Famous Battles in Medieval History: The Battle of Liegnitz

Also known as the Battle of Legnica

Armies involved: The Mongols vs. the armies of Poland and the Teutonic Knights

In late March of 1241, the Mongol army, under the commands of Hordu (eldest grandson of Chinggis Khan) and Peta, swept down through southern Poland and ambushed a division of the Polish army, and then pushed on to the capital of Cracow (or Krakow) and sacked it on March 24. Then the Mongols besieged Wroclaw (or Breslau), but Wenceslas (King of Bohemia) organized his army and marched to relieve Henry the Pious, Polish Duke of Solesia, at Liegnitz. Hordu lifted the siege at Wroclaw and instead turned his attention to Liegntiz, force marching his army to reunite with the Mongol army already stationed there.

Henry the Pious, not desiring to stay behind his walls and play the coward, ordered his army outside of the city walls. Henry’s army consisted of feudal levies from Poland and Moravia and knights from the Templar, Hospitaller, and Teutonic orders.

The Mongols encouraged Henry to attack their apparently weaker front, and Henry took the bait. At the moment Henry committed his entire cavalry to battle, the Mongol archers spread out along their flanks and barraged them with arrows. Supplementing their arrows with missiles from catapults, the Mongols drove Henry’s army from the battlefield, killing Henry and capturing Liegnitz. Wenceslas’s army did not provide much of a relief force, and the Mongols easily defeated them as well.

Source:

Atwood, Christopher P. “Battle of Liegnitz.” Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2004. Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?
ItemID=WE49&iPin=EME325&SingleRecord=True (accessed March 10, 2009).

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My life has been pretty simple. I grew up in Alabama and graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor's in Advertising. I have spent about the last ten years in web development. In 1998, a friend of mine and I started a web design company we ran for three or four years before deciding to close it due to the demands of school. Since then, I stayed in the web working with various companies in Alabama. I worked for a brief period with Southern Progress, namely with Southern Living magazine and Health magazine, in their web departments. While there, I also wrote for Southern Living magazine, Health.com., and the company's internal newsletter. I write as much as I can. For the last five years, I have been working on my first novel. I am on the third revision now and hope to be finished with this draft by the end of the year. I also write short fiction, though not as frequently as I used to due to the time I spend on the novel. My goal is to have my novel published in the next three years. Other interests include: History (particularly medieval and ancient civlizations), Reading, Foreign Language (I currently speak Spanish but plan to learn as many as I can), Landscape Photography, the outdoors, sports (especially college football), and Travel.

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