Letters to the Editor

Battle facts

July 22, 2010


To the editor:

I was glad to see the picture “Pillow fight ruffles feathers in Belarus,” (Journal-World, July 16), but the accompanying caption needs some additional information.

In the Battle of Grunwald of July, 15, 1410, (known to Germans as Tannenberg, formerly in East Prussia) the armies led by Wladyslaw Jagiello, King of Poland and Lithuania, defeated the army of the German order of the Teutonic Knights. It was the key battle, although not the last, in a long war between the T. Knights on one side and the Poles and Lithuanians on the other, for domination over territories now in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

The Polish-Lithuanian army consisted of Christians: Catholic Poles and Lithuanians, and Russian Orthodox Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians, also some Moslem Tatar regiments, whose members received land and noble status in exchange for military service. The army of the Teutonic Knights included knights from Western Europe, who were told they were fighting pagans(!).

Belarusians, as well as the peoples of all surrounding states, celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald each year, but 2010 being the 600th anniversary, the celebrations were more festive than usual.

Anna M. Cienciala,



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