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Don’t Procrastinate! Battle of Grunwald 1410

Voödoo 6 von Inyanga Profile picture

Voödoo 6 von Inyanga

@6Voodoo

1/ We know to “Shoot until the threat changes shape or catches fire” but there is a great historical allegory to the dangers of procrastination and ensuring an enemy is completely destroyed. Gather round, take a knee and let’s do a re-mix thread on the Battle of Grunwald in 1410.

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2/ Insurgencies and rebellions are nothing new in warfare. Some 200 years after the Northern Crusades (no, not all crusades were in the Middle East) died down in what is today the Baltics, the last Crusader Kingdom, the Teutonic Order, still stood strong.

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3/ Having subdued most of the region for Christianity, only a few pagan holdouts remained. One of these, the province of Samogitia, was secured by the Teutonic Order to connect the Prussian and Livonian halves of the Crusader state.

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4/ For 20 years the Teutonic Knights half-heartedly tried to convert the Samogitians (the last pagans in Europe) and focused on larger, more lucrative campaigns on other fronts. Letting this region simmer, it slowly boiled until 1409, when it descended into full-blown revolt.

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5/ In what would later become a standard cultural response, the Prussians reacted to this threat by first attacking Poland, hoping to knock it out of the alliance supporting the rebellion. Image

6/ Unlike later campaigns, this time it failed, and the Teutonic Knights faced the joint Polish Lithuanian alliance on the field at Grunwald. The Teutons were everything you would imagine a late crusader army to be.
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7/ With the best weapons the church and centuries of conquest could buy, their armored cavalry shook the very ground. They were battled hardened and serious warriors, who had known nothing but God and War their entire lives.
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8/ They faced a motley alliance of Poles, Lithuanians, and even some Golden Horde who out numbered the crusaders almost 2:1. They were no slouches, but they were not the equal in sheer power to the Crusader Knights.
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9/ The battle opened like battles at that time did. The armies lined up in the rain across from one another and waited for one side to charge. The Lithuanians on the right of the Alliance’s line went first, charging into the crusader knights.
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10/ The crusader line was supported by gunpowder field artillery, but due to the rain, or perhaps just the uselessness of artillerymen in general, they were only able to fire two shots at the advancing Lithuanian Light Cavalry.
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11/ Despite the huge let down of the artillery, the heavily armored Teutons were able to push back, and then outright break the Lithuanians. The Lithuanian light cavalry fled the field into the surrounding woods.
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12/ The Teuton left flank, now free from the Lithuanians, wheeled around and joined the slaughter of the Poles. Banner after Polish banner fell under the weight of the Crusader onslaught.

13/ Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights Ulrich von Jungingen committed his last reserves in an attempt to annihilate the encircled Poles, but as the last of the Teuton reserve committed itself, the Lithuanians re-emerged from the trees.

14/ Whether it was a resounding speech by Grand Duke Vytautas the Great, or a lesson of a feigned retreat learned in defeat at the hands of the Mongols at the Battle of the Vorskla River that got the Lithuanians back in the fight can not be known.
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15/ (In Kaunas, the dudes from the Vytautas the Great Jaeger Battalion will swear it was planned but after a few Kalnapilis may concede it was not). Regardless, return they did, and the enemy once considered broken slammed into the back of the Teutons, encircling the encirclerers
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16/ The Teutons tried to hold, but the weight of numbers was too much and they fell by the hundreds on the field at Grunwald. Nearly the entire cream of the heavly cavalry of the last Crusader force on earth died in the mud and the power of the Teutonic knights was broken forever
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17/ Five centuries later, the descendants of those same Prussian Knights would avenge their ancestors on the exact same field, except by then it was called Tannenberg.
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18/ We talk a lot about overcoming adversity and resisting pressure, but rarely do we talk about how to win. Looking at our lives, we all have our own Samogitia. Something that isn’t quite done, but we will get to it one day. Maybe it is filling out the IFAK, inventorying the

19/ ammo, or finally finishing that sequel. We will get to it…eventually. There are always more pressing, or more fun things to do first. But brothers and sisters clear one room before you move to the next. Do not let the enemy sit or fester. They only gain strength like that.

20/ Do the right thing up front, and then focus ALL your attention on the next enemy. Don’t leave something for tomorrow what can be done today.
The same goes for facing the enemy. Never let up.
Never assume they are done.

21/ Never give them a moment’s rest once the ram has touched the wall. The enemy we face has many heads. It has rooted itself deep into our institutions, into our culture, and yes, into our children’s schools. Even now we see our community fighting back.
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22/ We see courts ruling in our favor, we see local government passing laws protecting children and our rights, and the temptation might be there to rest on that small victory. Friends it will not go away with a quick victory. It will be a slog.
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23/ Christianity didn’t retake Spain from the Caliphate in one battle. It took the Reconquista centuries. Never give up. Never assume the victory is won. Never, ever turn your back on an enemy you merely assume is broken. Break them. See them broken, and then break them again.
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24/ Shoot until the target changes shape or catches fire. And then shoot them again.
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