The Order of the Teutonic Knights were founded in the late 12th century by German knights after the failure of the Third Crusade. The Order was given papal recognition by Innocent III in 1199. The fall of Acre in 1291 meant that the Teutonic Knights no longer had to defend the Holy Land, so could concentrate their resources on the Baltic. When it became clear that the church would not call a crusade to recover the Holy Land, the order's headquarters were moved from Venice (which would have been the disembarkation point for travel to the Near East) and established at Malbork Castle in September 1309. At the time there were suggestions that all military orders should be dissolved. King Philip IV of France was a particularly strong proponent of this view and persecuted the Knights Templar within France.
- Sterns, Indrikis (1985). "The Teutonic Knights in the Crusader States" in Kenneth Meyer Setton, Norman P. Zacour, and Harry W. Hazard (eds.), A History of the Crusades, Volume V: The Impact of the Crusades on the Near East. pp. 315–317. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-299-09140-6.
- Christiansen, Eric (1997). The Northern Crusades, 2nd edition. London: Penguin Books. pp. 150–151, 222. ISBN 978-0140266535.