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. Keyhole Markup Language – Keyhole Markup Language is an XML notation for expressing geographic annotation and visualization within Internet-based, two-dimensional maps and three-dimensional Earth browsers. KML was developed for use with Google Earth, which was originally named Keyhole Earth Viewer and it was created by Keyhole, Inc, which was acquired by Google in 2004. KML became a standard of the Open Geospatial Consortium in 2008. Google Earth was the first program able to view and graphically edit KML files, other projects such as Marble have also started to develop KML support. The KML file specifies a set of features for display in Here Maps, Google Earth, Maps and Mobile, each place always has a longitude and a latitude. Other data can make the more specific, such as tilt, heading, altitude. KML shares some of the same grammar as GML. Some KML information cannot be viewed in Google Maps or Mobile, KML files are very often distributed in KMZ files, which are zipped KML files with a. kmz extension. These must be legacy compression compatible, otherwise the. kmz file might not uncompress in all geobrowsers. The contents of a KMZ file are a single root KML document and optionally any overlays, images, icons, the root KML document by convention is a file named doc. kml at the root directory level, which is the file loaded upon opening. By convention the root KML document is at level and referenced files are in subdirectories. An example KML document is, The MIME type associated with KML is application/vnd. google-earth. kml+xml, the longitude, latitude components are as defined by the World Geodetic System of 1984. The vertical component is measured in meters from the WGS84 EGM96 Geoid vertical datum, if altitude is omitted from a coordinate string, e. g. then the default value of 0 is assumed for the altitude component, i. e. A formal definition of the reference system used by KML is contained in the OGC KML2.2 Specification. This definition references well-known EPSG CRS components, the KML2.2 specification was submitted to the Open Geospatial Consortium to assure its status as an open standard for all geobrowsers. In November 2007 a new KML2.2 Standards Working Group was established within OGC to formalize KML2.2 as an OGC standard. Comments were sought on the standard until January 4,2008. The OGC KML Standards Working Group finished working on change requests to KML2.2, the official OGC KML2.3 standard was published in August 4,2015
2. GPS eXchange Format – GPX, or GPS Exchange Format, is an XML schema designed as a common GPS data format for software applications. It can be used to describe waypoints, tracks, and routes, the format is open and can be used without the need to pay license fees. Location data is stored in tags and can be interchanged between GPS devices and software, common software applications for the data include viewing tracks projected onto various map sources, annotating maps, and geotagging photographs based on the time they were taken. These are the data contained in GPX files. Ellipsis means that the element can be repeated. Additional data may exist within every markup but is not shown here and it consists of the WGS84 coordinates of a point and possibly other descriptive information. TrkType is a track, made of at least one segment containing waypoints, that is, a Track Segment holds a list of Track Points which are logically connected in order. To represent a single GPS track where GPS reception was lost, or the GPS receiver was turned off, rteType is a route, an ordered list of routepoint leading to a destination. Conceptually, tracks are a record of where a person has been, technically, a track is made of a sufficient number of trackpoints to precisely draw every bend of a path on a bitmap. The routepoints may be crossings or junctions or as distant as stopover towns, hence, such a project can be saved and reloaded in a GPX file. A process called routing computes a route and may produce a GPX route made of the routepoints where some driver action takes place, the GPX points may contain the text of those instructions. The GPX file may contain both route and track so that a program can get points from the track even if it has no access to a vector map. The minimum properties for a GPX file are latitude and longitude for every single point. Some vendors, such as Humminbird and Garmin, use extensions to the GPX format for recording street address, phone number, business category, air temperature, depth of water, and other parameters. Latitude and longitude are expressed in degrees, and elevation in meters. Dates and times are not local time, but instead are Coordinated Universal Time using ISO8601 format, the following is a truncated GPX file produced by a Garmin Oregon 400t hand-held GPS unit. Concepts Point of Interest OpenStreetMap, a project to create free editable maps using, among others. File formats Exchangeable image file format Geography Markup Language KML, the equivalent format compatible with Google Earth, NMEA0183 NMEA2000 TCX, Garmin Training Center XML Software GPSBabel, used to upload/download/convert GPX files GPX, the GPS Exchange Format
3. 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
4. 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
5. 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
6. 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
7. 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
8. 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
9. 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
10. Battle of Legnica – The battle came two days before the Mongol victory over the Hungarians at the much larger Battle of Mohi. As with many battles, the exact details of force composition, tactics. The general historical view is that it was a defeat for the European forces where they suffered heavy casualties. It is known that the Mongols had no intentions at the time of extending the campaign westward, because they went to the Kingdom of Hungary to help the main Mongol army in the conquest of the country. One of the Mongol leaders, Kadan, was confused with Ögedeis grandson Kaidu by medieval chroniclers. The Mongols considered the Cumans to have submitted to their authority, after King Béla IV of Hungary rejected Batu Khans ultimatum to surrender the Cumans, Subutai began planning the Mongol invasion of Europe. Ordas forces devastated northern Poland and the border of Lithuania. While deciding whether or not to besiege Wrocław, Baidar and Kadan received reports that King Wenceslaus I of Bohemia was two days away with an army twice the size of Henrys. The Mongols turned from Wrocław to intercept Henrys forces before the European armies could meet, the Mongols caught up with Henry near Legnica at Legnickie Pole, also known as Wahlstatt. The Mongol diversionary force, a detachment from the army of Subutai, demonstrated the advantages of the tactical mobility and speed of horseback archers. These were standard Mongol tactics used in all of their major battles, they were made possible by continual training and superb battlefield communication. The Mongol commander found the highest ground at the site, seized it and used it to communicate to his noyans. The Mongol system was a stark contrast to the European systems, the numbers involved are difficult to judge. European accounts vary as to Mongol numbers—some suggest more than 100,000 at Legnica alone, current estimates suggest the Mongol force numbered, at most,25,000 cavalry. The Historia Tatarorum by the Franciscan C, a contemporary European account, the Ystoria Mongalorum, supports these numbers, placing the Mongol force that invaded Poland at 10,000 horsemen. Henrys better trained troops were his own gathered from Silesian Piast duchies, mercenaries, historian Marek Cetwiński estimates the allied force to have been 2,000 strong, while Gerard Labuda estimates 7, 000–8,000 soldiers in the Christian army. A contingent of Teutonic Knights of indeterminate number is believed to have joined the allied army. However, recent analysis of the 15th-century Annals of Jan Długosz by Labuda suggests that the German crusaders may have added to the text after chronicler Długosz had completed the work
11. Battle of Montgisard – The Battle of Montgisard was fought between the Ayyubids and the Kingdom of Jerusalem on November 25,1177. The 16-year-old King Baldwin IV, seriously afflicted by leprosy, led an out-numbered Christian force against the army of Saladin, the Arab force was routed and their casualties were massive, and only a fraction managed to flee to safety. Meanwhile, Saladin planned his own invasion of the Kingdom of Jerusalem from Egypt and it is also uncertain whether the so-called knights included mounted sergeants or squires, or whether they were true knights. Just as uncertain are the numbers of their opponents, an 1181 review listed Saladins Mamluk forces at 6,976 Ghulams and 1,553 Qaraghulams. However, there would have been additional soldiers available in Syria and elsewhere, whether these would have added up to a total of 26,000 reported by William of Tyre is impossible to say. Saladin left part of his army to besiege Gaza and a force at Ascalon. Accompanying Baldwin was Raynald of Châtillon, lord of Oultrejordain, who had just been released from captivity in Aleppo in 1176, Raynald was a fierce enemy of Saladin and was King Baldwins second-in-command. Also with the army were Baldwin of Ibelin, his brother Balian, Reginald of Sidon, odo de St Amand, Master of the Knights Templar, came with 84 Templar knights. Another Templar force attempted to meet Baldwin at Ascalon, but they remained besieged at Gaza, Saladin continued his march towards Jerusalem, thinking that Baldwin would not dare to follow him with so few men. He attacked Ramla, Lydda and Arsuf, but because Baldwin was supposedly not a danger, he allowed his army to be spread out over a large area, pillaging and foraging. However, unknown to Saladin, the forces he had left to subdue the King had been insufficient, the Christians, led by the King, pursued the Muslims along the coast, finally catching their enemies at Mons Gisardi, near Ramla. The location is disputed, as Ramla was a region that included the town under the same name. Malcolm Barber equates Mons Gisardi with the mound of al-Safiya, al-Safiya means white and, indeed, the Es-Safi hill is white with the foundations of a Crusader castle recently found at the top, called Blanchegarde. Ibn Al-Athīr, one of the Arab chroniclers, mentions that Saladin intended to lay siege to a Crusader castle in the area, but Saladins baggage train had been apparently mired. There is a small north of Tell es-Safi bordering farmland that in November might have been plowed up. The Egyptian chroniclers agree that the baggage had been delayed at a river crossing, Saladin was taken totally by surprise. His army was in disarray, part had been held up by the baggage train while another part of his force had scattered into raiding parties across the countryside. The horses were tired from the long march, some men had to hurry to collect their weapons from the baggage train
12. Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa – The Caliph al-Nasir led the Almohad army, made up of people from the whole Almohad empire. Most of the men in the Almohad army came from the African side of the empire, in 1195, Alfonso VIII of Castile was defeated by the Almohads in the so-called Disaster of Alarcos. After this victory the Almohads took several important cities, Trujillo, Plasencia, Talavera, Cuenca, the threat to the Hispanic Christian kingdoms was so great that Pope Innocent III called European knights to a crusade. Previously, they had caused problems in Toledo, with assaults, more than 30,000 men deserted and returned to their homes across the Pyrenees. Alfonso crossed the range that defended the Almohad camp, sneaking through the Despeñaperros Pass, being led by Martin Alhaja. The Christian coalition caught the Moorish army at camp by surprise, according to legend, the Caliph had his tent surrounded with a bodyguard of slave-warriors who were chained together as a defense. The Navarrese force led by their king Sancho VII broke through this bodyguard, the Caliph escaped, but the Moors were routed, leaving heavy casualties on the battlefield. The victorious Christians seized several prizes of war, Miramamolíns tent, Christian losses were far fewer, only about 2,000 men. The losses were heavy among the Orders. Those killed included Pedro Gómez de Acevedo, Alvaro Fernández de Valladares, Pedro Arias, ruy Díaz was so grievously wounded that he had to resign his command. The Caliph Muhammad al-Nasir himself died in Marrakech shortly after the battle, the crushing defeat of the Almohads significantly hastened their decline both in the Iberian Peninsula and in the Maghreb a decade later. That gave further impulse to the Christian Reconquest and sharply reduced the already declining power of the Moors in Iberia, shortly after the battle, the Castilians took Baeza and then Úbeda, major fortified cities near the battlefield and gateways to invade Andalusia. Thereafter, Alfonso VIIIs grandson Ferdinand III of Castile took Cordova in 1236, Jaén in 1246, and Seville in 1248, then he took Arcos, Medina-Sidonia, Jerez, in 1252, Ferdinand was preparing his fleet and army for invasion of the Almohad lands in Africa. But he died in Seville on 30 May 1252, during an outbreak of plague in southern Hispania, only Ferdinands death prevented the Castilians from taking the war to the Almohad on the Mediterranean coast, James I of Aragon conquered the Balearic Islands and Valencia. By 1252 the Almohad empire was almost over, at the mercy of another emerging African power, in 1269 a new association of African tribes, the Marinids, took control of the Maghreb, and most of the former Almohad empire was under their rule. In 1292 Sancho IV took Tarifa, key to the control of the Strait of Gibraltar, Granada, Almería, and Málaga were the only major Muslim cities of the time remaining in the Iberian peninsula. These three cities were the core of the Emirate of Granada, ruled by the Nasrid dynasty, Granada was a vassal state of Castile, until finally taken by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492. Harry Harrisons 1972 alternate history/science fiction novel Tunnel Through the Deeps depicts a history where the Moors won at Las Navas de Tolosa, alvira Cabrer, Martín, Las Navas de Tolosa,1212, idea, liturgia y memoria de la batalla, Sílex Ediciones, Madrid 2012
13. Fall of Ruad – The Fall of Ruad in 1302–3 was one of the culminating events of the Crusades in the Eastern Mediterranean. When the garrison on the tiny Isle of Ruad fell, it marked the loss of the last Crusader outpost on the coast of the Levant. In 1299–1300, the Cypriots sought to retake the Syrian port city of Tortosa, by setting up an area on Ruad. The plans were to coordinate an offensive between the forces of the Crusaders, and those of the Ilkhanate. However, though the Crusaders successfully established a bridgehead on the island, the Mongols did not arrive, the Knights Templar set up a permanent garrison on the island in 1300, but the Mamluks besieged and captured Ruad in 1302 or 1303. With the loss of the island, the Crusaders lost their last foothold in the Holy Land. Attempts at other Crusades continued for centuries, but the Europeans were never able to occupy any territory in the Holy Land until the 20th century. When Jerusalem was lost in 1187, the Crusaders moved their headquarters to the city of Acre. They then moved their headquarters north to Tortosa on the coast of Syria, the remaining elements of the dwindling Kingdom of Jerusalem relocated their headquarters offshore to the island of Cyprus. In 1298–99 the Mamluks attacked Syria, capturing Servantikar and Roche-Guillaume and this marked the capture of the last Templar stronghold in the Levant. Henry made some attempts to combine with the Mongols, and in the autumn of 1299 sent a fleet of two galleys, led by Guy of Ibelin and John of Giblet, to join Ghazan. The fleet successfully reoccupied Botrun on the mainland, and for a few months, until February 1300, Ghazan inflicted a crushing defeat on the Mamluks on 22 December 1299 at the Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar near Homs in Syria. He was assisted by his vassal Hethum II, whose forces included a contingent of Templars and Hospitallers from Little Armenia, before leaving, Ghazan announced that he would return by November 1300, and sent letters and ambassadors to the West so that they could prepare themselves. The Mongols success in Syria inspired enthusiastic rumours in the West, that the Holy Land had been conquered, in May however, when the Egyptians again advanced from Cairo, the remaining Mongols retreated with little resistance. In July 1300, King Henry II of Jerusalem and the other Cypriots set up a naval raiding operation, the citadel of Atlit having been dismantled by the Mamluks in 1291, Tortosa remained the most likely stronghold on the mainland which had the potential to be recaptured. From Cyprus, King Henry and members of the three orders, attempted to retake Tortosa in 1300. The plan was to establish a bridghead on the tiny island of Ruad. Pope Boniface VIII had since ordered Jacques de Molay to resolve the disputes with Henry II, in November 1300, Jacques de Molay and the kings brother, Amaury of Lusignan, launched an expedition to reoccupy Tortosa
14. Siege of Shaizar – The Siege of Shaizar took place from April 28 to May 21,1138. The allied forces of the Byzantine Empire, Principality of Antioch and County of Edessa besieged Shaizar in Syria, the siege resulted in the Emir of Shaizar paying an indemnity and becoming the vassal of the Byzantine emperor. The campaign underlined the limited nature of Byzantine suzerainty over the northern Crusader states and these rights dated back to the Treaty of Devol of 1108, though Byzantium had not been in a position to enforce them. The necessary preparation for a descent on Antioch was the recovery of Byzantine control over Cilicia, control of Cilicia opened the route to the Principality of Antioch for the Byzantines. Faced with the approach of the formidable Byzantine army Raymond of Poitiers, Prince of Antioch, John demanded the unconditional surrender of Antioch and, after asking the permission of Fulk, King of Jerusalem, Raymond of Antioch agreed to surrender the city to John. Then, Raymond would rule the new conquests and Antioch would revert to imperial rule. In March, the army crossed from Cilicia to Antioch. They crossed into enemy territory and occupied Balat, on April 3 they arrived before Bizaa which held out for five days. It had been hoped that Aleppo could be surprised, however, the most powerful Muslim leader in Syria, Zengi, was besieging nearby Hama and he had enough warning of the emperors operations to quickly reinforce Aleppo. On April 20, the Christian army launched an attack on the city, the emperor then moved the army southward taking the fortresses of Athereb, Maarat al-Numan, and Kafartab by assault, with the ultimate goal of capturing the city of Shaizar. The Crusader princes were suspicious of other and of John. With the lukewarm interest his allies had in the prosecution of the siege, the emperors reproaches could only goad the two princes into perfunctory and fitful action. Latin and Muslim sources describe Johns energy and personal courage in prosecuting the siege, conspicuous in his golden helmet, John was active in encouraging his troops, supervising the siege engines and consoling the wounded. The walls of Shaizar were battered by the trebuchets of the impressive Byzantine siege train, the emirs nephew, the poet, writer and diplomat Usama ibn Munqidh, recorded the devastation wreaked by the Byzantine artillery which could smash a whole house with a single missile. The city was taken, but the citadel, protected by its cliffs, tardily, Zengi had assembled a relief army and it moved towards Shaizar. The relief army was smaller than the Christian army but John was reluctant to leave his siege engines in order to out to meet it. John, disgusted by the behaviour of his allies, reluctantly accepted the offer, on May 21, the siege was raised. Zengis troops skirmished with the retreating Christians, but did not dare actively to impede the armys march, returning to Antioch, John made a ceremonial entry into the city