Thirteen Years' War

History -- Military history -- War -- History of Poland

The Thirteen Years' War (also called the War of the Cities) started out as an uprising by Prussian cities and the local nobility with the goal of gaining independence from the Teutonic Knights. The Prussian Confederation asked the Polish king for help and offered to incorporate Prussia into Poland. When the king agreed, war between Poland and the Teutonic Knights broke out. It ended with the Second Treaty of Thorn in 1466 (also known as the Peace of Torun), an agreement between the Teutonic Knights and Poland, which, although negotiated with help from the Papal legate, was not confirmed by the Pope.

Table of contents
1 Preliminaries
2 International situation
3 The Forces of the Belligerents
4 Overview
5 Second phase
6 Aftermath
7 Main Battles
8 Important persons
9 External links

Preliminaries

Reasons behind the war

In the 15th century, the states of Prussia saw the rapid economic development of their cities. However this was not followed by an increase in their political influence. The rule of the Teutonic Knights was seen as more and more anachronistic -- taxes (funt customs) and the system of grain licences (every trader had to pay large fees for the privilege of trading grain) were hindering economic development in the province. At the same time the gentry wanted a bigger say in the running of the country, and were looking enviously at neighbouring Poland, where nobles enjoyed wider privileges. The Teutons were also accused of violating the few existing privileges of the gentry and the cities. Craftsmen were discontented because of competition from so-called partacze, that is artisans settled by the Teutons near their castles. Kashubians, Poles, Germans and Prussians were slowly melting into one nation, and as national differences disappeared, the common goals of all the ethnic and social groups of Prussia became more prominent.

The western part of Prussia, called Pomerania, where the main city of Danzig was situated, was originally captured by Duke Boleslaus I of Poland, and until conquest by Teutons was part of Polish kingdom, and some links to Poland were still present and actually increasing with strong cultural and trading contacts, and marriages between the elite families of Krakow, Danzig and Thorn. Krakow was a Hanseatic League city as well and had many German craftmen and inhabitants at that time. Many Prussians - both Poles and Germans - taught and studied at the Jagiellonian University of Krakow.


Note: The following is from a book by Marian Biskup, "Wojna trzynastoletnia" (The Thirteen Years War), plus some other information.
The memory of the Polish roots of Pomerania by later developing Polish nationals wasn't an important reason for starting the uprising, but it became more important later.

There was a long tradition of resistance against the Teutonic Knights in Prussia. In 1397 Prussian knights had founded a secret organisation called Eidechsenbund (The Band of Lizards), with more or less anti-Teutonic goals, but since that organisation had not included the urban population, it failed. After victory by the Lithuanian and Polish forces at the Battle of Grunwald during the Great War 1409-1411, the Prussian states eagerly pledged allegiance to King Ladislaus Jagiello, but they quickly returned to Teutonic rule after the Poles were unable to conquer Marienburg (Malbork). A clause in the peace treaty stated that it was guaranteed by the Prussian states, which would gain the right to defy the Teutonic Order if it broke the treaty. In the succeeding wars the Prussian states opposed any conflict, and pushed the Grand Masters of the Order to make peace.

On February 21 1440 a group made up of individuals from the Prussian cities, gentry and clergy, formed the Prussian Confederation. The main contributors were from the gentry of Culmer Land, from Thorn, Culm and from the Hanseatic cities of Elbing and Danzig. Grand Master Paul Russdorf was seen to approve the existence of the Confederacy, but his successor, Conrad von Erlichhausen tried to destroy it. His policy was followed by Ludvig von Erlichhausen.

In 1452 the Prussian Confederation asked Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, for mediation in their conflict with the Teutonic Order. On December 5 1453, the Emperor, apparently not caring to listen to all the arguments of the Confederacy, banned it and ordered it to obey the Teutonic Order. Faced with that situation the Prussians sent envoys to Poland -- although the Prussian confederacy, under the influence of Thorn and the Pomeranian and Culmer Land gentry had already sought contact with Poles. They receive support, especially from Greater Poland and from the party of Queen Sophia Holszanska (mother of the King of Poland, Casimir IV). The Cardinal Bishop of Kracow, Zbigniew Olesnicki, opposed this support and tried to prevent war. In January 1454 the Prussians asked the Polish King to incorporate Prussia into Poland. The King asked the Prussian Confederacy for a more formal petition.

On February 4 1454, the Secret Council of the Prussian Confederacy sent a formal act of disobedience to the Grand Master. Two days later the Confederacy started its rebellion and soon almost all Prussia, except for Marienburg, Stuhm and Konitz (Conitz) or Chojnice, were free from Teutonic rule. Most of the captured castles were immediately destroyed. On February 10 1454, the Confederacy sent an official delegation to Poland, headed by Johannes von Baysen, called Jan Bazynski by the Poles. By February 20 the delegates were in Kracow and asked Casimir IV, to bring Prussia into the Polish kingdom. After negotiating the exact conditions of incorporation, the King agreed and on March 6 1454 delegates of Prussian Confederation stated that whole of Prussia pledged allegiance to the Polish King. On the same day, the King agreed to all the conditions of the Prussian delegates -- for instance Thorn demanded the destruction of the Polish city of Nieszawa -- giving wide privileges to the Prussian cities and gentry. Three days later, Johannes von Baysen (Jan Ba¿yñski) became the first Polish governor of Prussia. After April 15 most of the Prussian states, with the exception of the Bishopric of Ermeland, pledged allegiance to their new ruler. Poland sent the Grand Master a declaration of war, predated to February 22. When the war started everybody expected it to be over quickly, on both sides.

International situation

In 1454 Poland was in conflict with Lithuania, which meant that although Casimir IV was Grand Duke of Lithuania as well as King of Poland, Lithuania sent no aid during the whole war to Poland, and didn't participate in it, except for a few raids without any impact on the result of the war. There was also the threat of attack by Russia and by the Ottoman Turks who in 1453 sacked Constantinople.

Elsewhere, the international situation was quite good for Poland -- no-one apart from the main combatants was likely to intervene. The southern border of Poland was more or less secure because of the weakness of the Czech kingdom, which resulted from the Hussite Wars. The Holy Roman Empire because of its internal problems wasn't able to directly intervene in the conflict. The Hanseatic League, on the one hand, backed the Teutonic Knights (because they supported differential economical Hansa privileges), but on the other, they felt sympathy for the plight of the Prussian cities. The Order in Inflanty had problems with Denmark and was unable to help the Teutonic Knights in Prussia. Because of conflict between Sweden and Denmark both sides stayed more or less neutral in the upcoming conflict.

France and England were too weakened after the Hundred Years' War. The King of Burgundy, Flanders and the Netherlands, Philip the Good, was interested more in creating the independent kingdom of Burgundy. The Pope's primary concern was the Turkish menace.

The Forces of the Belligerents

The main part of the Polish army of that period was conscripted. All noblemen from the class known as the Szlachta, when called by the king, had to appear with their village-mayors and village-administrators. Cities gave wagons with horses, food, and service to them (including escorts). Units were divided into choragwie (standards) of two kinds: family, which were made by very large clans, and land which were from nobles from particular territory. Peasants also participated as infantrymen. The highest command belonged to the king. The total army could amount to 30,000 cavalry.

From the beginning of 15th century the Polish Crown started to hire mercenaries in addition, which usually fought under the flag of St. George (especially Czech mercenaries). That is under either a red cross on white, or a white cross on red (the latter was used only when two Czech units met on opposite sides of a battlefield and had to be differentiated).

An important part of the tactics was, the concept of tabor, learned from the Czechs.

The Poles had artillery (at first primitive cannons: bombards and suchlike). Hand arms appeared, but they weren't very effective: the so-called pistols. Much more important were crossbows, which, properly used, could cause large losses.

The army of the Prussian states consisted of conscripts and small units provided by cities (around 750 people each unit). In total they could provide about 16,000 soldiers plus a few thousand armed peasant infantry. They also had more artillery than the Polish army.

The Prussian cities were also able to raise a small navy, partially from armed trade ships, partially from hired privateers from other cities.

The Teutonic Order in 1454 lost most of its arsenals, but later it was able to raise armies from loyal knights (free Prussians) and peasants. However most of its forces were hired mercenaries, mainly from Germany and the Czech lands.

Overview

First phase

The first land operations (February - August 1454) were carried out by Prussian state conscripts, supported by Czech mercenaries from Moravia, Lesser Poland, etc. This force, commanded by Scibor Bazynski (Scibor von Baysen, brother of Johannes von Baysen), tried to besiege the Grand Master Ludvik von Erlichhausen in the city and castle of Malbork, but without much success, due to the professional command of Heinrich Reuss von Plauen the Elder, Count of Elbling.

In the meantime there was some organised support for the Teutonic Order from the German Duchies, mainly in Saxony. That support entered Prussia in the second half of March 1454, from the direction of New March (Neumark). It was able to take the highly important strategic city of Chojnice, which was situated on the important route from Poland to the mouth of the Vistula. Johannes von Baysen moved conscript and mercenary forces there, and they were soon followed by Mikolaj Szarlejski, who was the representative of the Polish kingdom and received the title of Supreme Commander of Forces in Prussia.

On April 7 1454, the Teutons gave Neumark to Brandenburg "to assure itself better relations and connection with Germany".

At the end of April 1454, the Prussian army started the siege of Chojnice -- the defence of the city was commanded by Heinrich Reuss von Plauen the Younger from Greitz. However, the Polish commander Mikolaj Szarlejski lacked any significant commanding skill, his army hadn't enough artillery, and the Prussian states weren't able to pay their mercenaries, so Chojnice was not seriously endangered.

After the arrival of Casimir IV, when he received the official oath of allegiance from his new subjects in Elbing and Thorn, he directed to Chojnice a levee en masse of Polish nobles from Cujavia which replaced unpaid mercenaries. Cavalry forces such as the nobles, however, were ill-suited to the taking of castles, so the situation of Chojnice did not change. The king also sent his own units and a levee en masse to lay siege to Malbork, but Polish forces were unable to take the castle even with Prussian reinforcements, which were relocated to Malbork after taking Sztum (August 8 1454). The Teutons defended themselves skilfully and were even able to defeat forces from Danzig in a sudden attack on September 13.

The situation of the Polish crown was getting very bad, and it worsened when in September 1454 a large army of mercenaries under the command of Rudolf, prince of Zagan, and a Moravian nobleman, the very talented soldier Bernard Szumborski arrived in Prussia from the German Reich. The army had 9000 cavalry and 6000 infantry, plus artillery and many wagons in tabor. That army was slowly moving to Chojnice, apparently to release it from siege. It forced King Casimir to call a levee en masse of Greater Poland, without the traditional approval of the provincial sejmik. Noblemen, angered by the disruption of the harvest and the unconventional form of the call, massed near the village of Cerekwica and demanded from the king several privileges, which were granted in the privilege of Cerekwica September 14 1454. After that the king divided his forces into seven large units and the army marched to Chojnice, where it was joined by Prussians. At Chojnice the army met the Teutonic knights and on September 18 1454 was defeated in the major battle of Chojnice. The defeat was a near disaster: the Polish army quickly withdrew from Malbork, and Sztum was again captured by Teutons. They were also able to take other big cities, like Gniew and Tczew (Dirsaw). Impressed by the Teutons' victory, some Prussian lands also capitulated. This was a great victory for the Teutons, and they had now only one minor problem: they hadn't enough money to pay the victorious mercenaries. The Grand Master promised them on October 9 that if he could not pay them by February 19 1455, they would receive all cities, castles and lands of Prussia, with the rights to sell them.

Mercenaries later captured two other cities, Kwidzyn and Lasin. But none of the largest and most important cities of Prussia, not even Königsberg, surrendered, and they were all determined to continue the war. As a result, the Teuton Order was totally dependent on help from the German Reich.

To save the situation, King Casimir started hiring more Czech and Silesian soldiers and sending them to the cities of Pomerania, Pomesania and Culmer land. He also decided to call for another levee en masse from the whole Polish kingdom. The levee en masse in Opoka, this time dominated by gentry from Lesser Poland, demanded privileges similar to those given in Cerekwica. The King quickly approved them, but under the influence of the aristocracy from Lesser Poland later, in privileges for the whole country given November 11 - November 16 1454 in Nieszawa (Famous privilege of Nieszawa) he changed some of his promises given earlier both in Opoka and Cerekwica.

This time the Polish army counted almost 30000 cavalry plus 3000 mercenaries. The mercenaries had a few good commanders: Jan Kolda from Zampach and Jan Skalski from the northern Czech city of Mala Skala (literally, "little rock") and a member of Czech family of Valdsztejn, better known under their German name, Waldstein or Wallenstein. This time the Grand Master avoided battle as too risky. The army started the siege of Lasin, whose defense was commanded by Austrian mercenary Fryc Raveneck. However, the army was totally unprepared for taking castles. Large preparations ended with another fiasco. Also, the first negotiations with Teutons (January 9 -January 10 1455) failed.

The situation of King Casimir became difficult. To pay his mercenaries he had to borrow from the clergy. He decided to give two cities as a fief to Eric II of Pomerania from Slupsk, hoping that that would secure northern Pomerania. Later Casimir had to go to Lithuania to calm down opposition and he was forced to stay there until the summer of 1455.

In that situation the Teutons were able to conquer the eastern part of Prussia - helped by rebellions in a few cities, which were caused by huge new war taxes (Königsberg, Lipnik (April 17 1455). The last East Prussian city loyal to the Polish king, Knipawa, was taken after a long siege by Teutons commanded by Heinrich Reuss von Plauen (older) on June 14 1455. The Poles were suffering defeat after defeat, and they later also lost Ermeland. However, the Grand Master was unable to pay his mercenaries and they took Malbork, Tczew and Ilawa (Eylau) in May 1455. Mercenaries under Czech Ulrich von Czirvonka (Oldrzych Czerwonka) immediately started negotiations with Poland on selling these castles.

The international situation also became significantly worse. The Holy Roman Emperor Frideric III March 24 1455 banned the Prussian Confederation, which caused that everybody could claim its property and forbade any trade with its members. After the death of Pope Nicolaus V, the new Pope Kalikst III on September 24 1455 warned that he would excommunicate the Prussian Confederacy and all its allies (which could mean King Casimir) if it would not settle peace with the Teuton Order. In June 1455 Teuton Order gained a new ally, the king of Denmark, Christian I, who declared war against Poland and the Prussian Confederacy. This however meant nothing more than a disturbance in trade, since Denmark was still busy fighting with Sweden.

Shocked by the loss of Knipawa, King Casimir, in debt and unable to hire new mercenaries, called another levee en masse. The Polish army moved slowly to Thorn, but military actions were halted briefly, when the king finally agreed to mediation by the elector of Brandenburgia, Frideric II (all earlier propositions of mediation from different sides had been rejected). The elector however failed to negotiate a peace, because the Teutons, after recent successes, were unwilling to compromise. The Poles suggested from their side that the Teuton Order should leave Prussia and go elsewhere to fight with pagans (a location suggested ealier by Polish envoys to the Holy Roman Empire was Podole, near the Tatars). In that situation negotiations September 26 ended with no gains, and the war continued.

The new Polish army was even bigger than before, because this time it included soldiers from Red Rus, small auxiliary forces of Tatars and a few mercenaries from Silesia. It laid siege to Lasin, but Raveneck was able to defend the city. Additionally, when Casimir IV ordered a further march to Grudziadz, Szlachta refused and instead decided to pay a new tax, which would allow the king to hire more mercenaries.

After that, the situation did not change much. The Teutons were able to capture another city, Klajpeda, but their offensive in other directions was stopped by the burghers of Thorn and of Culmer Land, Andrzej Teczynski. In autumn 1455 the peasants of eastern Masuria, tired of the burdens of war, revolted against the Teutons. The Teutons defeated the rebels at Ryn on January 1 1456. Land-based military actions were limited to raids and local skirmishes.

In the maritime arena, King Casimir ordered Danzig to build a fleet which would be able to break sea connections between the Teuton Order and its allies. In May 1456 privateers hired by Danzig captured Dutch ships, which caused conflict with Amsterdam and the Prince of Burgundy, Philip the Good. In two weeks in August 1457 three ships from Danzig, near Bornholm, defeated 16 Danish and Inflant (?) ships.

After long negotiations Teuton mercenaries agreed to sell Poland three castles in Prussia, including Malbork. Heavy new taxes caused rebellions in Danzig and Thorn which were bloodily suppressed by the cities with help from the king's army. Finally the Polish and Prussian states were able to gather 190,000 Hungarian gold pieces (Zlotych wegierskich?), most of which had been borrowed from Danzig. On June 6 1457 Malbork, Tczew and Ilawa (Eylau) were transferred to the Polish army. Two days later King Casimir entered the castle of Malbork, and its burghers paid homage to him. Ulrich von Czerwonka became the first Polish sheriff of the castle, and also received three other counties. The king again granted broad privileges to the Prussian cities. It was generally expected that now, with the fall of the Teutonic capital, war would end quickly. Optimism faded, however, when the Polish army commanded by Prandota Lubieszowski was unable to take Gniew, which was again defended by Raveneck. Casimir had to return to Poland to seek money to pay his debts and mercenaries. The mood worsened when the Grand Master organised a new offensive. The Teutons received significant aid from the burghers of Königsberg, free Prussian knights and others. Although they were unable to take Welawa and Sepopol, the two Polish castles which were the initial target of the offensive, they again defeated the Polish army in September 1457.


On September 28, 1457, Teutonic Order forces under the command of Szumborski (who had been released by the Poles), with help from the burghers, took Malbork by surprise -- only the castle commanded by Czerwonka was saved. Prandota Lubieszowski was able to stop further advances of the Teutonic army, but this was not the last of the Teuton successes. They captured Ilawa (which again pledged allegiance to the Teutons), Culm (Kulm, Chelmno) and Starogard Gdanski. The situation was saved by a new Polish army sent from Greater Poland.

The international situation became increasingly complicated. The new bishop of Ermeland was Cardinal Eneas Silvio Piccolomini, known for his pro-Teuton sympathies. Soon after that, in 1458, Piccolomini was elected pope and took the name of Pius II. Another complication was the death of Wladislav Habsburg and the election of George Podiebrad as new (Hussite) king of the Czechs, and Matthias Corvinus as king of Hungary.

In Spring 1458 Casimir IV again called for a levee en masse, this time calling even the Masovians. Ignoring the mediation of John Giskra (Jan Jiskra), a Czech mercenary who hoped for an end to war with Prussia and the start of a new conflict with Hungary, the Polish army slowly marched into Prussia, during June crossing the Vistula via ponton bridge near Thorn. Again the army was supported by Tatar auxiliary forces from Crimea and by the king's own army. The army was commanded by Piotr of Szamotuly, the castellan of Posen. The Polish army marched directly to Malbork, reaching the city on August 10. This time it was quite well equipped with artillery sent by Danzig and Elbing. The siege, however, was another fiasco, due partly to lengthy negotiations, and partly to Piotr's lack of aggression on the battlefield. He was such an inept commander that Fryc Raveneck was able to take yet another castle. The nobles demanded the storming of the castle, and when this did not happen, they started deserting and returning to Poland.

In Low Prussia there was a peasant rebellion against Polish rule. The peasants captured a few castles and gave them to the Teutons, declaring that they were ready to fight on the Teuton Order's side against Poland.

In the meantime the king, using John Giskra as mediator, negotiated with the Teutons. The Poles again proposed that the Teuton Order should leave Prussia for Podole. The Teutons agreed on Podole, but refused to leave Prussia. Danzigers proposed a compromise which would leave part of Prussia for the Teuton Order. At one point there was a signed cease fire lasting 9 months (there was even a signed treaty, and John Giskra as mediator kept Malbork), and peace appeared certain, but the Prussian states decided to persuade the king to break off negotiations.

One positive sign was peace with Denmark. The Danish king finally conquered Sweden, but the Swedish king, Karol Knutson, escaped to Poland and started supporting the Polish cause financially. Danzig and Knutson were hiring more and more privateers, which seriously damaged Baltic trade, and finally Christian I, king of Denmark, decided in July 1458 to sign a cease fire, which was in May 1459 extended to four years, and then to 20 years.

In 1459 Jan Bazynski died, and his brother, Scibor Bazynski, became the new governor of Prussia. Teutons were raiding the Polish lands and enjoying quite a few successes (for example Kaspar Nostyc, komtur of Chojnice, captured for a few months one of the Polish cities in northern Greater Poland). There were other attempts at mediation (by the Bavarian prince, the Austrian prince, and even by bishops from Inflanty) but they were all refused by Poland. More serious mediation was undertaken by pope Pius II, who was trying to mount a coalition against the Turks. He suspended the curse over Prussian states and he explicitly stated that the forementioned curse was also against Poland. That statement outraged king Casimir, who rejected the arrival of the Pope's legate (Hieronymus Lando). In 1460, on June 3, the Pope reactivated the curse against Prussia, Poland and the Polish king. At the same time the Czech king George Podiebrad banned and jailed Ulrich von Czirvonka and his comrades, and agreed to hire Teuton soldiers in the territory of his kingdom.

1460 March 21 Polish army, this time regular, supported by Danzigers and peasants, started again siege of city of Malbork (castle of Malbork was still in Polish hands). This time army had a little better and more energic commander, Prandota Lubieszowski, and enough artillery. Prandota died and was replaced by Jan Koscielecki with Danziger Jan Meydeburg as advisor. This regular siege finally cause capitulation of city of Malbork in 1460, July 5. Blume, burgmeister was hanged as traitor (since he pledged allegiance to Polish king and later opened gates of city to Teutons).

This Polish success was quickly countered by the Teutons, who conquered other cities in western Prussia, and, what's more, defeated the army of Danzig near Pruszcz Gdanski in July 1460, even burning the suburbs of Danzig. Danzig asked the king for help. The Teutons also conquered Lebork and Bytow (which, as we remember, were in the possession of Eric II of Pomerania), Leba and Puck (Puck was garrisonned by mercenaries hired by the former Swedish king Karol Knutson). Szumborski also captured the castle of Swiecie (Swiecin or Schwetz). Thorn immediately sent soldiers there, who, helped by the King's army, started a siege. In Ermeland the administration Paul Legendorf commenced. He was appointed by the Pope, and promised neutrality between the Teutons and Polish king. The neutrality of Legendorf made him very popular amongst the burghers and peasants, who were simply tired of war.

Situation of Poland became desperate. One by one, castles and cities were captured by the Teutonic army. Internal situation was also not very bright, because of the conflict between the pope and the king over nominating the new bishop of Cracow (since both king and pope were convinced that the other had no right to choose the new bishop).

The Polish king again called for levee en masse, but most of the gentry refused participation after Andrzej Teczynski was killed in Cracow by burghers (in a dispute over payment for his armour). Again, this was a total fiasco. Commanders (amongst them Piotr from Szamotuly) seemed even as if they didn't know where they should go, and after a few weeks (and raids to duchy of Eric II of Pomerania) army returned home.

This, and another success of the Teutons, which took almost all castles and towns of Ermeland, capturing the last Polish points of resistance, convinced the king finally that war should be left to professionals. The gentry agreed to pay new taxes for hiring and maintaining a more regular army. Her new commander was Piotr Dunin.

In 1461 Poland had only one success - capturing the castle of Swiecie. On the sea privateers hired by Danzig were far more successful, although they had to fight not only with Teutonic ships and privateers hired by the Teutons, but also with ships from Lübeck.

Second phase

First group - initially around 2000 soldiers - of regular army came to Prussia around October 1461, under Piotr Dunin from Prawkowice. Piotr Dunin was soldier to the bones, knowing newest methods of military tactics. Almost immedietely he achieved two successes, capturing castles of Lasin and Sztum. Teutons in the same time captured few cities and castles, for example city of Brodnice (castle stayed in Polish hands) and Starogard. Sejm in New City of Korczyn in Lesser Poland decided to raise new taxes for increasing Polish regular army. It was only summer 1462 when Dunin finally after losing castle of Brodnica, could start any more serious action. His first success was rescuing castle of Frombork. But what changed the course of the war was battle of Swiecin, where died excellent Teuton commander Fryc Raveneck. After that battle Poles, supported by (released from Czech jail) Ulrich von Czirwonka were able to start offensive. In July 27 1463 Dunin started siege of Gniew. Because of great strategic importance of the city and castle, grand master of Teuton Order decided to send it rescue. Army of Teutons, under commanders Plauen, Szumborski and Grand Master gathered in Stargard. In September 15 1463 army of Teutons, on 44 ships, was destroyed in battle of Zatoka Swieza by 30 ships from Danzig and Elbing. Soon after the battle Szumborski, with approval of Teuton Order, made a treaty with Poland, withdrawing from war (but still having in his possession few castles in Culmer Land). Gniew capitulated soon in January 1 1464.

The Teutons started to have serious financial problems. Every year they received less money from the German Reich. Their mercenaries, the core of the Teutonic army, were not paid and refused to make any serious offensives. At the same time the armies of Poland and the Prussian Confederation (mainly Danzig) were continuing their offensive.

However, King Casimir was unable to get all the fruits of these successes, because of troubles in Lithuania. The Lithuanians suddenly rejected the idea of moving the Teutonic Order to Podole, even if Lithuania would get some territories in Prussia. This forced the king to open new negotiations with the Teutonic Order, with the Hanseatic League as mediators. On July 3 1462 negotiations started in Thorn. The Polish negotiators (Johannes Longinus aka Jan Dlugosz, famous historian, and rector of University of Cracow Jan from Dabrowka) with the Prussian representatives (Gabriel and Scibor Bazynski with envoys from big cities) argued that Pomerania from time immemorial belonged to Poland, pointing out Slavic names in Pomerania, the Slavic language of inhabitants, the tax of St. Peter paid by Pomerania, and that Pomerania belonged to the Polish Church diocese of Wloclawek. They also strongly emphasized that Prussians of their own will asked for the incorporation of Prussia into Poland. They also tried to prove that even eastern Prussia was, in time past, tied in some way to Poland. The Teutons questioned all their arguments and past Papal judgments. Instead they strongly underlined that Poland once officially resigned all claims to Pomerania and Culmer land, and also pointed to the Emperor's statement of 1453 when he forbade all opposition in Prussia. Hanseatic mediators proposed a cease fire for 20 years; this was refused. The Poles proposed again moving the Teutons to Podole; this was refused too. Unofficially the Poles proposed leaving the Teutonic Order in Sambia as Polish vassals. This idea was rejected too. Finally the Poles demanded at least Pomerania, Culmer Land, Malbork and Elbing, and when this was rejected too, negotiations broke down.

Dunin continued on the offensive, capturing more and more castles. Masovians, enraged by Teutonic raids, organised a levee en masse and captured the castle of Dzialdowo. But again the king had to leave Poland for Lithuania, and financial problems stopped further advances. This caused another round of negotiations in 1465, which were again unsuccessful.

In 1466 Bishop Legendorf of Ermeland decided to join the Polish forces and declare war on the Teutons. Polish forces under Piotr Dunin were finally also able to captured Chojnice (September 28 1466).

All of these successes caused the Teutonic Order to seek new negotiations (which are well documented because one of the Polish negotiators was again historian Johannes Longinus - Jan Dlugosz ). The new mediator was Pope Paul II. With a lot of help from the Pope's legate Rudolf from Rudesheim, in October 10 1466, a peace treaty (known as the peace of Thorn) was finally signed. Prussia as a whole was incorporated into the Polish kingdom; the Teutons were allowed to rule its eastern part as Polish vassals. The Grand Master received the title of Senator of the Polish kingdom. The treaty was signed by the Pope's legate. Both sides agreed, that although the Pope's approval wasn't necessary, they would ask him to confirm the treaty so as to ensure it. Later however, the Pope refused to do that. The treaty was also disputed by Emperor (?).

Aftermath

Peace of Thorn, changes to Polish legal system (Privilege in Nieszawa etc...)

Main Battles

Important persons

  • Casimir IV, king of Poland
  • Johannes Longinus (Polish name: Jan Dlugosz), Polish historian and negotiator
  • Piotr Dunin, talented Polish commander
  • Bernard Szumborski, Czech mercenary, talented commander in Teutonic army.

External links

This is a summary of the book by Marian Biskup, "Wojna trzynastoletnia", plus some other information


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