The Battle of the Ice was a battle of Teutonic knights against a Novgorodian militia, led by Alexander Nevsky, in 1242. It is famous as an example of Russian bravery in the face of the Teutonic knights, who were trying to convert Russian lands to Roman Catholicism by force. During the course of the battle, Nevsky and his men were initially struggling to fend off the well-armed invaders. However, tradition has it that once fighting had shifted onto the frozen Lake Peipus, the Teutonic cavalry began falling through the ice due to the weight of their armor. This caused a mass panic and the Russian militia routed the knights.