Lake Peipus 1242: Battle of the Ice (Praeger Illustrated Military History Series)

Overview

The battle of Lake Peipus took place in 1242 between the Teutonic Knights and the Russian city-state of Novgorod, led by its inspirational leader Alexandre Nevskii. The Teutonic Knights were a powerful military order, backed with the crusading zeal of Europe, the blessing of the Pope and the support of the Holy Roman Emperor. This battle, although little-known in the west, was important in the history of the medieval eastern crusades, the Teutonic defeat having a serious effect on future events. David Nicolle's ...

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Overview

The battle of Lake Peipus took place in 1242 between the Teutonic Knights and the Russian city-state of Novgorod, led by its inspirational leader Alexandre Nevskii. The Teutonic Knights were a powerful military order, backed with the crusading zeal of Europe, the blessing of the Pope and the support of the Holy Roman Emperor. This battle, although little-known in the west, was important in the history of the medieval eastern crusades, the Teutonic defeat having a serious effect on future events. David Nicolle's excellent text examines the Crusade against Novgorod and the fierce fighting around the frozen shores of Lake Peipus.

The battle of Lake Peipus took place in 1242 between the Teutonic Knights and the Russian city-state of Novgorod, led by its inspirational leader Alexandre Nevskii. The Teutonic Knights were a powerful military order, backed with the crusading zeal of Europe, the blessing of the Pope, and the support of the Holy Roman Emperor. The clash of arms around the frozen shores of Lake Peipus was immortalised in Eisenstein's epic film 'Alexandre Nevskii'. This battle, although little-known in the west, was important in the history of the medieval eastern crusades. As a result of the Teutonic defeat at the battle not only were the Crusaders forced to give back all the lands they had conquered in their Crusade against Novgorod, but also their defeat led to a new relationship between Catholics and Orthodox in the Baltic, with a new Pope, Innocent IV, trying to win over the Russians diplomatically rather than by military means. Finally, the battle also convinced a chastened Bishop Hermann of Tartu to accept the Teutonic Knight's priorities, which were to crush the pagan Lithuanians and to Christianise all the Baltic lands, rather than interfering in Russian affairs. David Nicolle's excellent book looks at the battle in detail and examines the Crusade against Novgorod of which it was a part.

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Meet the Author

DAVID NICOLLE worked in the BBC's Arabic service for a number of years before gaining an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and a doctorate from Edinburgh University. He has written numerous books and articles on medieval and Islamic warfare, and has been a prolific author of Osprey titles for many years.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Worth reading

    The author spend some good time doing research and traveling to the places where it all happened, this certainly deserves respect. He does good job linking the events to what was happening in Central-Eastern Europe over that period. Very good details on troops movement.

    However the theory of significant number of mounted archers present at the battle scene is simply ridiculous! He builds all sequence of events on the assumption which is not supported by contemporary chronicles!!! (Nicolle quotes heavily both from Livonian and Novgorod chronicle which is very good by the way) Horse archers are not common in the period Russian chronicles. Yes they were available, but for completely different purpose - scouting, pursue etc. There are NO accounts of them playing decisive role (on the Russian side) in the battles of this period and even later. Nicolle simply forgets to take of his islamic warfare researcher hat. Or he tries too hard to be original.
    Other than this the book is good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2000

    Nevsky- 1 Teutonic Knights- 0

    Long and short of it is that Sergei Eisenstein blew things WAY out of proportion when he made the famous 1936 movie about Alexander Nevsky. Nicolle's book is a characteristically useful reconstruction of the battle, incorporating social, historical, and technological context to the battle, as well as some convenient rules for wargaming. Much of the book is predictably and rather unavoidably devoted towards deconstructing the movie's exaggerations. Overall, though, the book is informative, accessible, and enjoyable.

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