HEINRICH VON PLAUEN. Magister Generalis / Postcard

Magister Generalis.

27th Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights.

Size: 15 x 10,5 cm

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Heinrich von Plauen (the Elder) was the 27th Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, serving from November 1410 to October 1413. He was a stern proponent of prolonging the war with Poland. Because all male members of his family were baptized as Heinrich, he is sometimes known as Heinrich von Plauen the Elder to differentiate from his relative.
Heinrich von Plauen did not take part in the Battle of Grunwald on July 15, 1410. Upon receiving the news of the Order's defeat, he took the initiative and assembled an army of 3,000 men to defend Marienburg, capital of the Order. He correctly suspected that it was where the victorious Polish and Lithuanian armies were headed. He also sent letters, acting as the Grand Master, to Germany asking for additional troops and money. Heinrich von Plauen arrived at Marienburg on time and energetically organized the defense. The Siege of Marienburg started on July 18 and remained until September 19, 1410. The King of Poland Jogaila didn't expect strong resistance and wasn't prepared for a long-term siege. The siege, holding Jogaila's army in place, helped to organize defensive forces in other parts of Prussia and gave time for relief to arrive from the Livonian Order and Germany. Jogaila had to retreat. Heinrich von Plauen ordered his forces to pursue the retreating Polish army and recaptured all fortresses (except those on the Polish–Prussian border) by the end of October.
In November 1410 for his services in the defense of Marienburg and Prussia, Heinrich von Plauen was chosen as the 27th Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, overtaking other officials of the Order with higher positions, like Werner von Tettingen, the Order's Minister of Diplomacy and the Komtur of Elbing (Elbląg), who fought in the Battle of Grunwald. Von Plauen inherited a difficult task of rebuilding Order's fortresses, restoring the economy, recruiting new knights, and defending the Order's reputation in Europe.

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