pilgrims, but who soon expanded their activities to include military actions against Muslim enemies of the Crusading states. Like the Templars, whose rule they substantially adopted, they wore as their habit a white mantle with a cross, but a black rather than a red one. (It would be some time before the form was standardized into the ''Tatzenkreuz''‟ or "Cross patée" version borne today;)

After the decline of the Crusader States in [[TheHighMiddleAges the early thirteenth century]], they sought other fields of operation. Under the most important of the early Grand Masters (''Hochmeister''‟, literally "High Master"), Hermann von Salza (1209-1239), a [[TheSixteenLandsOfDeutschland Thuringian]] knight who was a favorite of both [[ThePope Pope Gregory IX]] and of the [[HolyRomanEmpire Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II]], the Order expanded first into the so-called ''Burzenland''‟ of Transylvania, and then, after their expulsion therefrom by the King of Hungary, into the Baltic area at the request of Conrad, Duke of Masovia, to crusade against the heathen ''Pruzzi'' (a people speaking a now-extinct language related to Lithuanian and Latvian) -- after Hermann had carefully made sure that all lands conquered by the Order were to be administered by it. This was the foundation of the so-called ''Ordensstaat''‟ (or "Order-state"). After the fall of Acre in 1291, the Grand Masters moved their residence first to Venice, and then in 1309 to the Marienburg (now ''Malbork'' in Poland).

The Livonian Brothers of the Sword were an originally unrelated crusading group, but were eventually absorbed into the Teutonic Knights as the Livonian Order. Consequently this article (like many others) tends to lump them in together, but an important distinction is that the Livonian Order ruled the northern territory of Latvia-Estonia, whereas the Teutonic Knights controlled East and West Prussia -- conquering Lithuania would have united the two. ThePope turned the Knights' attention to fighting not just the pagan Lithuanians, but also the Russian "schismatics" (hence their appearance as [[{{Expy}} stand-ins]] for the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] in Creator/SergeiEisenstein's ''Film/AlexanderNevsky'').

As the various Prussian tribes were conquered, the Order settled the land with German colonists, developing a powerful and sophisticated civilization outside the borders of the HolyRomanEmpire (though at least at first under nominal suzerainty of the Emperor), which was controlled wholly by the representative of the Order in each particular territory -- the ''Landmeister''‟) and gradually integrating the natives into it. After the conquest of Prussia had been completed, the Order expanded eastward, throughout [[TheLateMiddleAges the 14th and 15th centuries]] -- or at least tried to.

The very success of the Order brought about its downfall. Having substantially converted the heathen populace of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, they came into jurisdictional conflict with the now converted natives, particularly after 1386, when Jogaila, the leader of the Lithuanians, was baptized and became the Christian King Władysław Jagiello of Poland. Recriminations and open warfare between the Order and the Poles were the result, with the latter gradually gaining the upper hand. The defeat in the battle of Grunwald (German name: Tannenberg, 15 July, 1410) and a rebellion by the local nobility and cities aided by a Polish intervention (1455-1466) resulted in the Order sustaining large territorial losses and having to accept Polish suzerainty over the part of East Prussia they retained. Due to the loss of Marienburg, the Order had to move its residence to Königsberg (modern Kaliningrad).

The worst challenge to the Order, however, came with the Protestant Reformation. In 1525, the Grand Master, Albert of Brandenburg, having converted to Lutheranism, repudiated his vows and seized upon the lands of the Order, doing homage for them to his uncle, King Sigismund I of Poland, and making himself the first Duke of {{Prussia}}. Many of the knightly brethren followed suit, while others remained faithful to Catholicism. The Grand Mastership thereafter reverted to the ''Landmaster'' within the Kingdom of Germany, who became known as the ''Hoch- und Deutschmeister''‟ thenceforth.

Outside Germany, the Kingdom of {{Prussia}} is often seen as a direct successor of the Order State, which overlooks that after Reformation the the Duchy became an unremarkable principality, that the nucleus of what became the Kingdom of Prussia lay in Brandenburg (the kingdom was named "Prussia", because it was inherited by the rulers of Brandenburg in the 17th century and lay outside the borders of the Holy Roman Empire, which allowed the Margrave of Brandenburg to declare himself "King in Prussia"). "Prussian militarism" also only came about as a consequence of the devastation of the country during the ThirtyYearsWar; up until then Brandenburg and Prussia had actually been less militaristic than some of its neighbors, most notably Sweden and Bavaria.

From the time of the Reformation to the end of World War I, the Teutonic Order was largely a preserve of the Habsburg monarchy. Notable (and generally temporary) Grand Masters would include the Archduke Maximillian III of Austria, Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria, and Archduke Charles of Austria-Teschen. After the abdication of the last [[HolyRomanEmpire Holy Roman Emperor]], many of the holdings of the Order in Germany were seized by Napoleon and his allies, though some were regained after his fall in 1815, particularly in lands ruled by the Habsburgs. After the fall of the Austrian monarchy, Archduke Eugene of Austria-Teschen, in order to preserve the Order, resigned his position as the last secular ''Hoch- und Deutschmeister''‟ and reconstituted it as a purely religious body, rededicating it to its original purpose of hospital work. In this form, the Teutonic Order has survived up to the present day, though its crusading days are long over.

The Teutonic Knights, who were actually an organization dedicated to conversion rather than colonization (even if they did mix the two together), were later appropriated by the most radical of German nationalists as representatives of the fabled ''Drang nach Osten''‟ ("Drive to the East"). (Note that in some older works, this is [[ValuesDissonance actually viewed as a positive characterization]].) This has led to the real Teutonic Knights, nasty people as they may have been, like most mediæval warriors, being subjected to a HistoricalVillainUpgrade or worse, as an example showing that AllGermansAreNazis.

----

!!Tropes Associated With The Teutonic Knights

* BigBadassBattleSequence: The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Grunwald Battle of Grunwald (a.k.a. Battle of Tannenberg)]] in 1410, in which the Teutonic Knights were defeated by the allied Poles and Lithuanians, was one of the largest battles of the European Middle Ages.
* ChurchMilitant: Among the trope codifiers.
* FalseFriend: The nations opposing the Knights tend to remember them as such. Theirs' and the Knights' versions of the same deals not matching each other and stuff.
* FeudalOverlord: Of course.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Almost everywhere east of the [[IstanbulNotConstantinople Oder/Odra]] river they're known as some variety of ''the Cross-Bearers'', i. e. "Crusaders".
** In Russia and some other post-Soviet states, they are also known under the moniker "Dog-knights" (Псы-рыцари). This name springs from JosephStalin failing his history lessons and not recognizing a typo when the German word "Rittersbunde" (knight unions) was mistyped as "Rittershunde" (broken: knight dogs). Everyone in the USSR repeated the same mistake after him.
* {{Expy}}: As explained above, they are frequently used, after Eisenstein, as [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Nazis By Another Name]].
** NoSwastikas: They are partially responsible for Eisenkreuz, the substitution.
* FacelessGoons: Like most later knights, they had concealing headgear, used to invoke SpikesOfVillainy by Eisenstein.
* KnightInShiningArmor: Or not. (Generally more of a TinTyrant.)
* KnightTemplar: Possibly a better example than the trope namer.
* PuttingOnTheReich: The Nazis stole some of their imagery, such as a stark black-and-white cross, leading to OlderThanTheyThink. Eisenstein also put their foot-soldiers in rather WorldWarI-looking helmets.
* TheSoundOfMartialMusic: After the mastership of the Knights became a Habsburg preserve, one of its most senior regiments (Infantry Regiment No. 4) traditionally had the master as its colonel-in-chief and was thus named the ''Hoch- und Deutschmeister''‟ (famous particularly for its band). The name was later continued to be used for tradition's sake by various formations of the two Austrian republics (and the Wehrmacht) to this day. Moreover, the very last secular ''Hochmeister'' of the ''Deutscher Orden'', Archduke Eugen von Österreich-Teschen, was a field marshal of the Royal-and-Imperial army
** During the reign of Wilhelm II, there were some attempts to revive the traditions of the Teutonic Knights in Prussia, leading to the formation of the ''Deutsch-Ordens-Infanterie-Regiment'' Nr. 152 in 1897 and the field artillery regiments ''Groß-Komtur'' (Nr. 71) and ''Hochmeister'' (Nr. 72) in 1899.
* WarriorMonk: A rare western example.

----

!!Works Associated With The Teutonic Knights:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* On ''AxisPowersHetalia'' the [[MoeAnthropomorphism character]] {{Prussia}} ''was'' the Teutonic Order before becoming Brandenburg-Prussia. At least one strip shows him and several Teutonic Knights in battle with Poland. He "grows up" having gained Baltic territory -- his child-form interacts with Hungary and gallivants around the Burzenland.
* ''FirstSquad'' borrows its ghostly German knights from ''Alexander Nevsky'', so there's probably some Teutonic influence in there.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Thurim in RequiemChevalierVampire used to be one, though he was already evil then.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Commercials]]
* This Russian [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3ExQkVFGJw&feature=rec-LGOUT-exp_stronger_r2-2r-7-HM TV commercial]], re-imagining the Battle of Lake Peipus.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA5f1iUmvzU A Polish beer commercial]], featuring the preliminaries of the Battle of Grunwald, with a somewhat brighter end for the Knights.
* And a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUvX50OAOJM&feature=related Lithuanian vodka commercial]], also featuring the Battle of Grunwald.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/AlexanderNevsky'' is a film by Creator/SergeiEisenstein (which ironically is just the sort of surname you'd expect one of the Knights to have). Wildly historically inaccurate, especially since it was created in Russia during the Stalinist era, it is also full of Soviet propaganda (The Knights' helmets even resemble those of 20th century German soldiers). It nevertheless has dominated the contemporary conception of the Teutonic Order, and is a damn fine film.
** In the novel ''RedStormRising'', this film is shown on Russian TV shortly before the main FalseFlagOperation (detonating a bomb at the Kremlin and blaming WestGermany).
* The 1960 film adaptation of Henryk Sienkiewicz's ''Krzyżacy''. (''See'' {{Literature}},'' below''.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Henryk Sienkiewicz's ''Krzyżacy'' (''Literature/TheKnightsOfTheCross''). The Teutonic Knights are (almost to the last man) AlwaysChaoticEvil stand-in for Germans, Poles are all noble and brave, and there is [[MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch a decent guest of the Order]] who is there to be repulsed by how the Knights turn out to be. In case you haven't already guessed, it was written around the time when UsefulNotes/{{Poland}} was being ruled by the [[TheSoundOfMartialMusic Austrians]] and [[{{Prussia}} Prussians]] ([[AndZoidberg and the]] [[ImperialRussia Russians]]).
* ''Literature/{{Wolfbreed}}'' has them raising werewolves as [[SuperSoldier super soldiers]] at first. When that doesn't work out they move onto Plan B: KillThemAll.
* James A. Michener's ''Poland'' devotes one chapter to a [[ShownTheirWork very detailed]] retelling of the [[CurbStompBattle Battle of Grunwald.]]
* Teutonic Knights and their relationship with the Lithuanians form the central theme of Adam Mickiewicz's epic poem ''Konrad Wallenrod''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* The Russian heavy metal band ''Ariya'' has a song about the Battle of Lake Peipus, called ''The Ballad of the Ancient Russian Warrior''. The song describes the events in a quite supernatural light, with weeping icons, Hell promising help to the Grand Master, and the titular warrior still lingering on the lake shores as a ghost.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]

* {{Warhammer}}: Inner Circle Knights of the Empire. They even sport the same insignia - black cross on white.
* In TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} the Black Templars are some kind of futuristic Teutonic Order. They are dressed in black and white with crosses of the same color. They love to fight with [[{{BFS}} Swords]], have sometimes altered, more mediæval looking helmets and are very fanatic. One of their High Marshals is called "Sigismund" and they've got other [[AsLongAsItSoundsForeign German names]] like "Gervhart" or "Helbrecht." Even among the other Space Marines they're the best example of {{Warrior Monk}}s.
* [[TabletopGame/{{Infinity}} Pan Oceania]] has [[RecycledinSPACE recreated]] this and other [[ChurchMilitant knightly orders]] as elite crack teams. The Teutonic Order is known for being particularly [[BloodKnight brutal]] close up, even in a game which focuses on ranged combat.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the ''Kingdoms'' expansion of [[TotalWar Medieval 2: Total War]], the Teutonic Order is a full-fledged faction in one of the campaigns. They definitely follow Eisenstein's portrayal of the Order, with their most powerful units, the ''Ritterbrüder'', wearing scary looking armor and their sole presence frightening nearby enemy units.
* The Teutons are a playable faction in ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII''. Teutonic Knights are their faction-specific unit.
** And they kick ass in melee combat. They'll get destroyed by archers, though.
* ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' has them -- even though all of the major targets, Muslim and Christian, are actually secret Templars. They can be found harassing street people in German, as opposed to the French spouted by Hospitallers.
* The Teutonic Order appears in ''CrusaderKings'' when the player starts fighting the Baltic pagans, but isn't a playable nation.
* It also appears in ''EuropaUniversalis'', in which it ''is'' a playable nation and one of the more popular. The Livonian brothers are vassals and allies of the Teutonic Order.
** It's also possible that if you play long enough, the option becomes available to become {{Prussia}}.
* Medic's Polycount Set in VideoGame/TeamFortress2 makes him into one of these, comprised of a helmet, a HealingShiv crossbow, and a bonesaw with a Taunt effect similar to the Buff Banner. It's either a play on his German heritage and/or a reference to his KnightInSourArmor attitude towards his job.
* The Teutonic Knights appear in the ''RedAlert3Paradox'' mod as part of the Order of the Talon along with the KnightsTemplar and TheKnightsHospitallers, and specifically are represented by the Chevalier unit. In the Paradox timeline, the Teutonic Knights were virtually extinct until Talon heroine Lady Maria revived them as an AmazonBrigade comprised of her handpicked students.
* They are featured as one of the best armored swordsman units in ''KnightsOfHonor'', but are only limited available to Catholic nations ruling specific provinces.
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[[redirect:UsefulNotes/TheTeutonicKnights]]
24th Mar '13 8:04:33 PM Xtifr
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* ''WolfBreed'' has them raising werewolves as [[SuperSoldier super soldiers]] at first. When that doesn't work out they move onto Plan B: KillThemAll.

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* ''WolfBreed'' ''Literature/{{Wolfbreed}}'' has them raising werewolves as [[SuperSoldier super soldiers]] at first. When that doesn't work out they move onto Plan B: KillThemAll.
20th Mar '13 11:43:38 AM h27kim
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Added DiffLines:

* Teutonic Knights and their relationship with the Lithuanians form the central theme of Adam Mickiewicz's epic poem ''Konrad Wallenrod''.
27th Jan '13 9:08:54 AM lordGacek
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* Henryk Sienkiewicz's ''Krzyżacy'' (''Literature/TheKnightsOfTheCross''). The Teutonic Knights are (almost to the last man) AlwaysChaoticEvil stand-in for Germans, Poles are all noble and brave, and there is [[MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch a decent guest of the Order]] who is there to be repulsed by how the Knights turn out to be. In case you haven't already guessed, it was written around the time when UsefulNotes/{{Poland}} was being ruled by the [[TheSoundOfMartialMusic Austrians]] and [[{{Prussia}} Prussians]] (and the [[ImperialRussia Russians]]).

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* Henryk Sienkiewicz's ''Krzyżacy'' (''Literature/TheKnightsOfTheCross''). The Teutonic Knights are (almost to the last man) AlwaysChaoticEvil stand-in for Germans, Poles are all noble and brave, and there is [[MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch a decent guest of the Order]] who is there to be repulsed by how the Knights turn out to be. In case you haven't already guessed, it was written around the time when UsefulNotes/{{Poland}} was being ruled by the [[TheSoundOfMartialMusic Austrians]] and [[{{Prussia}} Prussians]] (and the ([[AndZoidberg and the]] [[ImperialRussia Russians]]).
26th Dec '12 3:05:31 AM Menshevik
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The worst challenge to the Order, however, came with the Protestant Reformation. In 1525, the Grand Master, Albert of Brandenburg, having converted to Lutheranism, repudiated his vows and seized upon the lands of the Order, doing homage for them to his uncle, King Sigismund I of Poland, and making himself the first Duke of {{Prussia}}. Many of the knightly brethren followed suit, while others remained faithful to Catholicism. The Grand Mastership thereafter reverted to the ''Landmaster'' within the Kingdom of Germany, who became known as the ''Hoch-und-Deutschmeister''‟ thenceforth.

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The worst challenge to the Order, however, came with the Protestant Reformation. In 1525, the Grand Master, Albert of Brandenburg, having converted to Lutheranism, repudiated his vows and seized upon the lands of the Order, doing homage for them to his uncle, King Sigismund I of Poland, and making himself the first Duke of {{Prussia}}. Many of the knightly brethren followed suit, while others remained faithful to Catholicism. The Grand Mastership thereafter reverted to the ''Landmaster'' within the Kingdom of Germany, who became known as the ''Hoch-und-Deutschmeister''‟ ''Hoch- und Deutschmeister''‟ thenceforth.



From the time of the Reformation to the end of World War I, the Teutonic Order was largely a preserve of the Habsburg monarchy. Notable (and generally temporary) Grand Masters would include the Archduke Maximillian III of Austria, Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria, and Archduke Charles of Austria-Teschen. After the abdication of the last [[HolyRomanEmpire Holy Roman Emperor]], many of the holdings of the Order in Germany were seized by Napoleon and his allies, though some were regained after his fall in 1815, particularly in lands ruled by the Habsburgs. After the fall of the Austrian monarchy, Archduke Eugene of Austria-Teschen, in order to preserve the Order, resigned his position as the last secular ''Hoch-und-Deutschmeister''‟ and reconstituted it as a purely religious body, rededicating it to its original purpose of hospital work. In this form, the Teutonic Order has survived up to the present day, though its crusading days are long over.

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From the time of the Reformation to the end of World War I, the Teutonic Order was largely a preserve of the Habsburg monarchy. Notable (and generally temporary) Grand Masters would include the Archduke Maximillian III of Austria, Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria, and Archduke Charles of Austria-Teschen. After the abdication of the last [[HolyRomanEmpire Holy Roman Emperor]], many of the holdings of the Order in Germany were seized by Napoleon and his allies, though some were regained after his fall in 1815, particularly in lands ruled by the Habsburgs. After the fall of the Austrian monarchy, Archduke Eugene of Austria-Teschen, in order to preserve the Order, resigned his position as the last secular ''Hoch-und-Deutschmeister''‟ ''Hoch- und Deutschmeister''‟ and reconstituted it as a purely religious body, rededicating it to its original purpose of hospital work. In this form, the Teutonic Order has survived up to the present day, though its crusading days are long over.



* TheSoundOfMartialMusic: After the mastership of the Knights became a Habsburg preserve, one of its most senior regiments (Infantry Regiment No. 4) traditionally had the master as its colonel-in-chief and was thus named the ''Hoch-und-Deutschmeister''‟ (famous particularly for its band). The name was later continued to be used for tradition's sake by various formations of the two Austrian republics (and the Wehrmacht) to this day. Moreover, the very last secular ''Hochmeister'' of the ''Deutscher Orden'', Archduke Eugen von Österreich-Teschen, was a field marshal of the Royal-and-Imperial army

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* TheSoundOfMartialMusic: After the mastership of the Knights became a Habsburg preserve, one of its most senior regiments (Infantry Regiment No. 4) traditionally had the master as its colonel-in-chief and was thus named the ''Hoch-und-Deutschmeister''‟ ''Hoch- und Deutschmeister''‟ (famous particularly for its band). The name was later continued to be used for tradition's sake by various formations of the two Austrian republics (and the Wehrmacht) to this day. Moreover, the very last secular ''Hochmeister'' of the ''Deutscher Orden'', Archduke Eugen von Österreich-Teschen, was a field marshal of the Royal-and-Imperial armyarmy
** During the reign of Wilhelm II, there were some attempts to revive the traditions of the Teutonic Knights in Prussia, leading to the formation of the ''Deutsch-Ordens-Infanterie-Regiment'' Nr. 152 in 1897 and the field artillery regiments ''Groß-Komtur'' (Nr. 71) and ''Hochmeister'' (Nr. 72) in 1899.
26th Dec '12 2:57:58 AM Menshevik
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* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Almost everywhere east of the [[IstanbulNotConstantinople Oder/Odra]] river they're known as some variety of ''the Cross-Bearers''.

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* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Almost everywhere east of the [[IstanbulNotConstantinople Oder/Odra]] river they're known as some variety of ''the Cross-Bearers''.Cross-Bearers'', i. e. "Crusaders".



* PuttingOnTheReich: The Nazis stole some of their imagery, such as a stark black-and-white cross, leading to OlderThanTheyThink. Eisenstein also put them in rather WorldWarII-looking helmets.
* TheSoundOfMartialMusic: After the mastership of the Knights became a Habsburg preserve, a famous regiment, the ''Hoch-und-Deutschmeister''‟, (famous particularly for its band) was established, and exists to this day as part of the Austrian army. Moreover, the very last secular ''Hochmeister'' of the ''Deutscher Orden'', Archduke Eugen von Österreich-Teschen, was a field marshal of the Royal-and-Imperial army

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* PuttingOnTheReich: The Nazis stole some of their imagery, such as a stark black-and-white cross, leading to OlderThanTheyThink. Eisenstein also put them their foot-soldiers in rather WorldWarII-looking WorldWarI-looking helmets.
* TheSoundOfMartialMusic: After the mastership of the Knights became a Habsburg preserve, a famous regiment, one of its most senior regiments (Infantry Regiment No. 4) traditionally had the ''Hoch-und-Deutschmeister''‟, master as its colonel-in-chief and was thus named the ''Hoch-und-Deutschmeister''‟ (famous particularly for its band) band). The name was established, and exists later continued to this day as part be used for tradition's sake by various formations of the two Austrian army.republics (and the Wehrmacht) to this day. Moreover, the very last secular ''Hochmeister'' of the ''Deutscher Orden'', Archduke Eugen von Österreich-Teschen, was a field marshal of the Royal-and-Imperial army
26th Dec '12 2:49:47 AM Menshevik
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Outside Germany, the Kingdom of {{Prussia}} is often seen as a direct successor of the Order State, which overlooks that after Reformation the the Duchy became an unremarkable principality, that the nucleus of what became the Kingdom of Prussia lay in Brandenburg. Being founded and run by knights and soldiers probably had a great deal to do with the later Kingdom of {{Prussia}} becoming a highly militaristic state almost obsessed with duty and loyalty. It also does not come as a big surprise that Prussia was by far the largest and most influential part of Germany when [[ImperialGermany Those Wacky Junkers]] took over some centuries later.

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Outside Germany, the Kingdom of {{Prussia}} is often seen as a direct successor of the Order State, which overlooks that after Reformation the the Duchy became an unremarkable principality, that the nucleus of what became the Kingdom of Prussia lay in Brandenburg. Being founded Brandenburg (the kingdom was named "Prussia", because it was inherited by the rulers of Brandenburg in the 17th century and run by knights lay outside the borders of the Holy Roman Empire, which allowed the Margrave of Brandenburg to declare himself "King in Prussia"). "Prussian militarism" also only came about as a consequence of the devastation of the country during the ThirtyYearsWar; up until then Brandenburg and soldiers probably Prussia had a great deal to do with the later Kingdom of {{Prussia}} becoming a highly actually been less militaristic state almost obsessed with duty and loyalty. It also does not come as a big surprise that Prussia was by far the largest and than some of its neighbors, most influential part of Germany when [[ImperialGermany Those Wacky Junkers]] took over some centuries later.
notably Sweden and Bavaria.
26th Dec '12 2:43:26 AM Menshevik
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The Livonian Brothers of the Sword were an originally unrelated crusading group, but were eventually absorbed into the Teutonic Knights as the Livonian Order. Consequently this article (like many others) tends to lump them in together, but an important distinction is that the Livonian Order ruled the northern territory of Latvia-Estonia, whereas the Teutonic Knights controlled Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) -- conquering Lithuania would have united the two.

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The Livonian Brothers of the Sword were an originally unrelated crusading group, but were eventually absorbed into the Teutonic Knights as the Livonian Order. Consequently this article (like many others) tends to lump them in together, but an important distinction is that the Livonian Order ruled the northern territory of Latvia-Estonia, whereas the Teutonic Knights controlled Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) East and West Prussia -- conquering Lithuania would have united the two.
two. ThePope turned the Knights' attention to fighting not just the pagan Lithuanians, but also the Russian "schismatics" (hence their appearance as [[{{Expy}} stand-ins]] for the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] in Creator/SergeiEisenstein's ''Film/AlexanderNevsky'').



The very success of the Order brought about its downfall. Having substantially converted the heathen populace of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, they came into jurisdictional conflict with the now converted natives, particularly after 1386, when Jogaila, the leader of the Lithuanians, was baptized and became the Christian King Władysław Jagiello of Poland. Recriminations and open warfare between the Order and the Poles were the result, with the latter gradually gaining the upper hand. With warfare between the two Catholic powers sternly discouraged by ThePope, the Knights turned their attention to the Russian "schismatics" (hence their appearance as [[{{Expy}} stand-ins]] for the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] in Creator/SergeiEisenstein's ''Film/AlexanderNevsky''). The Polish wars, however, had gravely weakened the Order's ability to carry on sustained campaigns, and the attempt to expand into Russian territories proved generally unsuccessful.

The worst challenge to the Order, however, came with the Protestant Reformation. In 1525, the Grand Master, Albert of Brandenburg, having converted to Lutheranism, repudiated his vows and seized upon the lands of the Order, doing homage for them to his uncle, King Sigismund I of Poland, and making himself the first Duke of {{Prussia}}. Many of the knightly brethren followed suit, whence were derived many of the leading nobles of Protestant Germany in later times. The Grand Mastership thereafter reverted to the ''Landmaster'' within the Kingdom of Germany, who became known as the ''Hoch-und-Deutschmeister''‟ thenceforth.

Being founded and run by knights and soldiers probably had a great deal to do with the later Kingdom of {{Prussia}} becoming a highly militaristic state almost obsessed with duty and loyalty. It also does not come as a big surprise that Prussia was by far the largest and most influential part of Germany when [[ImperialGermany Those Wacky Junkers]] took over some centuries later.

to:

The very success of the Order brought about its downfall. Having substantially converted the heathen populace of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, they came into jurisdictional conflict with the now converted natives, particularly after 1386, when Jogaila, the leader of the Lithuanians, was baptized and became the Christian King Władysław Jagiello of Poland. Recriminations and open warfare between the Order and the Poles were the result, with the latter gradually gaining the upper hand. With warfare between The defeat in the two Catholic powers sternly discouraged battle of Grunwald (German name: Tannenberg, 15 July, 1410) and a rebellion by ThePope, the Knights turned their attention local nobility and cities aided by a Polish intervention (1455-1466) resulted in the Order sustaining large territorial losses and having to accept Polish suzerainty over the part of East Prussia they retained. Due to the Russian "schismatics" (hence their appearance as [[{{Expy}} stand-ins]] for loss of Marienburg, the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] in Creator/SergeiEisenstein's ''Film/AlexanderNevsky''). The Polish wars, however, Order had gravely weakened the Order's ability to carry on sustained campaigns, and the attempt move its residence to expand into Russian territories proved generally unsuccessful.

Königsberg (modern Kaliningrad).

The worst challenge to the Order, however, came with the Protestant Reformation. In 1525, the Grand Master, Albert of Brandenburg, having converted to Lutheranism, repudiated his vows and seized upon the lands of the Order, doing homage for them to his uncle, King Sigismund I of Poland, and making himself the first Duke of {{Prussia}}. Many of the knightly brethren followed suit, whence were derived many of the leading nobles of Protestant Germany in later times.while others remained faithful to Catholicism. The Grand Mastership thereafter reverted to the ''Landmaster'' within the Kingdom of Germany, who became known as the ''Hoch-und-Deutschmeister''‟ thenceforth.

Outside Germany, the Kingdom of {{Prussia}} is often seen as a direct successor of the Order State, which overlooks that after Reformation the the Duchy became an unremarkable principality, that the nucleus of what became the Kingdom of Prussia lay in Brandenburg. Being founded and run by knights and soldiers probably had a great deal to do with the later Kingdom of {{Prussia}} becoming a highly militaristic state almost obsessed with duty and loyalty. It also does not come as a big surprise that Prussia was by far the largest and most influential part of Germany when [[ImperialGermany Those Wacky Junkers]] took over some centuries later.
26th Dec '12 2:26:39 AM Menshevik
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The ''Germanen Orden'' (Latin, ''Ordo domus Sanctæ Mariæ Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum'' (OT) or the "Order of the House of St. Mary of the Germans in Jerusalem") is a Roman Catholic religious order, more commonly known as "'''The Teutonic Knights'''." Traditionally founded ''c.'' 1190 A.D. in Acre as a hospital service for Germans in the Holy Land, by 1198 it imitated the older crusading orders, the [[TheKnightsHospitallers Hospitallers]] and [[TheKnightsTemplar Templars]], in acquiring knightly brothers whose original mission was to protect pilgrims, but who soon expanded their activities to include military actions against Muslim enemies of the Crusading states. Like the Templars, whose rule they substantially adopted, they wore as their habit a white mantle with a cross, but a black rather than a red one. (It would be some time before the form was standardized into the ''Tatzenkreuz''‟ or "Cross patée" version borne today;)

After the decline of the Crusader States in [[TheHighMiddleAges the early thirteenth century]], they sought other fields of operation. Under the most important of the early Grand Masters (''Hochmeister''‟, literally "High Master"), Hermann von Salza (1209-1239), a [[TheSixteenLandsOfDeutschland Thuringian]] knight who was a favorite of both [[ThePope Pope Gregory IX]] and of the [[HolyRomanEmpire Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II]], the Order expanded first into the so-called ''Burzenland''‟ of Transylvania, and then, after their expulsion therefrom by the King of Hungary (that expulsion was never complete, and large populations of Germans remained in Transylvania until after WWII), into the Baltic area at the request of Conrad, Duke of Masovia, to crusade against the heathen ''Pruzzi'' (the ancestors of the modern [[{{Prussia}} Prussians]]) -- after Hermann had carefully made sure that all lands conquered by the Order were to be administered by it. This was the foundation of the so-called ''Ordensstaat''‟ (or "Order-state"). After the fall of Acre in 1291, the Grand Masters moved their residence first to Venice, and then in 1309 to the Marienburg (now ''Malbork'' in Poland).

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The ''Germanen ''Deutsche Orden'' (Latin, ''Ordo domus Sanctæ Mariæ Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum'' (OT) or the "Order of the House of St. Mary of the Germans in Jerusalem") is a Roman Catholic religious order, more commonly known as "'''The Teutonic Knights'''." Traditionally founded ''c.'' 1190 A.D. by merchants from Bremen and Lübeck in Acre as a hospital service for Germans in the Holy Land, by 1198 it imitated the older crusading orders, the [[TheKnightsHospitallers Hospitallers]] and [[TheKnightsTemplar Templars]], in acquiring knightly brothers whose original mission was to protect pilgrims, but who soon expanded their activities to include military actions against Muslim enemies of the Crusading states. Like the Templars, whose rule they substantially adopted, they wore as their habit a white mantle with a cross, but a black rather than a red one. (It would be some time before the form was standardized into the ''Tatzenkreuz''‟ or "Cross patée" version borne today;)

After the decline of the Crusader States in [[TheHighMiddleAges the early thirteenth century]], they sought other fields of operation. Under the most important of the early Grand Masters (''Hochmeister''‟, literally "High Master"), Hermann von Salza (1209-1239), a [[TheSixteenLandsOfDeutschland Thuringian]] knight who was a favorite of both [[ThePope Pope Gregory IX]] and of the [[HolyRomanEmpire Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II]], the Order expanded first into the so-called ''Burzenland''‟ of Transylvania, and then, after their expulsion therefrom by the King of Hungary (that expulsion was never complete, and large populations of Germans remained in Transylvania until after WWII), Hungary, into the Baltic area at the request of Conrad, Duke of Masovia, to crusade against the heathen ''Pruzzi'' (the ancestors of the modern [[{{Prussia}} Prussians]]) (a people speaking a now-extinct language related to Lithuanian and Latvian) -- after Hermann had carefully made sure that all lands conquered by the Order were to be administered by it. This was the foundation of the so-called ''Ordensstaat''‟ (or "Order-state"). After the fall of Acre in 1291, the Grand Masters moved their residence first to Venice, and then in 1309 to the Marienburg (now ''Malbork'' in Poland).



As the various Prussian tribes were conquered, the Order settled the land with German colonists, developing a powerful and sophisticated civilization (nominally under the suzerainty of the HolyRomanEmpire, but effectively controlled wholly by the representative of the Order in each particular territory -- the ''Landmeister''‟) and gradually integrating the more primitive natives into it. After the conquest of Prussia had been completed, the Order expanded eastward, throughout [[TheLateMiddleAges the 14th and 15th centuries]] -- or at least tried to.

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As the various Prussian tribes were conquered, the Order settled the land with German colonists, developing a powerful and sophisticated civilization (nominally outside the borders of the HolyRomanEmpire (though at least at first under the nominal suzerainty of the HolyRomanEmpire, but effectively Emperor), which was controlled wholly by the representative of the Order in each particular territory -- the ''Landmeister''‟) and gradually integrating the more primitive natives into it. After the conquest of Prussia had been completed, the Order expanded eastward, throughout [[TheLateMiddleAges the 14th and 15th centuries]] -- or at least tried to.
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