Modest forces at Grunwald Battle reenactment

The commemoration of 611th anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald is rather modest this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, which urged the organisers of the armed encounter’s reenactment to cancel the event once again.

The ceremony of one of Poland's most important battles of the Middle Ages held today on the fields of Grunwald was rather symbolic. Two years ago, around 100,000 people attended the re-enactment of the battle. Although not a full-fledged reenactment of the battle, this is the first convention of history enthusiasts since 2019 as the event was cancelled last year due to COVID-19.

Medieval history-lovers descended on the plains of Grunwald hailing from various corners of Poland and foreign lands. They were brought together by their fondness of the historical event and the seminal importance it had for the history of Poland, Europe and perhaps the entire globe. Reuniting once a year on the fields of Grunwald has long become a knightly tradition.

“It’s a return and a commemoration of the battle that took place here, and of the event that we attended year after year. We longed for feeling this normality,” stressed Kacper Modrzejewski of the “By Talon and Sword” (“Szponem i Mieczem”) hawks rearing/hawking group.

This year’s commemoration, however, was not all that peaceful. The squires built a camp and the gallant knights took part in a tournament. And although the battle was not reenacted, the presentation of two unsheathed swords by the Teutonic Grand Master Urlich von Jungingen to the Polish King Władysław Jagiełło — the historically-proven interlude to the Battle of Grunwald — was relived once more.

As means of concluding the ceremony, various delegations laid flowers at the foot of the Grunwald Memorial, at the commemorative stone presented by Lithuanians to mark the Polish-Lithuanian victory of 1410, and also at the commemorative stone dedicated to the Władysław Jagiełło Warmińsko-Mazurska Mechanised Division.

The Battle of Grunwald, also known as the Battle of Tannenberg, was fought on 15 July 1410 during the Polish-Lithuanian war against the Teutonic Knights. The Polish-Lithuanian forces were led by the Polish King Wladyslaw II Jagiello and Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas. The German–Prussian Teutonic Knights, led by Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen, were defeated. The battle broke the power of the Teutonic Order.