When one thinks of the Crusades, we think of the 11th – 13th century Muslim wars in the Holy Land. However, another Crusade was going on in Eastern Europe; The Baltic Crusades.
Crusades against the Baltic people, was the forced expansion and occupation of the Baltic lands. This occupation was performed by European nations. No heroic deeds took place, no legendary battles fought in the name of freedom and honour.
The purpose of the Baltic Crusades was to bring culture to degenerated pagan tribes of the Baltic’s. A people who lived like animals.
Battles and conflicts existed between Baltic people and its invaders. Local tribes fought each other, plundering wealth and slaves. They even aggravated surrounding countries like Denmark and Sweden, attacking merchant ships and joining in Scandinavian wars for power. Old Prussian forces would strike out at the Poles, whilst Lithuanian and Latvian tribes plundered Russian borders.
All this changed in 1193, when Pope Celestine III called for a Crusade against the Pagan Baltic’s.