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THE ARMIES
It is not clear to this day how many soldiers
from both sides participated in the Battle of
Grünwald. Various documents have shown that
the Order’s army was smaller than the allies,
and could have consisted of anywhere between
12,000 and 15,000 men. The allies’ army could
have consisted of 20,000 to 25,000 men, of which
the army of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was
somewhat smaller than the Polish forces.
In the Middle Ages, the main role in battles was
played by the cavalry. A single company in both
the allies’ and the Order’s armies consisted of
soldiers of which some were more armed, some
less. The knight and his attendants formed a type
of unit called the “spear”. Between 25 and 80
spears battled under one banner. So the size of
one banner could range from 200 to 250 cavalry.
The cavalry’s armaments used by armies on both
sides were very varied: a long spear, a doubleedged sword, battle axes, knives, bows and arrows,
shields, etc.
Teutonic knight. From: Urbonas O., 1410 metų karas su kryžiuočiais ir
Žalgirio mūšis, Brooklyn, 1960
Lithuanian soldiers.
From: Jučas M., Žalgirio
mūšis, Vilnius, 2009
The Monastic State of the Teutonic Order was
organised based on military principles, which
made calling an army together quickly an easy
task. It’s readiness for battle would be excellent,
well armed and disciplined; all these factors
worked to its advantage. Both the Order’s and the
allies’ armies consisted of a variety of nationalities.
Lithuanians, Poles, inhabitants of the Ruzen lands,
Czechs, Valachs, and Tatars fought alongside
one another on the allies’ side, while among the
Order’s forces there were about 4,000 mercenaries
and aides from all of Central and Western Europe.
Soldiers from the lands of Rus’.
From: Jučas M., Žalgirio mūšis, Vilnius, 2009
Polish soldiers. From: Polska jej dzieje i kultura. T. 1. Kraków, 1927
Teutonic knight with complete armaments. From:
Jučas M., Žalgirio mūšis, Vilnius, 2009

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