Vytatas The Great, Grand Duke of Lithuania


 

In 1410 Vyatutas, the Grand Duke of Lithuania and Jagiello the King of Poland met and defeated the Teutonic Order at the Battle of Tannenberg then attacked Malbork Castle (Marienburg), their mightiest castle.

 

 National Affiliation: Lithuania
Occupation: Grand Duke of Lithuania
Allies: King Jagiello of Poland
Enemies: The Teutonic Order, Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen
Castles: Malbork (Marienburg) Castle
Personality: Farseeing, Progressive, Indefatigable

Vytautas (baptized Alexander) the Great was the Grand Duke of Lithuania for two distinct stints during the late 14th and early 15th centuries. Contemporaries described him alternately as intense and quiet, passionate and cold, overbearing and insightful. Few doubted his skills at either state- or warcraft: Vytautas managed to maintain the borders of Lithuania from Mongol, Polish, and Teutonic rivals while also balancing the fractious nobles that made up Lithuania’s aristocracy.

Despite an uneasy relationship with Poland (which claimed sovereignty over Lithuania), Vytautas allied with them to fight the Teutonic Knights on several occasions. The most famous of these resulted in the invasion of Teutonic lands, culminating in the Battles of Tannenberg and the siege of Malbork (Marienburg) Castle. Vytautas’s legend was so great that Lithuanians continue to name their children after him well into the 20th Century.

In 1410 the Grand Duke and the King of Poland met the Teutonic Order in the Battle of Tannenberg then attacked Malbork (Marienburg), their mightiest castle.