Category:Battles involving the Knights Templar
Pages in category "Battles involving the Knights Templar"
The following 16 pages are in this category, out of 16 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 16 pages are in this category, out of 16 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Knights Templar – The order was founded in 1119 and active from about 1129 to 1312. The order, which was among the wealthiest and most powerful, became a favoured charity throughout Christendom and grew rapidly in membership and they were prominent in Christian finance. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades, the Templars were closely tied to the Crusades, when the Holy Land was lost, support for the order faded. Rumours about the Templars secret initiation ceremony created distrust, and King Philip IV of France – deeply in debt to the order – took advantage of the situation to control over them. In 1307, he had many of the members in France arrested, tortured into giving false confessions. Pope Clement V disbanded the order in 1312 under pressure from King Philip, the abrupt reduction in power of a significant group in European society gave rise to speculation, legend, and legacy through the ages. The re-use of their name for later organizations has kept the name Templar alive to the modern day, after Europeans in the First Crusade recovered Jerusalem in 1099, many Christians made pilgrimages to various sacred sites in the Holy Land. Although the city of Jerusalem was under relatively secure Christian control, in 1119, the French knight Hugues de Payens approached King Baldwin II of Jerusalem and Warmund, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and proposed creating a monastic order for the protection of these pilgrims. The Temple Mount had a mystique because it was above what was believed to be the ruins of the Temple of Solomon. The Crusaders therefore referred to the Al-Aqsa Mosque as Solomons Temple, and from this location the new order took the name of Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, or Templar knights. The order, with about nine knights including Godfrey de Saint-Omer and André de Montbard, had few financial resources and their emblem was of two knights riding on a single horse, emphasising the orders poverty. The impoverished status of the Templars did not last long, another major benefit came in 1139, when Pope Innocent IIs papal bull Omne Datum Optimum exempted the order from obedience to local laws. This ruling meant that the Templars could pass freely through all borders, were not required to pay any taxes, with its clear mission and ample resources, the order grew rapidly. One of their most famous victories was in 1177 during the Battle of Montgisard, although the primary mission of the order was military, relatively few members were combatants. The others acted in support positions to assist the knights and to manage the financial infrastructure, the Templar Order, though its members were sworn to individual poverty, was given control of wealth beyond direct donations. A nobleman who was interested in participating in the Crusades might place all his assets under Templar management while he was away, based on this mix of donations and business dealing, the Templars established financial networks across the whole of Christendom. The Order of the Knights Templar arguably qualifies as the worlds first multinational corporation, in the mid-12th century, the tide began to turn in the Crusades. The Muslim world had become united under effective leaders such as Saladin, and dissension arose amongst Christian factions in, and concerning
2. Siege of Acre (1291) – The Siege of Acre took place in 1291 and resulted in the loss of the Crusader-controlled city of Acre to the Mamluks. It is considered one of the most important battles of the period, although the crusading movement continued for several more centuries, the capture of the city marked the end of further crusades to the Levant. When Acre fell, the Crusaders lost their last major stronghold of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, the main turning point in the Crusades was in 1187 when, after the pivotal Battle of Hattin, the Christians lost Jerusalem to the forces of Saladin. In the same year, Saladin was able to conquer a part of the Kingdom of Jerusalem including Acre. The religious orders had their headquarters in or near Acre, from which they made decisions in military. However, most relations with the Mamluks were not as cordial and they also proved to be much more hostile. After the Battle of Ain Jalut, Mamluk forces began attacking Crusader holdings as early as 1261 under Sultan Baibars, in 1265, Caesarea, Haifa, and Arsuf all fell to the Sultan. The following year saw the loss of all the important Latin holdings in Galilee, to help redress these losses, a number of minor Crusading expeditions left Europe for the East. The abortive Crusade of Louis IX of France to Tunis in 1270 was one such attempt, the minor Ninth Crusade of Prince Edward of England in 1271–1272 was another. Neither of these expeditions was capable of giving any assistance to the beleaguered Latin states. The forces involved were too small, the duration of each of the Crusades too short, Pope Gregory X labored valiantly to excite some general enthusiasm for another great Crusade, but he labored in vain. The failure of his appeal was ascribed by the Popes advisors to the laziness and vice of the European nobility. Though each of these factors may have been in part to blame, in any event, no Crusade of any major importance was forthcoming, despite the Popes best efforts. Meanwhile, the attacks on the Latin East continued, as did also the internal difficulties within what was left of the Latin Kingdom. By 1276, the situation, both external and internal, had become so perilous that the King of Jerusalem Henry II withdrew from Palestine altogether to take up his abode on the Island of Cyprus, the desperate plight of the Latin Kingdom worsened. In 1289 Tripoli was lost in the Fall of Tripoli, the Mamluks were led by Sultan Al-Ashraf Khalil, son of Qalawun. Qalawun had begun preparations for the siege but died in November 1290, following the fall of Tripoli, king Henry of Cyprus sent the senechal Jean de Grailly to Europe to warn European monarchs about the critical situation in the Levant. Jean met with Pope Nicholas IV who shared his worries and wrote a letter to European potentates to do something about the Holy Land, most however were too preoccupied by the Sicilian question to organize a Crusade, as was king Edward I too entangled in troubles at home
3. Battle of Arsuf – The Battle of Arsuf was a battle of the Third Crusade in which Richard I of England defeated the forces of Ayyubid leader Saladin. The battle took place just outside of Arsuf, when Saladin attacked Richards army when it was moving from Acre to Jaffa, following a series of harassing attacks by Saladins, battle was joined on the morning of 7 September 1191. Richards army successfully resisted attempts to disrupt its cohesion until the Hospitallers broke ranks and charged and he regrouped his army after its initial success, and led it to victory. The battle resulted in the area of southern Palestine, including the port of Jaffa. Saladin, whose objective was to prevent the recapture of Jerusalem. Richard organized the advance with attention to detail, a large part of the Egyptian fleet had been captured at the fall of Acre, and with no threat from this quarter he could march south along the coast with the sea always protecting his right flank. Mindful of the lessons of the disaster at Hattin, Richard knew that his armys greatest need was water, although pressed for time he proceeded at a relatively slow pace. He marched his army only in the morning before the heat of the day, making frequent rest stops, the fleet sailed down the coast in close support, a source of supplies and a refuge for the wounded. The infantry marched on the flank, covering the flanks of the horsemen. The outermost ranks of the infantry were composed of crossbowmen, on the seaward side was the baggage and also units of infantry being rested from the continuous harassment inflicted by Saladins forces. Richard wisely rotated his infantry units to keep them relatively fresh, though provoked and tormented by the skirmish tactics of Saladins archers, Richards generalship ensured that order and discipline were maintained under the most difficult of circumstances. Baha al-Din also described the difference in power between the Crusader crossbow and the bows of his own army, the Crusader armys pace was dictated by the infantry and baggage train, the Ayyubid army, being largely mounted, had the advantage of superior mobility. Efforts to burn crops and deny the countryside to the Frankish army were largely ineffective as it could be provisioned from the fleet. On 25 August the Crusader rearguard was crossing a defile when it was almost cut off, however, the Crusaders closed up so speedily that the Muslim soldiery was forced to flee. From 26 to 29 August Richards army had a respite from attack because while it hugged the coast and had round the shoulder of Mount Carmel. Saladin arrived in the vicinity of Caesarea before the Crusaders, who were on a longer road, from 30 August to 7 September Saladin was always within striking distance, and waiting for an opportunity to attack if the Crusaders exposed themselves. By early September, Saladin had realised that harassing the Frankish army with a portion of his troops was not going to stop its advance. In order to do this he needed to commit his army to a serious attack
4. Siege of Burriana – The Siege of Burriana was one of the battle actions that occurred during the Conquest of Valencia by James I of Aragon. Burriana was an important Muslim city, being the capital of La Plana and it was known as the Green City. The city was besieged for two months, finally falling to the forces of James I in July 1233. In 1229, the city of Valencia, known to the Muslims as Balansiya, had fallen to the forces under the command of Zayyan ibn Mardanish, in capturing that city, he dethroned Zayd Abu Zayd, who subsequently fled to the Kingdom of Aragon. James I of Aragon used this as a casus belli to intervene in the Muslim civil war on the side of the Almohades, but in reality with the pretext of expanding his own territory. Two Aragonese knights, Hugo de Follalquer, Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller, and Blas de Aragón and they recounted stories of the prosperity of the Muslim kingdom and encouraged the king to conquer it in 1233. After taking Burriana, the castles to the continued to fall into Aragonese hands one by one including, Peniscola, Castelló de la Plana, Borriol, Cuevas de Vinromá. Three years later, the decisive Battle of the Puig sealed the conquest in 1236, reconquista The information on this page was translated from its Spanish equivalent
5. Battle of Cresson – The Battle of Cresson was a small battle, fought on 1 May 1187 at the springs of Cresson, or Ain Gozeh, near Nazareth. It was a prelude to the defeat of the Kingdom of Jerusalem at the Battle of Hattin two months later. The political situation in Jerusalem was tense because of rivalries between two branches of the royal house. Raymond III of Tripoli, who had previously been regent for the kingdom, refused to accept Guy of Lusignan as king, following the death of the child king, Baldwin V the previous year. Meanwhile, Saladin had sent a force towards Tiberias led by Muzaffar ad-Din Gökböri. Raymond III hoped Saladin would ally with him against Guy, and allowed this force to pass through Tiberias on 30 April, a second probably larger Ayyubid force, led by Saladins son Al Afdal, was at Al Qahwani and did not participate in the battle. Gerard reached Cresson on 1 May, as the Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi, a chronicle of the Third Crusade, records it, So Saladin assembled armed forces and marched violently on Palestine. He sent the emir of Edessa, Manafaradin, on ahead with 7,000 Turks to ravage the Holy Land. Now, when this Manafaradin advanced into the Tiberias region, he happened to encounter the master of the Temple, Gerard de Ridefort, in the unexpected battle which followed, he put the former to flight and killed the latter. The Muslims feigned a retreat, a tactic which should not have fooled Gerard, nevertheless, he ordered a charge, against Rogers advice. The Muslims easily repulsed a direct Christian attack, killing both the knights, and, later, the foot-soldiers. Gerard was wounded, but survived, however, almost all the others were killed, according to the Itinerarium, however, Gerard did not rashly engage the enemy, but was actually caught unaware and was the victim of an attack himself. Balian was still a day behind, and had stopped at Sebastea to celebrate a feast day. After reaching the castle of La Fève, where the Templars and Hospitallers had camped and he sent his squire Ernoul ahead to learn what had happened, and news of the disastrous battle soon arrived from the few survivors. Raymond heard about the battle as well and met the embassy at Tiberias, Raymond was finally willing to acknowledge Guy as king, but the damage to the kingdom was severe, and both Gerard and Raynald considered Raymond a traitor. However Guy, knowing that Saladins army was forming for a renewed assault on the kingdom, could not afford to let this internecine quarrel continue. Saladin gathered a larger army of 20,000 men, invaded the kingdom in June. The battle is mentioned in a number of contemporary chronicles and these accounts differ considerably, and have never been fully reconciled by historians
6. Siege of Damascus (1148) – The Siege of Damascus took place between 24 July and 29 July 1148, during the Second Crusade. It ended in a decisive defeat and led to the disintegration of the crusade. Both faced disastrous marches across Anatolia in the months that followed, the original focus of the crusade was Edessa, but in Jerusalem, the preferred target of King Baldwin III and the Knights Templar was Damascus. At the Council of Acre, magnates from France, Germany, the crusaders decided to attack Damascus from the west, where orchards would provide them with a constant food supply. Having arrived outside the walls of the city, they put it to siege. On 27 July, the decided to move to the plain on the eastern side of the city. Nur ad-Din Zangi arrived with Muslim reinforcements and cut off the route to their previous position. The local crusader lords refused to carry on with the siege, the entire crusader army retreated back to Jerusalem by 28 July. Conrads force included Bolesław IV the Curly and Vladislaus II of Bohemia, as well as Frederick of Swabia, the crusade had been called after the fall of the County of Edessa on 24 December 1144. The crusaders marched across Europe and arrived at Constantinople in September and October 1147, both faced disastrous marches across Anatolia in the months that followed, and most of their armies were destroyed. Louis abandoned his troops and travelled by ship to the Principality of Antioch, Raymond expected him to offer military assistance against the Seljuk Turks threatening the principality, but Louis refused and went to Jerusalem to fulfil his crusader vow. Conrad, stricken by illness, had returned to Constantinople. The original focus of the crusade was Edessa, but in Jerusalem, the target of King Baldwin III. The Council of Acre was called with the Haute Cour of Jerusalem at Acre on 24 June, Louis, Thierry of Alsace, and various other ecclesiastical and secular lords represented the French. Notably, no one from Antioch, Tripoli, or the former County of Edessa attended, both Louis and Conrad were persuaded to attack Damascus. Some of the native to Jerusalem pointed out that it would be unwise to attack Damascus, as the Burid dynasty. Conrad, Louis, and Baldwin insisted, Damascus was a city for Christianity. Like Jerusalem and Antioch, it would be a prize in the eyes of European Christians
7. Battle of Hattin – The Battle of Hattin took place on July 4,1187, between the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and the forces of the Ayyubid sultan Salah ad-Din, known in the West as Saladin. It is also known as the Battle of the Horns of Hattin, the Muslim armies under Saladin captured or killed the vast majority of the Crusader forces, removing their capability to wage war. As a direct result of the battle, Muslims once again became the eminent military power in the Holy Land, re-conquering Jerusalem and these Christian defeats prompted the Third Crusade, which began two years after the Battle of Hattin. The battle took place near Tiberias in present-day Israel, the battlefield, near the town of Hittin, had as its chief geographic feature a double hill beside a pass through the northern mountains between Tiberias and the road from Acre to the east. The Darb al-Hawarnah road, built by the Romans, served as the main east-west passage between the Jordan fords, the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean coast, open warfare was only prevented when Humphrey of Toron swore allegiance to Guy, ending the succession dispute. The Muslim chronicler Ali ibn al-Athir claimed that Raymond was in a state of rebellion against Guy. In the background of these divisions Saladin had become vizier of Egypt in 1169, had taken Damascus in 1174 and he controlled the entire Southern and Eastern flanks of the Crusader states. Through the use of propaganda he united his subjects under Sunni Islam, however, Saladin often made strategic truces with the Franks when there was a need to deal with political problems in the Muslim World, and one such truce was made in 1185. It was rumoured amongst the Franks that Raymond III of Tripoli had made a deal with Saladin under which Saladin would make him King of Jerusalem in return for peace and this rumour was echoed by Ibn al Athir, but it is unclear whether it was true. Raymond III was certainly reluctant to engage in battle with Saladin, in 1187 Reynald of Châtillon raided a Muslim caravan when the truce with Saladin was still in place, and some accounts claim that Saladins sister was raped during the attack. Saladin swore that he would kill Reynald, and sent his son Al-Afdal ibn Salah ad-Din to raid Frankish lands surrounding Acre, Gerard de Ridefort and the Templars engaged al Afdal in The Battle of the Springs of Cresson in May, where they were heavily defeated. The Templars lost around 150 knights and 300 footsoldiers, who had made up a part of the military of Jerusalem. Phillips states that the damage to Frankish morale and the scale of the losses should not be underestimated in contributing towards the defeat at Hattin, in July Saladin laid siege to Tiberias, where Raymond IIIs wife Eschiva was trapped. In spite of this Raymond argued that Guy should not engage Saladin in battle, the Knights Hospitaller also advised Guy not to provoke Saladin. However, Gerard de Ridefort advised Guy to advance against Saladin and this was a gamble on Guys part, as he left only a few knights to defend the city of Jerusalem. In late May Saladin assembled the largest army he had ever commanded and he inspected his forces at Tell-Ashtara before crossing the River Jordan on June 30. The opposing Crusader army amassed at La Saphorie, it consisted of around 20,000 men, including 1,200 knights from Jerusalem, though the army was smaller than Saladins it was still larger than those usually mustered by the Crusaders. After reconciling, Raymond and Guy met at Acre with the bulk of the crusader army