THE BATTLE OF LOBAU - 1263
Battle of Löbau or Lubov was a medieval battle fought
between the Teutonic Order and Prussians in 1263 during the Great Prussian Uprising. Pagan Prussians rose against their conquerors,
who tried to convert them to Christianity, after Lithuanians and Samogitians soundly defeated the joint forces of the Teutonic
Knights and the Livonian Order in the Battle of Durbe in 1260. The first years of the uprising were successful to Prussians,
who defeated the Knights in the Battle of Pokarwis and besieged castles held by the Knights.
The Prussians launched raids in Kulmer
Land, where the Knights first established themselves in late 1220s. Apparent aim of these raids were to force the Knights
to devote as many troops in defense of Culm (Chełmno) as possible so that they could not provide help to the besieged
castles and forts. In 1263 the Natangians led by Herkus Monte raided Kulmer Land and took many prisoners. Master Helmrich
von Rechenberg, who was at Culm at the time, collected his men and pursued the Natangians, who could not move quickly due
to a large number of captives.
The Teutonic Knights intercepted the pagans
near Löbau (Lubawa). Their heavy warhorses smashed Natangian formation, but Herkus Monte with trusted warriors attacked
and killed the Master Helmrich and Marshal Dietrich. Leaderless knights were defeated, and forty knights perished along with
a number of low-ranking soldiers. In terms of killed knights, it was the sixth largest defeat of the Teutonic Knights in the
13th century. After the battle it looked like the Prussians might win the uprising, but because of their infighting between
numerous clans they did not seize the opportunity to strike the final devastating blow. Instead individual clans continued
to act on their own.