English Summary/英文概要： The Teutonic knights were powerful and ferocious advocates of holy war. Their history is suffused with crusading, campaigning and struggle. Feared by their enemies but respected by medieval Christendom, the knights and their Order maintained a firm hold over the Baltic and northern Germany and established a formidable regime which flourished across central Europe for 300 years. This book surveys the gripping history of the knights and relates their rise to power; their struggles against Prussian pagans; the series of wars against Poland and Lithuania; the clash with Alexander Nevsky’s Russia; and the gradual stagnation of the Order in the fourteenth century. The book is replete with dramatic episodes - such as the battle on frozen Lake Peipus in 1242, or the disaster of Tannenberg - but focuses primarily on the year-after-year struggle to maintain power, fend off incursions and raiding bands, and to launch crusades against unbelieving foes. And it was the crusade, with knights demonstrating their valor, which chiefly characterized and breathed life into this militant, conquering Holy Order. The narrative charts the rise and fall of the Order, and, in an accessible and engaging style, throws light on a band of knights whose deeds and motives have long been misunderstood.
Awards/获奖情况： Midwest Book Review"The Teutonic Knights: A Military History is the true story of the Christian order of Teutonic Knights of central Europe during the medieval era. Covering roughly the 1200’s through the 1500’s, including the order’s rise and fall, The Teutonic Knights examines both the order’s strengths and its inequities, which have been to some degree exaggerated by propagandist, nationalists, secularists, and Protestants. A handful of black-and-white photographic plates illustrate this meticulously documented historical text, embellished with a bibliography and index. The Teutonic Knights brings the era and daily life alive, as surely as it illuminates power struggles between factions, Christian orders, noblemen, and nations, and is a superb contribution to medieval and military history shelves.""Journal of Military History", October 2006"The Teutonic Knights played an exceptionally important role in the history of the crusading movement and in the political, economic, and cultural development of northeastern Europe. Nevertheless, they have received very little attention in Anglophone scholarship, especially when compared to the Templars and Hospitallers, the contemporaries and rivals of the German Order. William Urban, who has published widely on the Baltic crusades over the past four decades, has essayed to redress this imbalance in the literature with a military history of the Teutonic Knights from their foundation in the late twelfth century until the dissolution of their independent state in the sixteenth. Urban’s thorough knowledge of the relevant source materials as well as his familiarity with the scholarship that has been published in a wide range of modern languages, make him uniquely qualified to take on this task."