Originally formed in the 12th Century Crusader Kingdoms, the Teutonic Knights were created when management of a German Pilgrim Hospital in Jerusalem fell to the Knights Hospitaller. Unfortunately too few of the Hospitaller Order could speak German. To better serve the pilgrims, the Pope commanded that those administering the hospital should be Germans themselves – from this decree the Germanic order of Catholic warrior monks, the Teutonic Knights would form. They fought alongside the Templars and Hospitallers in the Crusades and controlled the port of Acre. This however was not to be the bulwark of their legacy, for the order relocated to Transylvania in 1211 under invitation of the Hungarian King to oppose marauding Turkic Kipchak peoples.
The Catholic military order however, came into its prominence for its own series of Crusades – those to Christianize the pagan peoples of Europes far-flung Northeast. Carving territory from Prussians and Lithuanians, the Teutonic Knights created their own monastic kingdom. From their massive brick castles they would, for two centuries wage seasonal raids and warfare against the heathen Lithuanians who vigorously opposed the militant proselytizing efforts of the Order. It became a rite of passage for young, well-equipped young nobles to be sent to the Teutonic Order for a season for the annual raids into Lithuanian territory, for under the guidance of the elite German knights they would learn warfare and have an opportunity to commit feats of arms against the pagans. The Order gratefully took their money and assistance.
Only a minority of the Teutonic Knights were full Brother Knights themselves, the majority of their ranks were filled with an array of troops; Half-Brothers unwilling to take the full lifetime monastic vows and many sergeants-at-arms – professional soldiers with good equipment and training though lacking noble status. They could also call on many German colonists of the burgeoning mercantile cities established by the Knights who fielded city militias, and the Knights could levy forces from the local Prussian population and would even buy mercenaries.
The Knights had their power permanently shattered at the Battle of Grunwald, defeated by a Polish and Lithuanian alliance. The order has clung to existence with diminished holdings, yet survived both Napoleon and Hitler who both diminished their power or, in the case of Hitler outlawed them. Today the Teutonic Order exists as a charitable organization.
This Teutonic Sword, designed by Bruce Brookhart and created by Legacy Arms features the black cross of the knighthood on its octagonal pommel. The blade is of 5160 high carbon steel, and the hilt fittings are of steel with a tight, black leather grip. It comes with a wood-core scabbard covered in black leather with a steel throat and chape.
Although the manufacturer considers these as battle ready weapons. We have found that the blade temper is too soft for us to list them as such on some of the longer bladed swords.