Battle of Legnica

Battle of Legnica
Part of the Mongol invasion of Poland
Legnica.JPG
Battle of Legnica Legend of Saint Jadwiga, 1353.
Date9 April 1241
Location
ResultDecisive Mongol victory
Belligerents
Mongol Empire

POL Przemysł II 1295 COA.svg Polish duchies:

Moravia Arms.svg Margraviate of Moravia
Cross of the Knights Templar.svg Templar Order
Commanders and leaders
Baidar
Kadan
Orda Khan
Kingdom of Poland-flag.svg Henry II the Pious 
POL województwo opolskie COA.svg Mieszko II the Fat
POL województwo małopolskie COA.svg Sulisław of Cracow 
Moravia Arms.svg Boleslaus Děpolt 
Units involved
Cavalry, mostly horse archers and lancers.Infantry, Polish conscripts, mercenaries, Bavarian miners, mounted knights
Strength
Between 3,000[1] and 8,000[2]2,000-3,000,[3] 3,800–4,300,[4][5] 8,000,[6]
65–88 Templar Knights[7]
Casualties and losses
UnknownAlmost entire army destroyed. 3 Templar Knights killed.[7]

The Battle of Legnica (Polish: bitwa pod Legnicą), also known as the Battle of Liegnitz (German: Schlacht von Liegnitz) or Battle of Wahlstatt (German: Schlacht bei Wahlstatt), was a battle between the Mongol Empire and the combined defending forces of European fighters that took place at Legnickie Pole (Wahlstatt) near the city of Legnica in the Duchy of Silesia on 9 April 1241.

A combined force of Poles and Moravians under the command of the Polish duke Henry II the Pious of Silesia, supported by feudal nobility and a few knights from military orders sent by the Pope, attempted to halt the Mongol invasion of Europe. The battle came two days before the Mongol victory over the Hungarians at the much larger Battle of Mohi.

Historical disputations

As with many historical battles, the exact details of force composition, tactics, and the actual course of the battle are lacking and sometimes contradictory.

The general historical view is that it was a crushing defeat for the Polish and Moravian forces where they suffered heavy casualties. It is known that the Mongols had no intentions at the time of extending the campaign westward,[8] because they went to the Kingdom of Hungary to help the main Mongol army in the conquest of the country.

One of the Mongol leaders, Kadan, was frequently confused with Ögedei's grandson Kaidu by medieval chroniclers, and thus Kaidu has often been mistakenly listed as leading the Mongol forces at Legnica.[9]