Tannenberg, Battle of


Tannenberg, Battle of
I
(August 26–30, 1914) Battle in World War I between Germany and Russia in modern northeastern Poland.

Two Russian armies invaded German East Prussia but became separated. German forces under Paul von Hindenburg attacked one of the isolated armies and forced its retreat, inflicting Russian casualties of over 30,000 and capturing over 90,000 men. German casualties were about 13,000. The battle was disastrous for Russia, but it forced Germany to divert troops from the attack on France.
II
(July 15, 1410) Major Polish-Lithuanian victory over the Knights of the Teutonic Order.

Fought near the villages of Grünfelde and Tannenberg in northeastern Poland (formerly East Prussia), the battle marked the end of the order's expansion along the southeastern coast of the Baltic Sea and the beginning of the decline of its power.

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Europe [1410]
also called  Battle of Grünfelde , or  Grunwald 

      (July 15, 1410), battle fought at Tannenberg (Polish: Stębark) in northeastern Poland (formerly East Prussia) that was a major Polish-Lithuanian victory over the Knights of the Teutonic Order. The battle marked the end of the order's expansion along the southeastern coast of the Baltic Sea and the beginning of the decline of its power.

      Forces from Poland and Lithuania, which had recently united politically, were proceeding toward the order's stronghold at Marienburg when they were met by the order's army, in one of the largest cavalry battles of the age, between the villages of Grünfelde (Polish: Grunwald) and Tannenberg. Though the order defeated the Lithuanian contingent, the ranks of the Poles remained unbroken. By the end of the 10-hour battle, the order's forces had been crushed and its grand master, most of its commanders, and 205 of its knights had been killed. Subsequently, many Prussian castles controlled by the order surrendered to the Polish-Lithuanian force, and, though Marienburg, which was defended by Heinrich Reuss von Plauen, did not fall, the Teutonic Knights never regained their impetus. Memory of the defeat lived on: when in 1914 a German army routed Russian invaders at the same spot, the German high command portrayed it as revenge for the defeat of the order five centuries before.

World War I [1914]
      (Aug. 26–30, 1914), battle fought at Tannenberg (Polish: Stębark), in what is now northeastern Poland, that ended in a German victory over the Russians in the early days of World War I.

      Two Russian armies, the 1st, which was under General P.K. Rennenkampf, and the 2nd, under A.V. Samsonov, invaded German East Prussia in August 1914. Rennenkampf fought a successful action at Gumbinnen on August 20 but failed to maintain contact with Samsonov. The German commanders Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff, making use of a plan devised by Lieutenant Colonel Max Hoffmann, threw all their strength against Samsonov's isolated army near Uzdowo, just south of the historic site of Tannenberg (August 26). Samsonov fell back, losing about half of his army in the next few days. Samsonov shot himself in despair on August 29. The Germans took 92,000 prisoners. The Russians lost another 30,000 killed or wounded, while the Germans sustained a total of only 13,000 casualties.

      Tannenberg was a crushing defeat for Russia, which lost almost an entire army, 400 guns, and other war matériel. The Germans, however, were unable to extend their tactical victory to the strategic level.

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Universalium. 2010.

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