Wielding their swords in the name of their faith, the crusaders originally set out to reclaim Jerusalem and its surrounding territory in the Middle East. Increasingly, however, Eastern Europe and the last remaining bastions of pagan Europe became the targets of their religious zeal. The subsequent Scandinavian campaigns laid the foundations of modern Baltic society by destroying pagan rural farming settlements, and establishing fortified Christian towns and major castles. As with the majority of crusades, the prospective acquisition of land and power was the one of the key driving forces behind these bloody military expeditions. This book reveals the colourful history of these Crusades when the soldiers of the Pope fought their way across Eastern Europe and inexorably changed the future of the continent.