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A thesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. Army Command and General StaffCollege in partial fulfillment ofthe requirements for the degree MASTER O F MILITARY ART AND SCIENCE

by ERIC W. OLSON, LCDR. USN B.S., Georgetown Ilniversity, Washington, D.C., I983

Fort Leavenwonh. Kansas


Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.


FOm Approved OM6 No. 0704-0188


Lieutenant Commander Eric W. Olson, U.S. Navy


US. Army Command and General Staff College ATIT: ATZL-SWD-GD Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027-1352



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Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

13. ABSTRACT (Maximum 200 words)



The study reviews the Battle of Hattin to determine why the arm!: of the Crusaders was decisively defeated. The Hattin was one of the most critical battles of the Middle Ages. The battle resulted in the virtual destruction of thi States and directly led to the Third Crusade. The study begins with a brief overview of the political, economic, a motivations behind the Cmades. A brief chronological history of si@icant events is provided to bridge the rou years from the foundation of the Crusader States until the Battle of Hattin. A description of the Crusader and Ma militaq organizations, equipment, swtegy, and tactics is provided to give a fnmework to examine the actions 01 prior to and during the Battle of Hattin. The study concludes with an examination of the Crusader decision to fig whellier that decision was in accordance with the stntcgic objectives of the C r u d e r States. The study presents I an example of poor suategic and tactical decision making.


Crusades, Saladin, Hattin, Ternpeas, Hospitalities







Slandard Form 298 (Rev. 2-59) Piarcnbsd by b N S I Sld 239-18 298.102

NSN 754041-28(F55M)

MASTER OF MILITARY ART AND SCIENCE THESlS APPROVAL PAGE Name of Candidate: Lieutenant Commander Eric W. Olson Thesis Title: The Battle of Hattin, 1 187

Approved by:

Accepted this 6th day of June 1997 by:

Philip J. Brookes, Ph.D.


, Dircctor. Graduate Degree Programs

The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those ofthe student author and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Army Command and General StatTCollege or any other governmental agency. (References to this study should include the foregoing statement.)

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TIIT: BATTLE O F IIATI'IN. I187 by LCDR Eric W . Olson. l!SN: XY pages

The study reviems the Battle of Haltin to determine why the arm! ofthe Cruwders was decisively defeated. 'Ihe Battle o f Hattin was one of thc most critical battles ofthe Middle Ages. The battle resulted in the virtual destruction o f the Crusader States and directly led to the Third Crusadc. The study begins with a brief overview of the political. economic: and religious motivations behind the Crusades. A brief chronological history of significant events is prwided to bridge the roughl! ninety )ears from thc foundation ofthe Crusader States until the Bat~le o f Ilattin. A description o f the Crusader and Moslem military organizations. equipment, strategy. and tactics is provided to give a framework to examine the actions o f both partics prior to and during the Battle o f Hattin. The study concludes with an examiiiillion o f the Crusader decision to tight and whether that decision was in accordance u i t h the strategic objectives ofthe Crusader States. The study presents the battle a s an example o f poor strategic and tactical decision making.





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ABSTRACT ........................................................................................................................ LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS INTRODUCTION CHAPTER






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2. rtx DECLINE OF THE CRUSADER STATES. I 174-1187 .................................

3. CRUSADER MILITARY ORGANIZATIONS, EQUIPMENT, STRATEGY, AND TACTICS ......................................................................................................... 4. MOSLEM MILITARY ORGANIZATIONS, EQUIPMENT, STRATEGY: AND TACTICS .................................. 1.......................................................................
5 . BATTLE OF IiATTIN ............................................................................................






APPENDIX ......................................................................................................................... A. LITERARYREVIEW BIBI.IOGRA1HY








Page -

-.-. Figure

I. The Muslim Near East 1127-1 174




2. Feudal Iloldings in the Kingdom ofJerusalem ..............................................................

3. The Rattle of1 laitin. afternoon .....................................................



4. The Battle of Hattin. late morning to noon



5 Map of the Vicinity O f h t t i n ...............................................




The Battle of Hattin (3-4 July I 1 87) was one of the most decisive battles of the Middle Ages. The battle was fought between the combined Crusader armies, under the leadership of thc

King of Jerusalem, and a Moslem army, under their great leader Saladin. Over the course of the
battle, the Crusader army was virtually eliminated. Without a field army to oppose him, Saladin destroyed the Crusader States with the exception of three major cities and a few isolated fortresses. What the Crusaders had spent ninety years building was destroyed due to the Crusader leaderships' poor tactical and strategic decision making prior to the battle. The focus of this thesis will be on the strategic, political, and tactical decisions that led to the decisive defeat of the Army of the Crusaders at the Battle of Ilattin. Strategic questions will include: What were the strategic objectives of the Crusader States? Why did the Army ofthe Crusaders commit to battle? Did the Crusaders have to commit to battle to achieve their strategic objectives? And, Was the risk of battle worth the gain? Political questions will include: Did a politically divided leadership directly lead to the Crusaders' defeat? Did King Guy's experiences in a similar defensive action in I183 influence his decisions at Hattin'? And. As King of Jerusalem, did King Guy have to be concerned with the political ramifications of not committing to battle? Tactically, what tactical decisions led to the Crusaders' defeat at Hattin? Was the decision

to march from SalTuriya to Tiberias in one day feasible? Was the decision to halt the army and

camp in the open on 3 July 1187 a primary cause of the later defeat? And, Could the Army of the Crusaders have reached a source of water on 3 July?

To provide a framework for answering thse questions, a historical background and a

description of the opposing armics will be provided. The historical background will provide B bricf description of the events that led to the First Crusade, the establishment of the Crusader States, the political divisions within the Crusader States, and thc rise ofsaladin. The description of the opposing armies will include a description of the armys organization, strategy, tactics. and equipmcnt.

CHAPTER I FOlJNDATION AND GROWTH OF THE CRUSADER STATES. 1095 - I174 The period 1095-1 174 would see the foundation of the Crusader States in the Middle East and their dramatic political. economic, and military growth. What started as an attempt to help the beleaguered Byzantine Empire and to reduce the fighting in Western Europe would be the start of a Christian military presence in the region for two hundred years. The Crusades would also serve as

the catalyst for a reunification of the Moslem Near East, first under Nur-ad-Din and later under
Saladin. During this period, the Crusaders would reach the height of their power. I-lowcvcr, by the end ofthis period. the strategic balance of power in the region will begin to swing against them.

In the year 1095. there was a political vacuum of power in the Near East. The two historic
powers in thc region the Abbasid Caliphate and the Byzantine Empirc wcrc both severely weakened. The Abbasid Caliphate existed in name only as its military power had been crushed by the Seljuks. Thc Seljuks also dcfcatcd the Byzantines at the battlc ofManzikcrt (1071). which resulted in the Byzantine loss of most of Asia Minor. Up until the battle of Manzikert, the Byzantines. due to their military strength. could influence the Moslcms who controlled Jerusalcm and the Holy Lands. In 1095, without a strong military presence in Asia Minor, the Byzantines lost thcir ability to protect Christian rights in the Iloly Lands.' Also in the year 1095, the great Seljuk Empirc includcd all of present day Iraq, Iran, Syria. Lebanon. Jordan. and most of lsracl and Turkcy. The Seljuk Empirc's growth. while explosive, was not stable. Loyalties were still more to the tribe than to the empire. Only the strong rule of the Sultan Alp Arslan and his son Malik-Shah kept the empire together.. With Malik-Shah's

Fig. I . The Muslim Near East. Rcprinted from: Jonathan Riley-Smith MI.. The Atlas of the Crusades, (New York: Facts on File, 1990). 59.

assassination in 1095, the empirc began to break apart during a battle for succession. Asia Minor divided into three. parts, the largest being the Sultanate of Rum ruled by Kilij Arslan. The other two parts, to the north and east of present day Ankara, were ruled by two separate Turkoman tribes. In Syria, separate emiratcs were established at Antioch. Alcppo, Horns, and Damascus. Mesopotamia also divided into separate emirates with the strongest being based on M o s ~ l . ~ The other Moslcm major regional power was the Fatamid Caliphate based in Cairo. The Fatamid Caliphate had lost most of its former territory in what is now Lebanon and Israel to Malik-Shah. The Fatamids were Shiites and. therefore, natural rivals to both the Sunni Seljuks and the Caliph in Baghdad. Prior to thc arrival of the First Crusade. thc Fatamids werc able to reconquer the ports along the coast as far north as Tyre and reconquered Jerusalem in 1098. The Fatamids wcrc, therefore, not firmly entrenched in the region when the First Crusade arriwd. When the Crusaders conquered Antioch and Edcssa, the Fatamids did not initially view them as potential rivals but as a possible counterbalancc to the Seljuks. The major Christian power in the region, the Byzantine Empire, was attempting to rcbuild afier the disaster at Manzikcrt. The Byzantines had lost most of thcir traditional armys recruiting grounds and were having difficulty raising troops to defend what was leA of thc cmpirc. The Byzantines were hard pressed by the Seljuks in Asia Minor, by the Slavs in the Balkans, and in Greece by the Normans of southern Italy. The currcnt emperor Alexius I Comncnus had appealed to Pope Urban I1 for assistance in raising troops to help reconquer a portion of Asia Minor. As an incentive, the emperor had agreed to hclp rcconcile the Eastern (Orthodox) and Wcstcrn (Roman Catholic) churches that had officially split in 1054. For his part, Urban I I sought the emperors support in his continuing struggle against the anti-Pope Clement 111. Christian Western Europe in 1095 was in a period of both expansion and internal division. Christians were fighting Moslems in Spain, the Western Mediterranean, and Sicily: and, even for a

brief time: Normans from Sicily occupied Tunis. The Capetian King of France. the German Emperor I lenry IV,and the English King William 11 were all attempting to form more centralizLd feudal states. Excess military manpower and the law of primogeniture led to extensive fighting between Christians. The pope was struggling against the major European monarchs for control of the Catholic Church. The German Emperor Henry IV was supporting the anti-Pope Clement 111. who, for a short period of time. occupied Rome with German military assistance forcing Pope Urban I1 to find safe havcn with the Norman rulers of southern Italy.4 Thc eleventh century was also a period of explosive growth of monasteries and religious orders. The average Western European was very dcvoot. With the conversion ofthe Hungarians to Christianity, Byzantine control ofthe Balkans and Asia Minor. and control ofthe Western Mcditcrranean by the Italian City States, pilgrimages to the Holy Lands bccamc possible even for Christians of modest means. A pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Holy Lands became the goal for many Western Europeans. In the middle part ofthe century, hospices were set up to receivc pilgrims in Egyptian controlled ports and along the major land routes in what is now 1,ebanon and Israel. This system of support for pilgrims broke down with the Byzantine loss of most of Asia Minor after the Battle of Manzikert and the Egyptian loss of control in most ofthe Holy Lands. The new Moslcm rulcrs of the pilgrimage routes saw the pilgrims as either a source of revenuc or possible threat. The breakdown in the support structure for Christian pilgrims led to reports of abuse and death of pilgrims at the hands of M o ~ l e m s . ~

In 1095, one man Pope Ijrhan II started a chain of events that changed the face of Western
Europe and the Near East for almost two hundred ymrs. On 27 Novembcr 27 1095, at the Council ofClermont, Pope Urban II first proclaimed a holy Crusadc to frce thc Eastern churches from Moslem domination. Urban l l saw a Crusade as a means to accomplish three primary goals: limit further Christian against Christian fighting in Europe by sending cxcess military manpower to thc

east, provide support to the Byzantines who were attempting to recover territory lost after the Battle of Manzikert, and strengthcn the papacy. The Council of Clermont was the culmination of months o f work by Urban I I to ensure that he had the support of several key nobles and the powerful Abbot o f Cluny. The extensive preparation ensured that the announccd Crusade would not fail and at least a minimal amount of aid would reach the Byzantines. Urban 11 never conceived how successful his call for a Crusade would be or how long its effects would l a x 6 With the Byzantine need for military assistance and the ~ X C C S Sof military manpower in Western Europe, a Crusade in support of the eastern Christians (Byzantines) would achieve all of Urban 11's goals. Sending manpower east would ease military tension in Western Europe while hopefully expanding the Christian frontier. Supporting the Byzantine Emperor would ensure that the Emperor supported Urban I I against the anti-pope and also opcncd the door for a reuniting of
the Eastern and Western churches under the papacy. Finally, if the call for a Crusade was

successful, it would increase the prestige of the papacy and strengthen Rome's control over the increasingly indepcndcnt bishops and monasteries.' Afier extensive preparation, thc First Crusade let1 for the Holy Lands in 1096. The size of the army of the First Crusade is not known. a good estimate would be between 5,000 to 7.000 cavalry and 35.000 to 45,000 infantry.' Aner stopping first at Constantinople, the Crusaders passed across the straits into Asia Minor in 1097. Their first opponent was the strongest Seljuk state. the Sultanate of Rum. The Crusaders fought and won three major battles--Nicea, Dorylaeum. and Tarsus. The Crusaders, while victorious. were severely wcakcned and might not have been able to continue without the assistance of the Hyiantines. The First Crusade's next major challenge was Antioch. which had a garrison of 10,000 and was one of the largest cities in thc Near East. Unable to take the city by storm, the Crusaders placed the city under siege in October 1097. The siege lasted nine months and only ended after the Crusaders dereated a Moslem 7

rclicfarmy. estimated to consist of over 20.000 troops. One ywr later. thc Crusaders took thcir m i o r objective Jerusalem. .Ihc success of the First Crusadc was due to excellent and very fortunate timing. If MalikShah had not bccn assassinated. it is likcly thc Crusaders would not have made it past the first series of battles in Asia Minor. Instead, the Crusaders faced rival Moslem rulers who had weakened thcmsclvcs in internecinc fighting. In addition. the backbone of Moslem strength in Syria the Turkoman tribes had withdrawn to fight in Mesopotamia and Iran. Even with these advantages, the Crusaders were fortunate to capture Antioch and defeat the first of the Moslem counteroffcnsives under Kerbogha Governor of Mosul. The Crusadcrs wcre successful dcspitc divided leadership, lack of a logistics base once they lcft Byzantine territory, and no plan for how to administer the captured territory. Lack of ccntralizcd leadership led to a pcrmancnt division ofthe Crusader army after the successful siege of Antioch. One of the most powerful Crusadcr Icadcrs, Bohemond of Taranto, decided to remain

in Antioch and attempt to establish an independent kingdom. Another major leader, Baldwin of
Boulogne, also broke offon his own to establish his own kingdom among the Armenians in the vicinity of Edessa. The army was further weakened after the capture of Jcrusalcm, when most of the Crusading army. having complctcd its mission, returned home. In 1099: the small Crusadcr army was sprcad from Antioch and Edessa in the north and northeast to Jcrusaleni and Jaffa in the south. The Christians only held thcsc four major cities. Thc lack of a local logistics base madc it impcrativc for the remaining Crusaders to cnsure continued acccss to supplies from Western Europc. One ofthe last acts of the Crusaders returning to Western Europe was thc fortification of Jaffa. Jafh bccamc thc lifcblood of the infant Kingdom ofJerusalcm. The requirement for access to the Mcditcrranean for resupply madc the capture of ports held by thc Fatamids, especially Acre, crucial for the long term survival ofthe Crusadcrs.

Acquisition of ports, such as Acre, Tyre, Sidon and Ascalon, provided not only for security but also for the tinancial well-heing ofthe Kingdom. With the return of the bulk of the Crusader army to Western Europe, those that remained had to determine how they were going to defend the captured territory. Unity of command was now vital, as the Crusader army by the year 1 100 nurnbercd only between 1.000 to 2,000 troops. The Crusaders decided to form a kingdom with its capital at Jerusalem. For the next forty years: the Crusaders were able to expand their territories due to continued divisions in Moslem leadership and support from Western Europc. Evcntually. the Crusader States would stabilize as four distinct political entities: the Kingdom of Jcrusalcm. the Principality of Antioch, and the counties of Tripoli and Edessa. The Kingdom of Jcrusalem includcd all of modern day Israel. the West Bank, Gaia, the coastal plain of Lebanon up to and including Hcirut. and the areas immcdiatcly east of tlie Jordan River. The Principality of Antioch included the city of Antioch. all arcas west ofthe Orantes river south to the present Syrian-Lebanese border. and thc coastal plain north of Antioch to Alexandretta. The County of Tripoli included thc coastal areas of Lebanon north of Beirut to the current Syrian-Lebanese bordcr. Thc County of Edcssa was based on the city of Edessa and included most of the then Armenian populatcd areas in what is now southcastern Turkey. Officially, the Principality of Antioch and the two countics wcre vassals ofthe King of Jerusalem: however, these states frequently acted independently and made their own treaties with ncighboring Moslem states, 0 t h to the detriment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. During the period of this study, the Principality of'Antioch and thc County of Tripoli were depcndcnt on the Kingdom of Jerusalem for military support and, thcrcforc, nominally recognized thc authority of the King of Jerusalem. Collwtively. the four states were referred to as tlie Kingdom ofthe Crusaders or thc Outremer.

Fig. 2. Feudal Holdings in the Kingdom or Jerusalem. Reprinted liorn: Jonathan Riley-Smith ed.. The Atlas of the Crusades, (New York: Facts on Filc. I990),3 i .

The Crusaders enjoyed spectacular success until the beginning of the I 130s. Prior to

I 130, the Crusaders were able to prevent the various Moslem Emirs in Syria and Iraq from uniting
against the newly established Crusader States. In I 130,had-ad-Din Zengi, the Governor of Mosul, was able to establish effective control over Aleppo. The uniting of two of the most pow,erful Moslem provinces presented a direct threat to the Principality of Antioch and the County of Edessa. Between I 130 and I 144, the Crusaders had been able to retain possession of most of their northern holdings as Zengi was occupied in not only fighting the Crusaders but also his coreligionists in northern Syria and Mesopotamia. In I 144. Count Joscelin of Edessa removed most of his Army from Edessa while fighting in support of a Moslem ally. As a result, Zcngi was able to bring the bulk of his army against Edessa and capture it before the Crusaders could respond. The loss of Edessa was quite possibly the culminating point for the Crusaders. The capture of Edessa elevated Zengi from a power hungry warlord to defender of the faith. Zengi's reputation and relations with the caliph in Baghdad were restored. Zengi now received support from Baghdad, which strengthened his hold of northern Mesopotamia. Control of the County of Edessa improved communication between Zengi's territories. Moslem Syria was no longer separated from Mesopotamia by a hostile Christian state. 'The loss of Edessa denied the Crusader States their forward defense and opened up the Principality of Antioch and the County of Tripoli to attack. Access was also lost to a significant portion ofChristian Armenia and its Christian military resourccs. The loss of Edessa sent a shockwave through Europe which directly led to thc Second Crusade.' The Second Crusade. which was launched to help recapture the County of Edessa, failed to strengthen the Crusaders' position in the Holy Lands. The Second Crusade failed due to a lack of coordination between the Crusading armics, attempts to separate and weaken the force by the Byzantine Emperor, and stronger Moslem resistance. Instead of a strong. united Christian army:

the Second Crusade divided into two separate armies which were defeated piecemeal by the Seljuks

in Anatolia. The Byzantine Emperor, unsure of the intent and reliability of the Crusaders. did
everything he could to divide the Crusaders, limit direct Byzantine assistance to the Crusaders, and prevent resupply of the Crusader army from Byzantine territory. By the time the army of the Second Crusade reached Antioch, it was reduced to one tenth its original size. When the army of the Second Crusade reached Antioch, its objectives had also changed. The original objective to recapture Edessa was abandoned, and. instead of fighting to help secure the beleaguered Crusader States in the north, the Army marched to the relative security of Jerusalem. After a delay to reconstitute, the army of the Second Crusade moved against Damascus: which, even though under Moslem control, was not openly hostile to the Crusader States. Damascus was the last major city in Syria not under the control of Zengi's successor, Nurad-Din (Zengi was assassinated in I 146). The Crusader assault on the city failed in part due to divisions in the Crusader Army and a relief force sent by Nur-ad-Din. Instead of attacking Nur-adDin directly and possibly weakening his hold on northern Syria, the Second Crusade actually strengthened his position by forcing Damascus to rely on him for military assistance. For the next ten years the Crusaders and Nur-ad-Din would fight for control of Damascus. The Crusaders never again threatened to capture the city hut, through a military alliance, attempted to keep the city independent. In I 156 Nur-ad-Din was finally able to capture Damascus and unite Moslem Syria. Nur-ad-Din now controlled virtually all Moslem territory bordcring the Crusader States, except for Fatamid Egypt and the territory of the Assassins in the Lebanese mountains. Nur-ad-Din was prevented from moving decisively against the Crusader States by a series of violent earthquakes which devastated northern Syria. While Nur-ad-Din was attempting to restore

his defenses in northern Syria he fell seriously ill. This was the first of two long term serious
illnesscs which reduced Nur-ad-Din's ability to lead offensive operations over the next cight years.


During the time of his illnessq, Nur-ad-Din relied heavily on his primary lieutenant Shirkuh who was his Governor of Damascus. Shirkuh was able to hold his masters territory against renewed attacks by the Crusaders, rebellious Shiites, the Assassins, and other Moslem rulers. During this period, Shirkuh had cooperated with the Fatamids in a series of raids against the Crusaders. The Damascus-Fatamid relationship had important ramifications when Shavar, the Fatamid military commander, was forced out of Cairo by his rival Dirgam. Shavar requested assistance from Shirkuh to regain control of Cairo. After receiving permission from Nur-ad-Din, Shirkuh let) for Egypt with his nephew Saladin. Shirkuhs forces defeated Dirgam outside the gates of Cairo. However, Shavar, fearing that he would lose control of Cairo to Shirkuh, asked

King Almaric of Jerusalem for military assistance against Shirkuh. Shavars request for military
assistance was the start of five years of fighting in Egypt which sapped the strength of the Crusaders while eventually adding Egypt to Nur-ad-Dins growing empire and completing the encirclement of the Crusader States. Nur-ad-Dins lieutenant was not to enjoy the final victory over the Fatamids: the final victory was left to his successor and nephew Saladin who in I 169 became the new governor of Egypt. The Crusadcrs fought for twenty-three years. but finally failed to prevent Moslem reunification. While the Crusader States prepared for a Moslem offensive, once again Moslem rivalries came to the Crusaders aid. Having obtained control of Syria and Egypt. Nur-ad-Din turned east instead of west. He moved against Mosul and the Moslem rulers of Anatolia. Nur-adDin was able to capture Mosul in I 170, making him master o f virtually all Moslcm territory from the Euphrates to the Nilc. Warfare against the Crusaders during this period eonsistcd mainly of raids and counter-raids. along with the reduction of isolated Crusader, Armenian. and Byzantine fortifications. As it appeared Nur-ad-Din was turning his full attention against the Crusaders: he died in Damascus in I 174. Unlike whcn he took power. there was no smooth succession when

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Nur-ad-Din died. Nur-ad-Dins empire collapsed once again into rival emirates, with one major exception--Saladin was now master of Egypt. the wealthiest and most populous Moslem state. and ready to cany out his own Crusade.

Sir Steven Runciman, A History of the Crusades: I The First Crusade (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1951), 51. *Claude Cahan. The Turkish Invasion: The Selchukids in A Historv of the Crusades: Vol. I The First Hundred Years, ed.Kenneth M. Senon (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969), 162-165. Sir Hamilton A. R. Gibb, The Caliphate and the Arab States in A History of the Crusades: Vol. I The First Hundred Years, ed. Kenneth M. Setton (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969), 94-95. Sidney Painter, Western Europe on the Eve of the Crusades in A Historv of the Crusades: Vol. I The First Hundred Years, cd.Kenneth M. Setton (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press), 17-1 9, 24-29. Sir Steven Runciman, The Pilgrimages to Palestine before 1095 in A llistorv ofthg Crusades: Vol. I The First Hundred Years: ed. Kenneth M. Setton (Madison. WI: University of Wisconsin Press), 71-78. 6Dana Munro, The Kingdom of the Crusaders (Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1935). 32-33. lbid. Sir Steven Runciman, The Pilgrimages to Palestine before 1095 in A Historv ofthc Crusades: Vol. I The First Hundred Years, ed. Kenneth M. Setton (Madison. WI: University o f Wisconsin Press), Appendix 11, 336-341. Sir Hamilton A. R. Gibb, Zengi and the Fall ofEdessa in A Historv of the Crusades: Vol. 1 The First llundred b , ed. Kenneth M. Setton (Madison. WI: University of Wisconsin Press), 461.



The year 1 174 was a watershed year in the history of the Holy Lands. The Christian and Moslem worlds were both divided aner the deaths o f King Amalric ofJerusalem and Nur-ad-Din. Between 1 174 and I 187, the Moslems strived for and achieved unity, while the Christians split into two major factions critically weakening the Crusader States. Also during this period, the Crusaders attempted and failed to prevent Moslem reunification. Saladin. based in Egypt. rose to prominence and reunited Zengis former empire setting the stage for the decisive hattlc of Hattin. Meanwhile. the factional split ofthe Crusader nobility and rhe struggle over who would succeed Baldwin IV dominated the Crusader States. Christian disunity prevented unified opposition to Saladin and played a major part in the Crusader defeat at the battle ofl-lattin. On 15 May I 174, Nur-ad-Din died. His death len his underage son. al-Malik as-Salih. in nominal control of a united empire. Saladin acknowledged his allegiance to as-Salih. while attempting to position himself as the boys guardian. Due 10 an attack on Alexandria by Sicily and an attack on Banyas by King Amalric, Saladin was unable to move into Syria until October. From May to October 1174, one ofNur-ad-Dins nephews Saif-ad-Din had taken control of Mosul and most ofNur-ad-Dins former territory in Mesopotamia. In addition. the Emir of Damascus had made peace with King Amalric and agreed to pay reparations, and one of Nur-ad-Dins household. the eunuch Gumushtigin seized as-Salih and Aleppo.


The Crusader States'here not able to take advantage of Moslem disunity, as King Amalric d i d on I 1 July I 174 at the age of thirty-eight. Amalric had been a strong and very active King. He had the support of the Latin nobility, the military ordcrs. and the Church. He was the last king to enjoy unificd support from the three major power blocks in the Crusader States. King A m a h was succeedcd by his son Baldwin IV, who was still a minor and suffered from leprosy. It was evident from the start that Baldwin IV would not live long past his majority. His illncss and the fact that he was a minor led to a battle for control ofthe bailliage (regency) and who would succeed him as the next king. The initial question of who would be bailli for Baldwin IV was scttlcd when Raymond 111, Count of Tripoli, declared himself bailli in late Autumn I 174. Raymond 111 was Baldwin 1v's closest male relative and one of the strongest and wealthiest nobles in the Kingdom o f Jerusalem.

In addition to his control of onc of thc thrcc remaining Crusadcr States, he was also the Prince of
Galilee. Count Raymond had the support of most of the established nobility, including the principle houses of Toron. Ibclin, Sidon, and Ramlah. Therc was no recorded oppositioii to his assumption of duties as bailli.

In Octobcr 1 174, Saladin was tinally able to move his army out of Egypt and into Syria.
Much to the consternation of both the Crusadcrs and Saladin's Moslem rivals. he was able to occupied Damascus almost without opposition on 28 October. Saladin appointcd his hrother Tughtigin as Governor of Damascus and procccded north with his army toward Aleppo and Nurad-Din's heir, as-Salih. Saladin quickly occupied Homs and Hamah and continued on to Alcppo, which he laid under sicgc. Gumushtigin. who hcld Aleppo in as-Salih's name, attempted to rally opposition against Saladin. Specifically. Gumushtigin scnt rcqucsts for support to Saif-ad-Din in Mosul and to Count Raymond. The Crusader army, under Count Raymond. besieged Horns, while the Moslem army from Mosul marched to the relicfol'Alcppo. The combination of the Crusader I6

threat to Homs and the size ofthe reliefarmy caused Saladin to lift the siege and return to Damascus. With Saladins withdrawal, the Crusadcr army left the field and dispersed.

In April 1175, the combined armies of Aleppo and Mosul attempted to pressure Saladin
into relinquishing control of Homs and Hamah. Saladin, with timely reinforccment from Egypt, was able to defeat the combined army at Hamah. With the victory at Hamah, Saladin returned to the offensive and oncd again laid siege to Alcppo. Without the military forcc to oppose Saladin, Gumushtigin signed a truce with Saladin and agreed to support Saladins army against the Crusaders. Saladin, in seven months. had seized control of all of Moslem Syria, with thc cxccption of Aleppo. Saladin also received recognition of his conquests by the Caliph in Baghdad, which provided legitimacy for his actions. Saladins final major action of 1 175 was thc signing of a trucc with the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Having secured his foothold in Syria. Saladins immediate objective was not to attack the Crusaders. but to gain control of northern Syria. At the beginning of the campaign season of I 176, Saladin was once again in northern Syria facing the combined armies of Aleppo and Mosul. Saladin was victorious and the position o f Aleppo was further wcakcncd. The wcakness of Aleppo and the strengthening of his hold in Syria allowed Saladin to shitt his attention for the next three years against the Crusadcr States. The year I 176 was very significant for the Crusadcr States. Baldwin IV reached thc age of majority and Count Raymond relinquished the bailliagc. The Crusader State leadership attempted to stabilize the line of succession by arranging thc marriage of Baldwin IVs sistcr Sybil to William Longsword, son of William of Montfcrrat, a powcrful French noble family. Unfortunately, William Longsword dicd lcss than a year later. The union of William Longsword and Sibyl would result in a son, Baldwin V: who would briefly bc King ofJcrusalcm. While the Crusadcr States appcarcd to be building a stable foundation for the futurc, the balance of power in the Year East shifted in favor of the Moslems. In September I 176, the army

of Byzantine Empcror Manuai I was dkisively defeatcd at Myriokephalon by the Seljuk Turks of the Sultanate of Rum. The Byzantine losses wcrc so great that the Byzantines were removed as a major playcr in thc Holy Lands. For years thc Byzantines had actcd as a major source of military and economic support to the Crusader States. The prcsence of a large and powcrful Byzantine army and navy had prcvcnted serious attacks on thc Principality of Antioch. During the reign of

King Amalric, the By7mtines had provided substantial military support for the Crusader
campaigns in Egypt. Even after King Amalric's death, the Byzantincs proposed a further joint Byzantine-Crusader attack on Saladin. What little support remained from the Byzantine Empirc disappeared completely with Empcror Manual 1's death in 1 180.' The last major opportunity for the Crusaders to decisively attack Saladin came in I 177. Philip of Flanders, accompanied by a large army (estimatcd at bctwcen seven to twelve thousand troops), arrived in the Holy Lands. Philip was offered the bailliage ofthc Kingdom o f Jerusalem and eventual succession to the throne through marriage to Sibyl, the rcccntly widowed sistcr ofthc

King Baldwin IV. The presence of Philip momentarily checked Saladin's expansion. Saladin
waitcd in Egvpt to see where the Crusaders and Philip of Flanders would strike. Philip's lime in

the Holy Lands was a frustrating period for the Crusadcrs. Philip rcfuscd the bailliage and said hc
would support whocvcr the King appointcd as hailli. Reginald of Chatillon. Lord of Montreal and Kcrak, was appointed bailli. and preparations were made for an attack on Egypt. Whilc preparations were underway, Philip of Flanders refused to participate, stating he would rather attack a target closer to Jerusalem. Philip also rcfuscd to attack Damascus and. instcad. sent his army north to attack on one Saladin's lcsscr possessions the town of Harim. The division ofthe Crusader army gave Saladin the opportunity to deploy the bulk of his army against the southern border of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Saladin's army was estimatcd to includc 26.000 troops. which probably included most of his Egyptian Army. Saladin was so


certain of his victory that he $spersed his force into columns to inflict the maximum amount of damage before the main Crusader Army could respond. King Baldwin IV gathered what military force he could, estimated at between 375-500 knights (including eighty Knights Templar) and approximately thrce thousand infantry. King Baldwin IV was able to evade Saladins advance guard and surprised Saladins main body in a ravine near Montgisard. Saladins army was unable to form a battle line before the Crusaders attacked. Saladins army was routed, and Saladin was able to escape with only his household guard. Due to the size ofthe King Baldwin IVs forces and their own losses. the King was unable to follow up on his victory. The campaign season of 1 I77 ended with Saladin rebuilding his forces in Egypt but with
no other appreciable gain for the Crusaders. The siege of Harim failed as Philip of Flanders lost

intcrest. The Crusaders were unable to convince Philip to stay in the Holy Lands, and the proposed marriage to Sybil was canccled. The Crusaders had, therefore. failed to take advantage of one of their last military opportunitics to slow or stop Saladins growth prior to the battle of Hattin. The lack of success and the departure of Philip of Flanders at the end of the year rcncwcd the political conflict over who would succeed Baldwin IV. With the departure of Philip of Flanders, the Crusaders and Saladin agreed to a truce. Syria was in the midst of a drought, which made campaigning very difticult. The effect of the drought was greater on the Moslems, as the Crusaders controlled most of the regions water resources. Minor raiding continued despite the truce, which held until August 1 179. The Crusaders violatcd the treaty by building a fortress at Jacobs Ford, one of thc main avenues of approach between Damascus and Jerusalem. The terms of the truce stated that no new Crusader fortifications could be built to the East of the Jordan River. The fortress controlled one of the last undefended access routes into the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Saladin offercd to repay the Crusaders

all costs nssociatcd with the construction ot'rtie fortress. ifthc Crusaders would have i t dism;~ntlctl.
King B;iId\vin

IV refiiscd and both sides prepared fi)r battle.

Saladin gathcrcd his forces at 1)arnascus. \vhilc sending columns of hragcrs into the Kingdom o f Jcrusalcrri arid the Cnunt!. o f Tripoli. Moslem Syria was srill suffcring frnm drought.

Saladin ticcdcd to cibtain supplics frcm his fornscrs i n Crusader territory tn keep his army in

the tield. S a l d i n also sent a dctachrncrit of troops froin I h n a s c t ~ to s

shado~rthe Crusader army

and provide details o f its mnvcmcnt. The L~ainascusforce hecnmc cnga~c'd with and defeated an
advancc guard of the Crusader army. Most notable about tlic victory was the death of Humphrey
of Toron. the Constable of the Kingdom ol'Jcrusalcrn and an :ill! of Count I<ayiriond o f Tripoli.' With the defeat o f its ;idvancc giiard. tlic Crusader army turncd ;igainst Salndin's foragers.

Thc cnlunins of tbragcrs were routed: honcvcr. in their pursuit. the Crusader cavalry lost en~rt~r~u~iicatinr~ with rlicir inliintr!. Saladin \\as able to move his iniiiii bod! against the Crusader

ca\;ilry bctorc the Crusader inthnrr! could arrive. 'The Crusadcr ca\alry
a general rnutc nftlic Crusiider arm!.

fnrccd hack. causing

Man> leaders of the Crusader ;irm! were captured. and


King Ihldwin IV


barell able t n cscapc tn the fortress

Ucaufort. With the Crusader mi)

now drivcii from the tield. Saladin tiirricd on the object o f his offci~si\c--thc fnrtrcss at Jacob's

Ford. Aftcr


days of siege. thc fnrtrcss was stormed and seven hundred Crusaders were taken

prisoner. Saladin then raised the castle to the ?round and disbandcd his army.' During lhc campaign o f I 170. Saladin rcccivcd no support from his inoiniiial v i ~ s s a .AIcppo l with both cities. they were required to supply troops nor from Mosul. Under rruce a~rccmcnrs whenever Saladin campaigned against the Crusaders. Saladin bclicwd that bntli Alcppn and

Mosul wcrc longtcrm threats tn his control o f bl.loslcin Syria. Uct\\cci~ the t w cities. thcy had a
standing military force equd to Saladin's (approuirnatcly six thousand ca\alry). Since hoth cities w r c potential cncmies. Saladin could not use his entire military force against the Crusaders as he 20

~ould open liirnsclfup to attack from the ~

H cities. O

Saladin decided that lie had to remove the

tlirciit these two cities poscd hcliirz tic could decisively engage the Crusaders." l r o t n tlie end of 1 I 7 0 through the cleveiitli ofJunc I 18.3. Saladin dcvcitcd the illajorit! of his attention to reducing Mow1 and Alcppo. Instead oftaking advantage ofthe absence of most of Saladin's army. the Crusader States limited their military actions to a series of raids against

Damascus :ind Moslem Syria. In I IX?. wliilc Salxlin \vas campaigning against Mosul. the

of Sal;iditi's ;id\ isors suggested that he Crusaders raided to the w r y outskirts of Damascus. SOIIIC
should retiirn to S! ria to defend against the Crusader raids. Saladin disagreed and stated. "let them (raid). while they knock down villagcs \\c arc taking cities."'
- .

I'liis statement very iiptl! sums up

h e change iii the stratesic en\ ironnicnt. Saladin \\;is strcngthciiing his cmpirc b ! [tic capture o f
major cities i n Mcsopotaniia. and tlic Crusaders were onl> able t o

inetfi.ctual raids and

capture ininor villages. During the period I 17% I I YO. the f~icti~~ttalizarion o t t l t c C'rusadcr Starc>' nobility bcg:itl. Count Ilaymontl Ill \bas no longer hiiilli niid had withdrawn to itttcnd to the affairs oi'the Count> o f l r i p o l i . King I3;ildniii IV's medical condition declined and his inothcr. Agnes. and tiis matcriial
uncle. Josccliri 111. hcir to the lost County o f Edcssa. t~scd h e i r influcncc to appoint their

supporters to key positioiis iii the govcrttment.


I 179. the Constable trf'thc Kingdom o f


Jcrusalcm Hurnphrey of .I'oron was killed. Humphrey was

ally ol'Coiint Ila! itlorid and the

powerfill noble tirnilics that had existed in the Kingtlotn since its foiindiition. This tiction. mhich

hc rcfcrrcd to as the old nobility. supported pc;icc \\it11 Saladin and a defensive strategy. Ihc

old nohilit! \titlioiit tlic prcscncc of heir Icadcr Count lla>inond were unable to prevent the appointment of Amalric de Lu5ipian. n rclntivcl! n e n i i r r i b i i l constablc.N

tlie IId! l m i c l s . a s the l i e u

Thc appointrricnt of Amalric dc 1.usignan was signiiicnnt hccausc the othcr m i o r Piction. which will he referred to ;I$ the court party. now controllcd the twn major ofticcs ill the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In addition to the Constable's position. Joscelin Ill was tlic Kiiigdom's Seneschal (responsible for the Kingdom's finances and administering r o y l territopi. The next move hy the
court party \\as to control tlic succession after Baldwin

IV's death. ngnes. thc quccn mother.

proposed that Sihyl marry Amalric dc Lusignan's hrothcr G u y . Guy dc Lusignan was also a nen arrival to the kingdom. Guy had no significant military cxpcricncc and did not bring any additional military strength to the kingdom. The prnposcd marriage \bas opposcd by the old nobility \vho fclt that Sibyl's marriage should bc uscd to strengthen the kingdom. and if a I'avorahle suitor coulrl not be hunt1 in Western Europe. then she should marry into one ofthc old cstahlishcd nohlc families." 'lhc opposition ofthc old nohility came to a head in March I IXO tvhen Count Rnynond and his ally Rohcmond. Prince o f h t i o c h . marched into the Kingtloni ofJcrusalcni with a substantial military forcc. The quccii mother convinccd King Dnldwin tliiit Count Kayniond plarined to scizc tlic throne. so Daldwin ordered the immcdiatc triarriagc o f his sister. Sibyl. to Guy. l l i c marriage was iicrfortiicii hcforc Raymond and Bohcmond rcxhcd .Icrusalcrn. Whrtl news of the wedding rcachcd Count Kaymond and Prince Bohcmond. the! ttiriicd their t'orccs around and lcft the kingdom. Count Kaymond \wuld stay out o f t h c Kingdom for two years. The cnurt party's control of the Kingdorn of Jerusalem was further strcngthcncd when thcy w r c ahlo to appoint one ofthcir party a s Patriarch of Jcrusalcm.

'The court party as now in ascendancc. lnstcad of usins thcir ncn position to strcngtltcn the kingdom, thc court piirty continued i t s attempts tn wcakcn the old nobility. In I 18'. Count llaymond attempted to return to tlic kingdoni to visit his ticfof(.iaIilcc.

1'110 cnttrt party pcrsuadcd

tlic King to dcny him entrance. The old nobility used tlie incidcnt to counterattack against the coiirt

party. The old nobility convinced tlie king that he wulJ not itlictiatc one ol'tlic strongest tioblc> i i t

tlic Crusndcr States. especially with Saladin's growing strengh. Ra! rnond was nllowcd to cntc'r

tlie Kiiipdoin: houcvcr. tlic coiitlict over thc issue clcarl> dcliiicatcd taction rncmbcrship. 'The
court part! n w v consisted ot'tlic qiiccn rnothcr. the

Scncsclial Joscclin 111. the Constable Amalric

de I.usigian. the PLitriarch of Jerusalcin. mid llcginald dc ~ l i a t i l l o ~ i - - l . o of r(~ Moiitrcal and Kc'r:th.

Tlic old inohility fiction consisted of('ount Rnyinond 111. I<c:inald

ot'Sidon. h l i a t i cit'lbclin.

t3ald\vin of Karnlati. arid Prince Bdiciiiond of Aiitioch. For tlie motncnt. both thc Ilospitallcrs atid the Tcrriplars wcrc able to reiiiaiti above the frictional tighting.

During the tlircc-year internal po\vcr struggle ( I I80 to I I X3). rhc only major military

! the Crosadcrs occurred in January I 183. Rcpincild dc Chatillon. I.ord o f operatidti tnkcii h
b1ontre;il and Kcrak. attcinptcd to disrupt kloslcni trade in rhc l<td Sea atid to raid rlic Moslciii
!iol> city of Mecca. Tlic Crusaders never had a n a n l prcsc'ncc mi the Red Sci. wliicli ivas the

tiiiiior avenue ofLpypti;iii rriidc. The Red Scn \vas considered to he cotriplctcl! \cciirc l i w Vloslcni shipping. Kcgiiiald had ship< brokcn tlo\vn and tr;insportcd x w s s tlic Sc:cv t:ilar. H e iiscd tlic ships to plunder do\vn thc .Amhian pcninwln c n r w t c

and rcnsscinhlcd i i c i r
Mcccn. I<uginald

bclicvcd that the Kg! ptiari fleet was not present: Iiowcvcr. thc Egyptian tlcct w a s

winter qiiarters

and wis able to respond quickl!.

Kcginald's llcct of raiding ships


destroyed hcforc it could

scrioiisl! thrcntcn Mecca. Tlic net rcsiilt o f t l i c raid w a s to strciigtlicn Saladiii's position and

reputation as defender oft~ic tiitIi." With the dciccir


Kcginald's attack. Saladin r c n c w d his offciisi!c against the \4owl-

Alcppo alliance. After first strengthening his position in northern blcsopotaniia. Saladin isolated Aleppo froin its allies and cq)tiircd Aleppo's outer dctcnscs. On I I Juiic I IX.:. Alcppo tinall! surrcndcrcd to Saladin.

R> tlic cntl of June. tlie rcrnainin~ t i ) r r r c w x iii iiortlicrti Syria

iiot ulrcad!

under Saladin's control surrcndcrcd. 10 liclp scciirc tiis ncu pc>sscssicvis. Saladiii signed ii truce with the Principalit! d.Antiocli s o lie coiild conccntriitc' his l i m e s ngaiiist (lie K i t y d o i n of


Jeriisalcni. Saladin I~OH' commanded a force that consisted of"8.500 cavalry. nunierous l.oot soldiers. Turkoniaii auxiliaries. and the o w r 4.000 ltrong reserve forces ol. Egypt and iiaval squadrons."" In August hc announccd to the Caliph in Baghdad that the tiinc had comc to rcsume

the Jihad. A Jihad is a struggle (war/hattlc),I Moslctns against those nho attack the faith. With Saladin's success i n S ~ r i a . h e Crusader Army gathered at Saffiiriya to await reinforccnicnts and Saladin's attack. King Uald\vin IV's leprosy mas approaching its final $tapes: he could no longer scc arid had lost the iisc o f his hands arid feet. As he was tiot able to lead the Crusader :\rmy. he nccdcd to appoint a bailli. The coiirt party succeeded in having their candidate.
Guy dc Lusignan nanicd bailli. The upcoming batdc \vith Saladin would be an opportunity to

solidify Gu!'s

position as the next king of Jcrusalcm. Wliilc awaiting Saladin's attack. the

Crusaders wcrc able to sather an iirm! o f approxirnately thirteen hundred knights arid tiftecti thousand infantry. l h i s was the largest field urm) the Crusaders had raised since thc Second Crus;itie." Saladin critcrcd the kingdom of Jerusalem near thc town o f Uuisan. nhich hc sacked and biirtied to the ground. Saladin wanted to lurc the Crusader urrny away from its base at Saffiiriya. Saffiiriya offered the Crusaders a central location. an outstandiitg logistics base with ample water and access to a number of important fortilications il. the Crusadcrs needed to retreat. Saladin sent raiding columns throughout the region in an attempt t o lure the Crusader army. led b) Gu) dc Lusignan. away from Sathriya. The Crusnder m i i y did not inow iiir eight days aiid Saladin rcturncd with his army to Damascus. While thc Kingdom of Jerusalem sustained damage from the raiding parties. the kinsdotn had tiot lost any signiticant tcrritory. What would appear to bc a strategic victor! for the Crusaders was seen as a dct'eat b ! Crusader nobility. The Crusader army was the stroiigcst it had hccii iti thirry-tivc years. yet it

raised a hand against Saladin. There are conflicting tlicorics why fhc Crus;idcr arm! did not


nio\c. The first is tliiit Guy dc I..usiginan was n v.cnk lcndcr uiiuble to decide liow

employ ~ I i c

army. 'The second theor! is flint tlic old nobility did not \\ant Guy to \\in

: I

great vicmry obcr

Saladiii. thcrcby ensuring that he \\auld hc tlic next king ofJcrusalcni. The third theory is that the old nobility knew that tlic Crusaders wcrc consitlerably outiiurribcrcd b> Saladiri's arm! arid that if the Crusndcrs stayed i n their mong position a t Saffuri>a. Saladin would hn\c to come to SaKuriyii or withdrnu .I' Thc net result o f t l i c dcfcii>i\e iiction \ v a ~ that

dc Liisignaii \bas discrcditcd a s a

leader. The old nobility was nblc to hiiw Guy rciiimcd a?;builli. In additioii. the old nobility convinced King Bald\riii IV that Guy was the wrong person to riiccccd l h l d t r i n as King of Jcrusulcnn. King Baldwin I V cliangcd his will to rend flint Guy \\as no longer clifiblc to succeed to

the throne. Ihldwin IV's tivc-year-old iicpliciv \\;IS crowned Baldwin V and would succeed Iiiiii. I t
his ricplicw I3aldain V died v.hilc' still a ~ninor. thc next king of.lerusalciii \vould he choscin by the combined coiiiicil o f t l i c Kings of I~ngland. 1:r:iricc. tlic llol> Roniaii I:mpcror. and thc Pope. King Daldmin IV cvcn attempted to Iiavc Guy's marriage t o his sister aniiullcd. He tvas dissuaded in this

by his iiiotlicr and tlic patriarch: Ihowcver. the court part> had lost control of tlic government to tlic
old nobilily. The final act signifiing the cliangc w i s the reinstating o f ( ' o u n t Ra!mond Ill ;is hailli
in November I 18.3.

From November I I 8 3 t o rhc spring (I!' I IX.i. Saladin's attacks against thc Crusaders nerc dircctcd at the fortress of Kcrak. Kcrak \\;is oiic of the strongest Crusadcr fortilieations and \cr! diflicult to siege due to restrictive tcrrairi and lack oftoddcr for the besieging arm!. Kcriih M ' ~ S

also the horne of Kcgirinld dc C:hatilloii. the niiiii ~ v l i o liad attempted to raid Mecca. h h i e of

Saladin's attacks caiiie close to taking Kcrak. It :ippcarcd tliiit Saladiii ma! h a w coiiductcd thc campaigns only
1 1 )

fiiltill his obligation as defendcr ofttic faith. Salntliii's iittcritioti rcriiniiied

focused on b~vlosul.'"



spring I 1x5. Saladin recci\cd word that the ruler of Mosul \\:is moving against Irhil.

lrhil \ u s allied \\it11 Saliidiii. giving Saladin tlic cxcusc lie \\as looking thr to attack Mosul.

Saladin signed a four year triicc with the Crusaders to sectire his southern and western flanks prior
to mo\iiig on Mosul. ,After inconcIusi\c campaigns iii Northern Mcsopornniia and Armenia.

Saladin fell fravcly ill in I~cccnibcrI 1x5. Rclicving that he m a ! be dying arid tearing ii revolt in
Syria. Saladin negotiated a pcaccllil settlemen[ nitti the ruler of Mosul. Saladin's illness proved

! his person. Whcn S;iladin wiis ;iblc [(I takc the licld that liis empire \\as held tofcthcr onl! b
again iii I IMI. he began to reorganix his empire and rcpl:iccd or rcassigncd emirs H ho were of qucstionahlc loyalty. 17

1'0 ensure thc stability ot'his cinpirc. Saladin iiccdcd


signilicant victor! against thc

Crusaders. Froin Niir-atl-Din's dcatli in I I74 to I 186. Saladin had riot seriously weakeiied the Crumdcr States. No m j o r tortress or strutcgic Iocitlion had bccn taken. and tlic Crusader arm!
was as strong or stronger than \\licii Saladin started his o\\n Crusade iii I 17-1 to reunite Nur-;id-

Din's ti)rinner empire. With thc elid vt'his struffle \villi Mosul. Saladiti w a s read! to turn his attentioii toward thc Criisadcr States. Ilo\rc\cr. he had signed ;I four-!car
triicc with !lie Crusaders

that. iinless violated. would last iintil I I XY. Saladiii had broken other truce agrccrncnts: however.
he appcarcd to hc in no hurry to attack tlic C'rtisadcr States. One o f ~ l i c rcasoiis held off liis attack is the continued fr:icturing ofthc Crusader le:idcrship.lx While Saladin was campaigning ngainst Mosul in I IX5. 13ald\cin I V liiially succumbed to his illiiess and died. In accordance

he may hnve

his will. his nephew Baldwin V was crowned King of


Jcriisalem. Baldwin V mas only h e >cars' old mid \ x i s iiot

hualth> child. (.:mint I<a>iiioiid

remained bailli and Baldtrin V \vas givcn into the care of his great uncle .losccliti 111. Josccliii 111

was still the Scncschal ot'thc Kingdoni and a ctalwart ofthe court party. Count K;iyiiond.
h o m i n g the child was sickly. did not \\ant the child to die tinder his care and lx ;iccused ot'hilliiig

: 0

the child in order to take the cro\\n. Count Kayiiiond's opinion o f Daldwin V's hedth \\;is corrcc!.
;is 13aldwin V died ii year later.

In accordance with I3aldwin IV's will. iii tlic wcnt o f U n l d ~ i n V's death. Count Ila)itlorid

\\as to remain bailli until thc Kings o f England and France. the lloly Roman Emperor. and the
pope agreed upon who would be the iicxt king. Joscclin Ill told Count Ra)mond thiit he would takc ttic body ot'Baldwin V back to Jerusalem for hurial. While Count Kayriiond was out o f Jcrusalem. tlie coun part! attempted a coup d'etat. Forccs lo)al to Josccliii Ill scizcd control o f Acre and Beirut. Guy dc Lusignaii and his brother Amalric the constable. closed tlie city of Jerusalem. 'Thc new Grand Mastcr ofrhe l.cniplars Gerard de Ridefort. i i t i old enem! of Count Raymond. conspircd with the court party to c r o n n (;uj hing.
111 \

iolation dBald\viii IV's will. tlic

Patriarch o f Jerusalem (also a mcnihcr ofttic court pert?) cro\bncd G u y King of Jcrusalcm. Count Raymond and the old nohility attcinptcd to stop the coroiiiitioii hut coiild not m o v e their militar! forces against Jcrusalciii in time. Tlic Count attcinptcd to cro\vIi Humphrey of'l'aron
(son o f tlic former Constable). thc husband o f Baldwin IV's younger sister Isahcl. king. The old

nobility were willing to split thc kingdom and storm Jcrusalcm. The old nobility's plan failcd \\hen tlicir cnndidatc Ilumphrcy flcd to Jerusalem arid swore allcgiancc to Guy. The old inobility were
nou faced with a tiat accompli and most dccidcd that rhcy had to tiinkc tlic best ot'a hiid sittiittion

and swear allcgiancc to G u y . Thcrc w r c t i w exceptions. Baldwin of R;iml;ih. o11cofthc

Kingdom's best military Icadcrs. refused arid left the kingdom for the principality 01'Antioch. stating that with Guy as king thc Kingdoni would not last the bear. The ~ t h c exception r was Count Raymond who rctrcatcd to his eiistl~' at Tiberias. IU Having cffcctivcly scizcd tlic throne. King G u y was faced n i t t i the scriou5 problem of lion
10 dcal with Count Raymond. Count

Raymcind was the ruler ofthc County o f l r i p o l i as \vcII as

tlie Prince of Galilee. oiic o f t h c

Kingdom's major vassals. King G u y kncn that Count Raymond



\\otild alv.a!s

he his rival. Most oftlic coiirr parry ad\ iscd King Guy 10 hesiege Count Raymond

Tiberias until lie ngrccd to w e a r allegiance. Whcii nc\\s o f i i possihlc militnr! nio\c against

him reached Count Kaymond. tic searched tor an ;illy t o help l i i t i i dcfciid liirnselt and his castle at Tiberias. Count Ra! moiid rcqucstcd niilitar\ assistmice from Saladill. \+hn \\as currently in 1)amascus. Saladin ayrccd and sciht a large hod! oftroops t o help defend Tiherins. Counr I<nyinond's choice of mi ally was to h:i\c mrijor repercussions and \voiild intlucncc tlic course of

events leading to the b a t t l e of Il i l t t i t i . 'I'

'The shock of an alliance het\rccn Count Ka!inoiid and Saladin l i m e d tlic court party to

ncsotiatc rather than fight. An ally ot'c'ount I<a!inond. Haliar1 of Ihclin. ~

i ix s

~ to tnegotiate


the Coimt. Couiir Ilayniond stated That he \voiiId ;igrcc to \\\car allcgiaticc to tiing G u y if tic ~ v x

given control o f Beirut. Ucgotintioiis trr(ikc dowii and Sulndin's t r o o p remained in 'l'iberias u i ~ t i l

the heginnirig ot' I 1x7. Ttic Kitigdoiii of Jcru~nlcrn \\;IS now curiously \ccnkcncd \kith n di\ idcd
Ic:;idcrstiip. Salatlin then fiirtlier isolated the Kinydoin in I 1x6 when he agrccd
the I3ymitinc Ihipirc.
t o :In alli:itice


No\\an! pretext ot'hclp froni tlic other niajor ('liristinil potrcr in the rcsion

\ w s gone.

I'inally in early I 1x7. the spark that Saladin liad been waited for occurred. Rcgin:ild dc Chatillon attacked a rich MosIcni caravan i n violation o t t h c trucc agrccmcnt. Saladin oft'crcd the Crusaders the opportunity t o kccp the truce if Kcginald \\cwld return \vhnf hc had takcn and paid
an indemnit!.

Reginald rcftiscd. and King (.iu!'s hold on the throne was s o ncah that tic could not Saladin then aniiounccd a jihad and gathered liis army at Damascus.

force Kcginald to cornpl!.

The time had coiiic h r tlic decisive attack against ~ h Crusaders: c thcir Iexlcrsliip \\as di\idcd. one ot'thc Kingdom's most po\rcrful iwblcs. Count R;iytiiontl. fins alienated froin the king. and the king appeared inrffectuul. Saliidin also iio longer had to v.orr!
ahout a k,loslc::1 attnck from M o s u l

and Alcppo. so tic coiild concentr;ilr the v a s ~ imjorir! o f Iiih ;irrny against tlhc Criihxicrs.


'Marshall W. Hnldwin. "The Decline and Fall ol'.lcrusalern. 1174-1 1 8 9 ' in .A llistorv ol' che Crusades: Vol. 1 Tlie F i r : c l - l u ! ! d r q l l . id. Kenneth M. Setton (b1;idison. WI: University o f Wisconsin Press. 1969).594-595. 'Sir Ilamilton A . K. Gibb. "The RiscofSalatliii. 1169-1189" in .A Historv ofthe Crusades: Vol. I The F)ist_l,lundred Years.. cd. Kenneth M.Setton (Madison. Wl: I.!niversit> of Wisconsin Press. lY6Y). 571. 'Marshall W. Baldwin. "The Declinc and Fall ofJerusalem. 1174-1189" in A I l i s t o r v of the (:rusa_d_e_s:Vol. I Thc First Hundred Years. ed. Kenneth M. Setton (Madison. WI: University of Wisconsin Press. 19693. 595-597. 'Sir Hamilton A. K. Gibb. '.The Kise o f Salatlin. I 160-1 189" in A s t o r v ofthe Crusades: Vol. I Tlie First tlund-cd.ysY, cd. Kcnneth ivl Sctton iuadison. WI: Universit! of Wisconsin Press. 1969j.572-.3. 'lbid.

1 ' bid
'Andrcw Ehrcnkreutz. S;ia (Albaii! N Y : titii\crsit! ofUcir York Press. 1972).177 'Marshall W. Baldwin. "I'Iic 1)ccliiie aiid Fn11 oiJcriisiilciii. I 174-1189" in A Histo? qf the Criisades: Vol. I The First Hundred Years. ed. Kenneth M . Setton (M;idison. WI: llnivcrsity of Wisconsiii I'rcss. 1969). 596-597. 'lbid.. 596-598 "'lhid.. 596-597. "Marshall Whithcd Ihldwin. Ravrnond Ill of'Tripolis a d The Fall ofJcr!iAnlL.ln.(l 1 1 8 7 ) (Princeton. NJ: I'rinceton liiiivcrsit). Press. IOX). 41-46. "Andrew Ehrenkrcut7. & @ I (Albany. N Y : University ol"eu


York Press. 1972). 179-


Ibid.. 182.

"Marshall W. Baldwin. "The Decline ;ind Fall of Jcriisalcrn. 1174-1189" it1 A.llj=\of rhc Crusades: Vol. 1 The l>r'iIun_dred Ycars. cd. Kcnnctti h.1. Sclton (Madison. WI: University o f Wisconsin Press. 1960). 597-598. '51hid.. 599-600

"lbid.. 190-192.
'Xibid.. 193-198 l"Marshall W . Baldwin. "111~. llccline and Fall of Jerusalem. I 171-1 I Xo" in A History of the Crusade?: Vol. I Ttie First Ilundred Yeays. cd. Kenneth \I. Serton (Madison. WI: 1;nivrrsity of Wisconsin Press. 1969). 604-605. '"lhid.. 605-606

The Crusadcr army that Ihccd Saluiliii a[ tlic Battle of l-iattin had biisicnlly the same
organization and equipment of feudiil armies i n Western Europe. Unlike the Bymntincs. the Crus;itlers had lint adapted to llie new pti>sical and rnilitar! challeng<s ofthc I-My Lontls. The Criisaders still relied on h e lheuv! cavalr) chnrgc to niii the day. The only iircns where the C:rusiitlcr.s military \va\ d renl from its Western Curope;in ro(its \\ere [lie sources of ils

manpower and ii stronger fi.iidal orgiiniziiticin. The most iiiiportiiiit iliflbrcncc \viis tlie limiution ol'

the rclieioiis-iiiilit~iryordcrs: the Knights oftlie Temple ;inti llie Knights o f t l i e I lospil;il. .I'lie
military orders pro\ ided the Crusader States witti
; I


standing uriii> and aildition;il rcsotirccs ro

defend {tic fronticrs. B> I 187. the niilirur! ordci-5 n c r c rcspoiisihlc liv dcfciiding i m s t ofilic
important horder fortilications ol'tlie Crusiider Skires :ind li)r prwiding die nIicIciis for army. With the cstahlishnient of tlic Kingdom ot.Icrii~.:ilctii.tlie Criisader leadership rerilized tliiil
; I


thcy did not ha\e the m;mpower or recruiting b;ise to ccrmpeie with their Moslem enemies. Tlic
military tiorccs

rciiiained. less t l i a i i tlircc rhousaiid ca\nlry and infantry. from the First Criisade

had to he reorganircd to provide for the ci~riiiiiondefense. The Crusailer Ieadcrsliip decided to

build irs niilitar! oryiiization ;irourid a revised versioii d t h e Western European feudal qstetii.
The feudal lev> w i s [he hackbone d t h e Crusader arm>. I he I\VO principle terms upplicd to tlic

levy wcrc the Liwc


Koi mid tlic crrriwc


I lie l.iwe


Koi dictared that

; I\msal




provide his liege m i l i t q service i t i person for


period o f ~ i p to ii )ear. This \vas a unique fc;iturc

in the (Julremcr due to the imniediac) ofihc threat and Ilic limited iiianpowcr hasc. Typical scr\icc

iii Western Europe was no more thati sixty day:, a year. aftcr irhich the liege lord would have to
pa! his vassals for each da! ofser\icc. In the Outrmicr. tlic liege lord \\as only rcquircd to
provide liiod and fodder. The otlicr major source ot'manpcwcr was the w r i w o
h ~ t (Iicrenftcr i

rcfcrrcd to as the ban). The ban \\as a call-up o f a11 men of military age uho could carry n weapon. The ban \\.as normally a desperation inciisurc. a s

dcpriicd [tic cities and fortresses $4

any reserve ofmanpouer. Additionall!. the troops raiscd by the b a n w r c of liiiiitcd qualily.

poorl) quipped. and not 21sdisciplined as tlic regular feudal Icv?.I The hasis for the fi.udul systciii

the licl'. Knights were granted enough tcrritory to pay

for their own maintenance. that o f a squirc. and fhur to six n a r horses. The more important niilitar! leaders weru grunted larger tiel's eapablc of mainraining anynherc liorn ten ro one hundrcd knights. :At the time o f t h c Hattlc of1 liittin. the Kingdom ofJcrus;ilcm'.i licfstructurc (nor including the County of Tripoli or the Priiicipalit! of.Atiticich) supporwd sonwvliurc hct\\ccii 6 3 5
to 750 knights. In addition to the fcudal scrvicc rcqtiircniciits o f t l i c nohilit). thc kiiydoni rccci\cd

military s e n ice o f both mounted and noiiniounkxi scrgcanrs from church property and !lie tnajor
towns and cities. At the time ofthc Battlc of Ilattin. tlic Kingdom of.Icrusalem suFportud

approximately tivc thousand sergeants. M o s t ofthc scrqxnts w r c probabl) infantry. iind tliosc that w r c mounted nornially rode to hattlc and disniciuntcd.' Turcopolcs \ w e another major sourcc o f military rnaripo\\cr for the Crusader Stares. This term w a s used ro refer to locally raiscd mercenaries \tho supplcmcntcd the Kirydom's t'eutlal tiirces. A Turcopolc cciuld be of ;in> r a w or rcligioii prcscnt in tlic rcsi.icin. Most frcquciirl). however. Turcopolcs \\ould be S! r i m and (:hristi;ins or Armcninns. Tlic 'Tllrcopcrlc
could be either inountcd or foot troops and could he armed in ii variety of Iishions. 'Ilicre lins been

. ;2

a great deal ofdcharc ovcr wliiit role [lie l'tircopolc iiormally playcd. hut i t is likely they were

priiiiarily niouiircd ;irehers


light c a a l r y , h r i t i g thc C:rus;ider period. light cn\alr! Iiiid liiiiitctl

ariiior protection. normally consisting oflicavy clotti or qiiiltcti :irtiior. l h c iiiaiti dcfcnsc o1'tlic

li!Jit cavalry \\:is speed. Turcopole light cmalry probided a limited rcspunse
moiiiitcd ;ircIicrs and give tile C:rusndcrs
; I

to tlic Moslcm

IigIir-riiountcd rcccwii:ii<s;iiicc tbrcc.'

vititiiig 111c Short term iiiuiipmwr \\;is pro\idcd by rclipiotis pilyrims. sailors. and ii<ihiIif>~


1-ands. With the cstablishmcnt o f t h c Kingdom oficrusalciri. tlic iitiirihcr of pilgrims


incrcascd drar-naticall!. In tinics ofcrisis. pilgrirri,

he tlraftcd into llic (:riicndcr's ;irrny.

Sailors \vcrc also draftcd or \oluntcercd for military service. TIic usctiilncss oftlicsc two source:, oI'irianpo\rcr is qiicsrionahlc. as both \\ere ustiall? ill equipped and liad little or


'l'hc rcriiaining sotircc oftcniporar! iiianpo\\cr was tisiting iiotiilit>. Froin tlic

csmhlisliiiicnt oftlic Crusader States. i i d i i l i t y \ isitcd tlic Crus;idcr State5 to tiillill tlic rcqiiirciiic~ir

of liglitirig for tlic cross. 'T'lic. nohk inormally brought ;ill tlic iiiniipo\vcr lie could :itt;ird to prcwct
himse1f:ind increase liis st:iitis. I he I isitiiig iinblcs hroiiylit \\ell cqiiippcd and trained troops
also ofrcn hroiighf tlicir oivn political ;igcnda. a r w i s seeti \\it11 Philip of1:laiidcrs.

~I'lic final and most iniport;int soiircc ofiiiilitar> i i i a t i p o ~ c tor r the Crusader Starc5 \\as the

military orders. T\\o riia.ior (aiid latcr one miiior) rcligious military ~irgaiii7ations\\crt formed: tlic Knights ofthc I-lospifal of St. Joliti of.Icrusalcni or Hospitcillcrs :iiid the Kniglits offlic Tciiiplc Jcrusalcm or 'l'cmplars. l h c Knights o f t l i e H q i i t a l cvoI\cd out ot'a rcligioiis order


iii mcdic;il care to Cliristiaii pilgriiiis in flit IId! Lands. 'I'lic original Ilospiral \\.as cstat~lislicil
Jcrusalcm v.ith chapters in most oftlic rriajor ports oftlie Ilol> Laiids. .As tlic d c r grcn

acquired territory and castles liotri patrons tliroiigliotit Europc. 1'0 cicfcnd tlicsc posscssioiis the Hospital \\as p a n t e d tlic ahility to raise a military arm d b r o f l i c r hniglifs. tlic Hospifallcrs. Tlik organization mirrored

rcccntl! cst:tbli~liudr e l i ~ i o u s - i n i l i t a rorgaiiiwf ~ ion. the Ktiights ol'flic

J .?

.rcmplc o f Jerusalem or the Tcniplars. Tlic Tcniplars were designed from tlie start to be a militar!
organization. T h e Tcmplarr established chaptcrs rhroughout Europe n i t l i the express piirposc o i providing meii and matcriiil to support the war in the Holy I.ands. The minor religious-military organizatioii was the Knights of St. 1.azarus.
l h c Knights of St. La7arus consistcd of Knights

who had contracted I..cprosy hut who still wishcd to continue servicc in the Holy Lands. At their

height. the combined military orders could muster approximately 800 knights and prohahly close to
3.000 infantry. not including mcrcciiarics.
l l i c Crusader inilitar) organiration \\as directly tied to tlic feudal structure. l l i c King o f

Jcriisiilcm was at the top of the feudal structure. and tic was the military comiiiandcr when he took
tlie field. When the kine was unahlc to take tlic ticld. he would appoint an overall military

commaiidcr. normally tlic most scnior noble present or the iiohlc whose territory w a s directly thrcntcncd. When a noble other tliati the king coniinnndcd the Crusader arm!. a11 troops i n direct service to king w r c commnndctl by the kingdom's con~tahle. I'hc constnhlc \\as rcspoiisiblu for thc day-to-day dcfcnsc o f t h c kingdom. Troops iii service to vassals of the king scrvcd iiiidcr their individual licgc lord. For example. the knights owing service to I<cginald o f Sidoii mould fight iindcr l i i s cornmand. l h c Criisadcr army. thcrcfbrc. consisted o f a iiumhcr of small tiiilitwy units under the great nohlcs ofthc kingdom. The larger nohlc contingents lent thcriisclvcs to the formation of major military tinits. such as a rear guard or screen.

In a battle whcrc tlie Crusaders could cstablish a battle linc. the Crusaders normall!
formed up into divisions. The di\ isions consisted of the largcr iiohlc contingents supplemented with additional forces as neccssar). The divisions w r t a niiiturc of infantry arid cs\alr:. nunihcr o f divisions depcndcd on tlic size of the Crusader army and the size oftlie cncriiy. Thc


separnting the army into divisions. the Crusadcrs formed iiiorc cohcsiw military units that liad

cxperieiicc fighting together.

111 addition

the di\ isions. a cciitralized fnrcc o f knights \ w s usitall>

kept in reserve.

I f the Crusadcrs \verc tiphtiiig J

I ~ the

riiarcli. they formed three distinct rnilitar! uiiits: the

ad\ancc guard or van. the main body. and tlic rear guard. Each unit included both infantry and
cavalry. 'The infiinrr! shicldcd tlic cavalr) l i o i i i tlic Moslem inountcd arclicrs. while the ca\alr!
\ ith the Crusader infantr>. Tlic advancc guard and ruar prevented tlic Moslcms from cloiing I

initial contact allowiiig the iiiaiii hod> tn t'orni a battle line. The guards were designed to absorb t l ~ c

advance p a r d \\as also responsible tix rcc(1nriaicsancc. Rccnnnaissiincc \\'as one of the grc:itest
c thc Crusaders did in01 \\eiikncsses of army of the Crusaders. With llic exception ~ f t l i l'urcopolcs.
hnvu light or mediiim cavalry that could s x \ c as Fcnuts. IIcuvily arnic:rcd knights und inoitntcd

sergeants could not coiripctc ivitli the Mnslcrn horse :ircIicrs. Rcminaissiiiicc. whcii it was coiiductcd. had to be done iii force. The lack o f ;idcqua!c rcconnaissaiicc was often
\~cakiicss o f llic Crusader arm! .'


rhe two rcniuining units. tlic iiiaiii body and 111crear y a r d . \\ere rcspoiisiblc h r the hulk
o f t h c army. .Ihc m i t i body consisted ofthe rria.jority o f t l i c infantry. tlic suppl! trains. and tlic senior Icadcrship. Tlic rear guard was rcsponsihlc for prc\entiny a surlirisc ~ittcick on tlic m i i n

body. Tlic rear guard niis usually I rignilicant portion of the total Criisadcr army iis ctandard
Moslem tactics were to fix the Crusiidcr ;id\niicc guard wliilc dirccting tlicir main attack itgainst the rear guard. .The distance h c t w c n the thrcc elements of a Crusader arm!

the iiiiircli differed

according to the terrain and the tlirciit. l h c advance and rear guard had to he far enoiigli from rhc main body to allow rhc main bod! to ti?rm a hattlc liiic once coiitiicr \\;is inadc. but close enoilgli r o prevent tlie army from being divided. l i n k the otticr Christiali pcwcr iii the rcpioii. the Crusaders ncvcr dc\clopcd mi cffccri\e

r n iirchcr and tlie Mnslciii's mobile rtylc oii\;lrIirc. 'I'hc Hy;.aiitinc\ response to the ~ l o ~ l e horse
9 -

dcrclopcd their


Iiglit-to-mcdiiini nrmorcd


ulry that was hcttcr equipped to light :I rnorc

mobile battle. I lie I3~iatitirics also hired large iiiiiiitrcrs o i l ~ u r k i s l aiid i Asiatic light Iiorsc archers
to mcct the bloslerns h r c c nii force. The Byzantine!,
facing :

also cstablishcd set rules tiir coiiibat when

Moslcrn horse archers. 'l'lic rulcs cotiilicd hy n ~ z a i i t i n c Empcror Leo thc LVisc iii thc early

tenth centtir! iiicludcd: ncvcr gn to hattlc without infantry. iiiaiiitnin a Inrgc screening tkvce. avoid lightins iii broken groiintl. kccp a large ruscrbc. pick Rattle p(isirions wlicrc tlie rear and possibl!

oiic ot'thc flank\ is guarded hy a niituriil obstacle. altiiiys fortify the camp. and iicver p u r s ~ ~ nc
rcrrcating h r c c without i n h i [ r y , " K l i i l c the C'rusnrlcrs follo\\ed sonic o f t l i c I3y7:intines rules. thc Crusaders n c r c iiiirlhlc to

establish ii proper scrccniiig and rcconniiisancc h r c c due to tlic kick o f light ca\alr>. The
Crusaders rvcrc olicii l'imcd to light i n broken terrain \\liere they could tint l'ortii a good dutctisi\c position. Fiiiiilly. witlimit l l i c ahilit! to match the \loslcm Iiorsc archer. the (:rus;idcrs lost tlic initiative to 11ic Moslems. 'Tlic bloslcms n c r c ahlc to chose \\lien a n t i \vIicrc to cngiiyc the Criisadcr arm!.

The C r w i d c r s had to wait for [lie Moslems to mahu :I tnist;ikc or conic cIo\c

enough s o tlic Crusader's Iicav! cavalry could ch;irgc.' The iirnior and weapons ol'thc \arioits clctiiciits of the Crusadcr arm! diff<rctl ~iccording
to what

thc individiial or liir m a w r could iifLird. A t the titlie ot'tlic D:it!le (il'llii[tin. Ihc core of

the army. the mounted knight. was very lien ily arrnorcd. .A typical knight n o r c n chain iniiil
hauberk (shirt) that covered liiiii from his licad to his knee. Chain iiiail is armor coiisistiny ol' llcxihlc inctal links. 'The niaiti hauberk \vas siipplcrricntcd by chaiii iiiail Icgpings. sonic form of armored gloves. a IicinisplicricaI (covering tlic coriipletc Iiead) o r conical IicIiii. and ; I kite shield. A

kite shield was a large. three to hur-foot-long shield. that \\as shaped like tlic letter "1.1." but
normally coming to a point at i t s base. 'Ilie shield was dcsignctf to help dctlccr the bloir ot'a hiice.


r i d y . the knight's horse norriiall! had sonic form o f n r n i o r protection. iisually a light c h i n miiil

I he major weapons d a Crusader knight v.cru the lance. mi! ~ ) t ; ' I \ a r i d ) of Iiaiid-held
ireapons. mid ii wir horse. TIic iiiiiiii inissioii of tlic knight \vas to provide the devastating chargc
or shock against the uncni> liiie. The knight v.ould chargc using tiis Iaiicc and v.ould change to liis secondary \\capon only after he had lost his lance o r he was unable to maneuver. Since the knight had to he able to iiiaiicincr to he cffcctivc.

major part o f t h e ccimplctc weapon system (tlic knight)

was the war horse. War Iiorscs were spcciall! brud and trained horses. Thc Iiorscs liiid to hc ;ihIc'
to support the wiglit o f t l i e kiiisht and his armor. tlic horse's c w i i ariiivr. respond to Oiittlc signals.

and r e m i i n under c o i i h l iii battlc. I n battlc. ; I knight would t r a w l with two to tour war horscs.
Ttic Crusudcr infantr! forces l'cll into tlircc catcsorics: l'ciidal lev!. \oluiitccrs and troops raised by the han. and Turcopolcs. The largest category ot' int;intry w a s scrgcciiits raised tlirougli

le\y. .The ser;:cant the tetid~~l

iiormiilly lind quiltcd a r i i i c x midc ofIic;i\> cloth or. iii soiiic cases.

wore chain mail. Infantr! w a s clussiticd as hca\y i t if wore metal armor arid liglit or incdiuiii if i t wore cloth or qiiiltcd armor. .Addud t o that armor protcctioii. tlic scrgaint n o r c ;I coiiical or pot hclni and carried

large shield. Primir! weapons w r c the spear and crossbo\v. The spear mas

used 10 defend against a mnuiitcd cliiirgc and tlic crossbou \\'as used to respond to the Moslem
horsc archers. The quality of tlic armor and cquipinciit depended 011thc sergeant's spoilsor. Tlic
best rquippcd scrfcants n c r c iii scr\icc to tlic military orders."

Ttic v o l i ~ r i t c or ~r~ inl:,intr! raised IJ! the bar1 norniall! did not \year :irnior. Lack of armor
was espcciall! true o f religious pilgriiiis a n d sailors. What little armor the! hnd \\as liriiitcd to the

occasional suit of quilted armor. M?st ot'tlic inf;intr> carried tlic traditional spear. bon. or

I t i e wluiitecr ;ind hail inthntr! \\as ofquestion;ihlc vrlluc and useful iiiainly for

defrndiiig fortitied positions \\hcrc their lack o f a r i i l o r \cab Icss o f a disadvmit;i~c.



The final type of intarttry w i s the Turcopolc. Thc majority o f Turcopoles are believed to
have been light cavalry: however. local Maronirc and Cliristian Arnicniuns wcrc also used as infantr). The Maronites ncrc noted for the use ofa compound how and frequently supported the arniies of both the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the County o f Tripoli. Tlic Armenians supplcrncritcd
tlic forces o f t h c I'rincipality o f Anriocli but were availahlc in small numbcrs throughout the

Crusader States. The Maronitcs and Armeniiins normall) wore quilted armor. light hcad protection. arid carried a shield. The primary weapon ofthc Maronires \\as the compound how.

The Armenians norinall) carried a how and spear."'

The Crusader army. therefore. consisted of a IIII~IL'IIS of hcavily armored knights. light
ca\ air) ('Turcopoles). rricdiiiin-to-hca\! infantry (wrgcaiits). and ligli! i n h i t r y . A iioriiiiil

Crusader ticld army \roiild h a w a ratio of one knight to cislit to ten infantry. Most contemporary authors do not differentiate tlic 'l'urcopcilcs froni the dil'lcrcnt types of inkintry. Houcvcr. ~ n ~ l c s s
the kingdom was

in cxtrcinis. tlic inlhntry would he dinost ;dl lcudal lev) sergeants. It is difficult

to cstiiniitc what percentage o f a i i iirin! uiis Tiircopolcs: ho\\cvcr. it is iinlikcl! that it uould he

more than 10 to I 5 percent.

I'tic most iniportnnt factor in determining ho\v thc Crusadcr ~ n i ivas ) uscd \+as the limited
manpower hasc. L h c to tlic limited rnanpo\vcr the Crusader's strategy w a s prcdominantl) dclcnsiw. Offensive operations wcrc focused

sci7ing a singiilar ohjcctivc or dcfcuting one

cncm) arniy. Major campaigns wcrc rare. the cxceptim k i n g Kine ,4lnialric~s campaigns in

Egypt ( I 163-1 171). A s part oftheir defensive stratcg). the Crusaders attcinptcd to kccp tlicir
Moslctii opponents di\ idcd. The Crusaders even allied with various Moslem rulers ;igainst othcr Moslems. Ciootl ex:imples arc :illiaiiccs with Damascus and Alcppo to kccp the two cities
independent. When Nur al-Diii and Saladin united the Moslcna. the Crusaders liniitcd their offensive action to raids dcsigncd to weaken the Moslems tbliilc not heconiing dccisively engaged.


W i t l i the rise of Saladin. tlic Crusutlcrs reverted to

; I purely

dcfuiisivc strategy relyin: hecivily on

fortitications and niaintaining a n arm> i n being. Tlic army's mission \\as to dctciid rhc major capturing agricultural regions and border cities and to prevent tlic invading arm! trom successliill~

a Crusader fortification. 'The Crusaders could not affi)rd : I battle ofartritioti u i t h their enemies."
The border fortitications were thc ticnrt of (tic Crusadcr's dctcttsivc str:itcgy. M a j o r fbrtifications. such 21s Kcrnk. Moiitrcal. rind Bcufort. were the tirst linc ofthc kingdom's dcfciisc. These fortification inadc tlic best itsc of I(!cal terrain and w r c among the most advanccd fortitications o f t h c i r time. M a j o r tbrtiticntions were vcry expensive. and thc loss o f n castle could seriously \vcakcii the kiitgdoni. A good c m i i p l c is tliu castle nr Jacob's Ford. The cost (ithiiildiiig thc castle at Jacoh's f o r d required iiionctary assistance l i c m Western t i r o p e . Kcplacing destroyed timitications was cxtrcmcly difticult. The capture o t a major h r t i f i c i i t i o i i also incant the

loss ofoll ofthc military cquipmcnt and stores as well ns the capture o f t h c entire garrison. \Vhcn
S;il;~din succcssfitll! stormed the ciisrlc nt Jacob's Ford. lie captiired :ill s e w n hundred dcticndcrs.

T h e dcstructiori ,IfJacob's Ford \\as a crushitig blon to tlic Crusaders. I-.ortiinatcly for the
Crusaders. iucccssful Voslciii attachs

mii,ior tiwtitic;itions w r c vcry rare. Crusader


fortificatioiis proved to he a ti,rcc iiiultiplicr and provided opcrationc. I'

safe base for Crusader militnr!

Tactically. the Crusndcrs rclicd on tlicir clitc heavy c;i\:ilry and i t s dcvastiitiiig charyc. The Moslem armies had nothing that inan for iniiii could \tatid against tlic Crusader hniglits. 'l'lic key liw tlie Crusaders w i t s hccping tlicir knights from being eiigngcd until they could be used dccisi\ely. To kccp the knights froin being engaged. tlicy \ w e usuall! shielded troni contact
1 3 :

intiintr! or mounted Turcopolcs. l'hc infantry and Turcopolcs \vould iisc how or crosshou to kccp
the Moslem horse archers at

distance and prcvcnt serious hiirtii ngninrr rhc kiiyhts and tlicir
; I Iloslein

n~ c r c protccrcd froin horses. Thc infantry and IIic ~ I ' u r c o p o l c

charge by tlic prcsciicc 01'

. i 0

tlic knights. I t t h c Moslems attempted to close nit11 the intintry. the knights ~ o u l cliarge d to drive thcni off. l h e symbiotic rclationship bcbrccn the infantry and 'l'urcopolcs and the knights \vas the cornersmic ofCi-us;idcr tactics." When cngagcd. tlic kc! to a Crusader victory was forcing the enemy into conccntrating its troops so the Crusader knights could chargc. When the Crusaders w r c successfiil. it was usually
due to rcstrictivc tcrrain. surprisc. or o\crconfidcnce on the part ot'thc Moslcms. Good examples

arc the battles o f Montgisard and hzaz. At Montgisard. King Raldwin IV was ablc to surprise Saladin's I:gyptian army in a ravine. Kinf Bald\\in. with approximately 375 knights and two to three thousand inimtry. was able to rout Saladin't army. In tlic battle the Crusader army. which corisistcd ofclcvcri hundred cavalry and only two tilousand intantry. \\as attacked by fitteen
to twenty

thousand Moslem cavalr). Relicviny that they could ovcrwhclm the Crusaders. the

Moslems closcd with the Crusader arniy. ' l ' l ~ c Crusader knights w r c then able to charge and routed the MosIems.'" Saladin's invasion o f the Kingdoni ol'Jcrtisalcin in I 183 is a good cxatnplc oithc Crusader's dcfcnsivc strategy and tlic s)rnbiotic rclationship o f infantry and knipllts. Whetl S;iladin entered the kingdoin. the Crusader army had h n c d at Salfiiri!a. which gave tlic

Crusaders a very central. well-pr(ivisioncd basc. The positioii of the Crusader army prewitcd Saladin's army from penetrating info the richest. most dcnsely populated arcas ofthc kingdom.
Tlic Crusader army \\;is also positioned to rclic\c the border Ibrtrcsscs if the) \\ere phccd utidcr

siege by Saladin. The prescncc ofthe army cnsurcd that Saladin would not be ablc to fakc an) significant tcrritory. Saladin attcinptcd to dran tllc Crusader army auay from Saffuri! a by scndiny raiding parties through thc rcgion and by harassing thc Crilsadcr camp. Saladin's advancc guard conducted hit-and-run attacks agaitist the Crusader camp for s e w n days bchrc Saladin'r army withdrew S;il;idin's horse archers were titiable to c;iusc any signilicant daniagc. 40

the) \\ere

unable to get closc cnougii to tlic Crusader camp to tire their arroi\s \\it11 any real penetrating power. The Crusader infaiitr! was able to kccp the Moslciiis awa! from the knights with their h o w and crossho\\c. v.liilc tlie knight\ ensured that the Moslem horse ;irchcrs did not close with
tlie iiifantry.

l ' l i c hrcukdo\vn ofthe s) mhiosis ol'tlic Crusadcr infaiirr) and cmalry \\as o w o f t h c

decidiii; f x t o r s o f t h c I3attlc of Hattiii. While tlic (.'rusadcr< were ahle to retain the s>mhiosis. the
rvloslcms were iiot ahlc to inllict an! siyificant damage. Most o f t h c Crusader defeats in the
eight! years hcforc the Battle o f I lattiii can all he attrihutcd to a breakdown in tlie inl:antr)-knight

symbiotic rclationsliip. In the I'rusadcr defeats. the kni;hts

early and w r c cut ofl'lioiii the iiifaiitr!.

w r c usually pro\oked into cliargiiig

Uotli the Cruder.; and tlic kloslcms \\ere \\cI1 aware ill'

the importaiicc o f tlic infantry-kniyht relationship.

'flic iriajor wakncss ofttic Crusader ariii! \rat that it did not ;idapt to its nen
en\ ironinciit. I n the roughly ninct! !car\ Ihc~\\cc~i dic First Crusade atid flic I3nrtlc of1 lattiii. tlic

army o f t h c Crusader States remained basicall! iincliaiigcd. 'Hie Crusadcr ;irni>'s cquipiiicnt. military organization. and tactics all niirrored t x t i c ) utcd iii Wcstcrn Europe. While Wcstcrn European tactics were ruitahlc against Fatamid T.Q pt. the) w r c iiot cft'ccrivc against 'l~urkish mounted horse archers. .The Crusaders ncvcr developed a n ctfcctive means for de:ilitig Turkish tactics. I n battle. the C'rusndcrs f;vincd
ii \\it11

battle position and let the Moslcms attack.

waitins for an opportunity to c h a r y . 1-hcrcfcirc. the Crusadcrs gave awl! the initiati\e and let their Moslem opponents chose when and \vhcrc to tight. The Criisaders ncvcr developed their o\vii medium. how armed ca\;ilry. which ciiahled flic Uy7anrines to take tlic oflicnsiw iii the early eleventh century i n Anatolia. 'l'lic

.. . . ol ~ i i i t i i i i i \ c \\as one more cause for the Crusudcr dcfcat


tlie 13attle of I Iatrin.

'R. C. Smail, Crusading Warfare 1097-1 193 (Cambridge. UK: Cambridge University Press: 1956). 1 1 1 - 1 12.

21an Heath: Armies and Encmies ofthe Crusades. 1096-1291 (Worthing, IIK: Flexiprint Lrd., 1978): 1 12- I 15.

' K . C. Smail, Crusadincr Warfare 1097-1 I93 (Cambridge, IJK: Cambridge University
Press, 1956): I 1 1 - 1 12. ?bid., 173-179. 'lbid.: 156-165 bCharles Oman, A.&srorv ofthe Art of War (London. UK: Methuen and CO.. 1898). 206-

'hid., 260-270

'Ian Heath, A m i e s and Enemies ofthe Crusades. I j 0 ) y h - l ~ (Worthing. UK: Flcxiprint 1978), 67-69,
'lbid.. 71-73.
"'1 bid.

"R. C. Siiuil. Crusadinn Warfare 1097-1 193 (Cambridge. IJK: Cambridy University Press. 1956). 138- 139.
"lbid.. 204-209 ''Ibid.; 198-203.

"Ian Heath. Armies and Enemies o f t h ~ ~ s a l e ~ , l ~ 9 6 - 1 (Worthing. 291 UK: Flcxiprint Ltd.. 1978). 5 1-54.

M:loslcrn iiiilitar! force that ticed the ('rusadcrs at llle H;rt~Ieof1i:ittiii \\as one of the
largest tnilitary Ibrccs arrayed a p i r i s t the Crusaders sirice the li,tindatioil ol'thl: Crusader States.

t 3 ) tiniling Moslciri territory froiri Cairo to Moscil. Snladin was ahlc to u t i l i x tlic vast rnanpowcr
resources o f t h e region with the sole piirpose o f destroying [tic Crusader arm!.

T h e Voslcrns \\ere

no longer tlividetl. iind Snladin did

iio1 hii\c to

divert Iroops to defend :iyainst \~l.loslcmrivals.

Moslem troops. {heir eqiiipmeiit. and tilcticz were ciiiiilar to the ilrillies that had I'ought the ~rusntlcr States liw the liisl IiIQ years. Thc d I d c r s l i i p tinder Saladiti.

r w x \\as


size oI'rlie ariny arid its t i n i l i d

By I187 S a l x i i n had reuililai : I cootl part o f t l i u Scljith enlpirc. .I'lic Seljirk empire ~
setnili.iidal stiile h h i c h rulicd on
il iniitiibcr


slrony Sultail (riilcr or monarch) to keep llle empire tcrgcllier.

o f ways. the Moslem feiid:iI system \\as siiniliir lo the (:rusadcr S1;trcs. 'I lie Sultan

graritcd land or revenue in the Ibrm o f iq/n (tict) lo an individual in rettirri Ibr military scr\ ice. the Linlikc the Crusader S~iitcs.

ol'tiiilc required for service \\;is rwt specilicd blil \ \ a s

iisuall! limited 10 a single campaign season and ended prior to the lirll liar\cst. Adminis~rative
control granted tinder the iy/tr systetn was iilw greater th;m lhal granted tiiider the C'rusadcr l i d
system. f o r example. the Moslcrll imlir of.Aleppo had full adrninistrali\e coiilrol of the cit! and

w a s only required

10 provide ;I specilied numhcr of troop, when reqcicstcd

t)) !lie Stillan. f o r a11

n ~ i k thc . aiilir of

intents and piirposes. he was virtiiall! on iridcpctldcnt riilcr. II't11c Sultan

Aleppo could ignore requests for troops. For the rouyhly niiict) !cart from thc dcatli of Malik

Shall to tlic rise ofSaladiii. tlie great Scljuk mnirs operated as indcpcndcnt states. 'The lack of a
strons eeiitral leadership uiitil tlic rise of Saladiii was thc major re:isoii tlie Crutadcrs w r c able to

>ucccssliilly establish arid maintain the Crusader States.

T\vcllili-ccntur! Moslem armies were predominantly cavalry. TIicrc ncrc four primary soiirces of Mohlem cab iilry: m;iniluks. non-nomadic Arabs. 13edouins. and 'Tiirkomans. The elite o f t h c armies w r c the rnamluks. blamluks were slave troops. not of Arabic origin. spcci;illy traincd to tislit as the personal guard o f a n amir or sultan. Mamluhs had no tribal or rcgiorial loyalt! mid w r e thcrcforc considcrcd to he more rcli;ihlc. .The! pro\ idcd thc hulk of

Moslcni iiicdiuni-to-tica\y cmxlry. M;imluks norrnnlly worc metal iiriiior s~inic\\liat similar to tlic
Crusader knishts. and tlicir primary weapons \\crc hov.. lance. and inacc. '1') pically. the inamlukh

would form tlie personal guard ofari ainir arid would hc used to dcli\cr the decisive or tiiial attack.
,At the time o f t h c I3attlc ofl-lattin. tlie rnanilukr w r c thc elite cavalr! o f t l i e :\riih world.

'1 Iic second source ofca\alr). non-nomadic Arahs. was in dcclinc h> tlic later half o f t l i c
tv.cllih century. Arah cavalry w a s considered Icss reliable clue to clan and regional loyalties. Arab

t with lancc and sword nnd n c r c not considered good liorsc archers \\~licn cavalr) f o u ~ l i primarily compared to tlic Turkom;inr. Similar to the maniluks. Arab troops were equipped as mctliiim t o heavy cavalry. As mcdiurn to hcav! cnvLilry. Arab c;ivalr) \vould be used to c h a r y an cnciny position and tight hand-to-liand. Arah caviilr! were better trained arid equipped t o tislit the Crusader army in hand-to-hand combat tliaii tlic Bedouins and Turkoinans.

A n ;iuxiliary hut usefill wiircc ofcavalr) n c r c the Bedouins. Bcdouiii cwalr!. wore little or

armor and werc equipped with spear and sword. The Redouinj were used primarily as scouts

and foragers. They \\ere ahlc to survive ot'f'thc I:ind cvcii in harsh terrain. The ima.ior drawhack of
tlie i3edouins werc their unrcliabilit). Prior to the hattle of1 Iartin.

Bedouins fougtit Ihr both the


Crusatlcrs and Saladin. Ucdouiris operated in tribal iiiiits and \ri)uld riormall! serve only on


c:iiiipaign-hy-cnmpaign h:isis. Siilxtiii's Egyptian arm! did tiarc a siiiiill pcriiiaiicnt I'orcc of

Dcdollin ca\alry: ho\vc\cr. there i$ iin rckrence of't3udouiii Iroops j c r \ i n g in Saladiii's arrn! at tlic
Battie o f i i ~ t i n . ~

flit. linal arid one ol'tlic iiinst iniportant soiirccs of cavalry were the Turkonian tribes.
Turkornan tribesmen formed ii major portion o f most nf the Moslem arniics. The Turkoiiians ivcrc

usiially liglitly armored horsc archers. who were able to tire arrnns cffcctivcly from horseback
while the horse w a s in motinti. Due to the rcqiiircnicnts nf tiring on tlic move. Turkoman iiriiior
had to be liglit and tlcxiblc and cniild not constrict the :irms. Most Turkonians worc quilted armor
or the lightest and most Ilexihle iilctiil armor availahlc. When fighting Iiaiid-to-hand. the I'urkomans carricd a small round shield and a swnrd or iiiacc. Lhic 10 their lighr armor and smiill shields. the Turkoiiians were at a distiiict disadvantaFc

Iiuiid-lo-liand coiiibar with Crusadcr

knights. .TIicrcli)rc. battles hctrvccn I'urkoiiiuii tronp\ a i d tlic Crusaders \+ere decided by the uhilit! oftlic Crusatlcrs to crigngc thc Turkonialic. I f r h c C'rusadcrs ivcrc nble to cng~gc the iurkoiiiuns. they normally
to witlidraw.'

the battle: il_ not. the 'Turkoiiiaiis \vniild iisuiilly force the C'riiradcrr

While the bulk oftlic army


cmalry. there rvcrc prot2ssion:il infhntry units iii klo~lciii

iirmics. Infiinlry \vas used priiiiaril) tn coiiduct sieges and defend tbrtiticd positions. As Moslem tactics relied on mobility. i n h i t r y were eitlicr not iiicludcd or thrmcd n very small portion nt.a ticlrl army. It' infantry was required. it \var raised locall) tix a specilic battle or siege then disbanded.

I f a professional infantry unit took the field. i t usuall\ had a spcciali/cd liinction. Most infuntr:
supported siege operations as citticr :irtillcrymcii or soppcrs. I\.loslctii intiinrry w r c lightly nrrnorcd and were equipped wit11 how and spear. /At the time ot'tlic Bnttlc (d'I Inttin. bloslciii armies hiid iio equivalent to Crusader Iica\y infantry.

Tlic basic building hlock o f Moslctn arniics \\:is the rrrlh. n niilitar! unit that could ranye
l'roni se\cnt! to tv.o hutidrcd nicii. A /rdh consisted otoiily one type oftroop (c.3.. tn;iniluk'i ntxild
onl? he l'cwtid i t i n inniiiluk tiilh). 'I lie tiilh'i wcrc nssigiicd to rcyiment.; with upproximatel! ow

tli~~usntid nicn per regiment. Tlic iiunihcr of troops in tlic tiilbs arid rcginicnts diffcrcd x c o r d i n g to

troop type and where tlic unit \\as raised. I k d o i i i n arid I :irkoninn tiilbs vnricd in siic depending on the s i c ol'tribal groups. Ucdouins served a s

rrihal p u p . a s i n c h idual Rcdouin tribes usu:llly


tio~ cotitrihutc

tnorc tlicn a single rrrlh

Tlic tiiosr orgatiizcd troops belonged to tlic household cavalr! of h e largest iiniirs
Houscliold c x a l r ! w r c called trskart. Askt7rs w r c diftcrcntiateii hy m o p type. Memluk troops were called toassin. Xon-tvl;iniluk c;i\slry wcrc callcd ytirtry/rrrltmr.\ (hlnck slaves). :lsktrrs w r c broken down into one Iiutidrcd innii r u l h . each lend ti! designate


miiir. 'I'Iic lcrni iiniir



used t o

cointiinrider o f n niilitary titiit. The tcrni :iniir

contiisinp a s it could rcfcr to iiri

individu;il \vho cotnrn:iiidcd as few as ten troops. l l i c most iiiiportxi! aniirs. the proviticial co\criiors o t t l i c niiijor cities. coiild comm:ind
:i'i ni:iny

as four tliotisntid nicti.

B !

the firlie o f t h c I k i t t l c of1 Inttin. Sal:idiii could dra\v oti tlic military nianpowcr ol';iII tlic

major aniirs l'roni Eg! pr IO iiortlierti Mcsopor;imin. I'rccisc liyurcs arc not available tor the s i x of
the mkor.\ o f t h e major mtirs. 'l'lie following is an estimate ol'tlic siic d t h e dart ( i f ~ l i niii.ior c

:Voslcni ci t ics:
Aleppo: 2.000 Damascus: 2.000

t-larnah: 1.000 Murdin: 1.000 Diyar Bckr: I.OOO Harran: 1.000 ivll>sul: 4.000 E g pt: 10.000


l'tic figures rcprcsciit only household ca\.alr! and do not include 'l'iirkoinan and I3edouiti ~~icrcciiarics or itifatitr! . Saladin tticrctixc could call on approxirnarcly twenty thous;ind profissional cavalry. It is unlikcly that lie would strip a rcxion o f all its standing military force.

tlioitsand professional cavalr! arid Moslcni records froin ttic Battle of Hattiri stati that only t ~ c l v e
werc present.!'

I'hc siic of the provincial t i h r . s lent itsell'natur:illy t o the fbrniation ofthc ma.jor

cor~~poncnts o f Saladiii's field urni>. 'HIClarger tisktir.s could easily form h e vangiiard or \rin:s


:in ;irmy. When arrayed tbr battle. the trsktrrc. wcrc normally grouped together on a rcgioiinl basis.

At thc Hattlc o f Ilattin. the Mesopotamian trskars of Llosul. Mardin. Diyar Hckr. and stniillrr
regional tiskrrr.c t i ~ m e d the left wing o f Snlndiii's urmy undcr the command of Gokhorki o f Irbil.

The Syrian contingutits of 1 lam ah^ Iloins. Alcppo. and the smaller rcgioiial crskcm foriiicd the right
w i r y 0fSaladin's ~ r m ) undcr the corninand ofTaqi-al-F)in of 1 lam;ih. T h e rcinaining aiid largcct

portion of the army the Egyptian :ind Dniiiasccnc ,i.\\ \\ere iiridcr tIic cornniund d'S;iIa(fiii.7 Grouping tlic trsktrrs regionall) \ \ a s both itiilitarily and politic:ill! imporranr. Militarily. the tiskt;r.y
\ w e more iamiliar

eiicli other and


likely touyht toycthcr iii the past. A l s o .Tiirkoman

aiixili;irics serviny in the same rcgion p r i h i h l y came tiom the s ~ n tribal c groitp t n a k i n ~ intcyra[ion

~1ux111arics : . easier. Politicall). it \vas important t o inaintiiiii good relations with tlic regional

:imirs. Appointing a loyal amir lion1 the rcgion to corninand that region's liirces prcveiitcd

dissension. A Moslem ticld arm) consisted o f all tiwr typcs of Moslem c;ivalry. Thc I3cdouins or Turkomans would be uscd as the ;idvancc guard and scoiits. Turkomans

also forin tlic

wirirs ofthc arm) and be used to \beaken and divide the opposing army. Ttic niarnluks and noiinoiiiadic Arab cavalry were held i n rc'scrvc to deliver tlic titial or dccisitc blow.

Oiic of tlic tiiaior \rcaknesscs of tlic M o ~ l c i i mil! i was i t s logistics. .To form a ticld arm!

I x y c enough to oppose tlic Crusudcrs. troops liad to be drawn froin both t i ! pt and V1csopotmiii:i.

'I'Iic distance tlic armies had t o travel and the general arid conditions incant flint the bloslcm armies
hiid to Iiave :I sizable suppl) triiiii. I his is especially true of foddcr and \rater for the Iiorseh. One

ofthc !icy tactics of tlic ('rusadcrs was to position tlicir licld arm!
to l i \ c olTtlic

t o tlcn) tlic Lloslenis tlic abilit!

land. It'tlic Crusaders could prcvcnt the Moslciiis froiii being :ible to resuppl!

locally. the Moslcms \r.ould he forced to \vithdrli\r..

;\iiotlicr wxkiicss of tlic hloslem ;irtiiics was their limited ability to remain i n the ticld for niorc tlicii
; I single

ciiiiipaiyi scasoii. Unlike tlic Crusader ticfsystcni. iy,c: required service for

onl! a single campaign sc:isoii. mid m i s t Moslcni troops \ranted to be liomc in time for tlic liar\cst.
'I'Iic inability to keep troops i n tlic field for aii cktciidcd period o f t i i i i c prc\cntcd the Moslems from
consoliduting p i n s against tlic Crumicrs. as tlic C'rusadci-s could retake territory once the bldslc~n arm) liad bccii dishandcd. 1-heCrus;idcrs were able to use the limited timc thc 'vloslctm c a l l d kccp iiii m i i y iii tlic ticld to tlicir xhaiitage. A g o d exaniplc i s Saladill's c a i i i p a i y :ig:iinst the Crusadcrs iii 1183. The ('rusadcrs n c r c ublc to rcinaiii iit Saffuriya mid hiiiically w i i t liir tlic

Moslem army to dihind. llnahlc to iiiakc $igniticmit Iicatlway and keep his :inn) supplied.

t i r c e d to dislxind his mil!.


Miislciii s t r a t e 2 focused on tlic dcticnt ot'tlic encniy's licltl ariiiy.

battles against other

111 the

Moslems. thc dcfcat ot'tlic opposine ticld arm! liirccd the opponent hi comc to terms.


ciiipirc. aniirs were given control (ifii rcgion. and tlic! maintained control ofth:ir rcgioii I ) ! t i i r x of arms. Control o f a rceion \\as not ucually Iicrcditar). and thercforc tlic strength d a n aiiiir \ \ a s tiis arm! not ttic territory tic controlled. II'liis ; m i ! \ \ a s dcli.atcd. tic could not count on tlic Id!alty of the rcgion tic coiitrolled t<i raise aiiotlier arm!.
Lloslctn :Iiiiirs were often rotatcd t o d

regions to prevent them froiii Ibrriiing strong r c g i c m l lo! iiltics.


Wlicn lighting the Crusaders. Yloslcrri stratcg tbcused not only on destroying the Crusader field arm! but also on tlie capture of inipartant fortifications. I3oth the Crusaders and Moslems relied on forti1icarions to allow thcni to control territory. Since ncitlicr side hept an army in tlie tield year round. Ibrtilications allmved small gxrisons to effectively conrrol a rccion. Duc t o

the Moslcms inability to kccp an arm) in the field for more thaii a singlc campaigii scason.
campaigns had limited objectives. A t y i c a l carnpuign \ v d d tbcus on sci7ing a singlc major fortitication. Even Snl;idin's campaign in I 1x7 was probably limited in scope. While Saladin's main goal \\as to decisively dcfcat the Crusadcr army. i t is unlikely that he planned for the results

of the I h t t l c ot' I-lattin. Evcn with the complete dcstruction nf the Crusader army. Sal, 1'in w a s
uriablc to keep his ; m i y in tlic ticld loiig enough to takc the Crusader cities of'fyrc. .l'ripnli. und
Aiitioch. The inahilir to hccp h i s xni! h3se (or the Third Crusade.#
i t i tlic


field allowed tlic Crusatlcrs to rccwcr and provide it

TIic tactics used by Moslem armies wcrc dcsignetl around the nrmy's m i i n strength.
mohility. The two ma-ior t;ictics iccrc cnvclopnicnt and divkion. I n cilvclopnicnt. Moslcin armies

\ r o i i l d use their ininhilit> to siirround an enemy. cutting the enemy o f f frorn ~ p p l and y t'orcing the
artily to defend i t s c l f l i o i n 311 sides. Tlic tiictic of division relied on rnohility to allon [lie Moslems

I'orce their cncniy t o extend his lines. The Moslcnic would then a t t x k


weak section nfthc line


divide their cncniy. destroying hiin piecemeal. 13oh o f these tactics \+ere ~ircd agaiiist tlic

Crusaders with sni:iIl niodifications. Envelopment was a traditioiial Moslem tactic. The main strength o f Voslcm arinics was often in its let? and riglit wings. Normally the majority ofthc horse archers and light cavalr! was in tlic army's icings. Thcsc lightcr iirid iiiorc mobile troops \rc?iildconduct probing :~tt:~cks against

tlie cncrny \\hilt Littempting ro extend the uicmy's lines. Tlic Moslem army's center \ \ a s designed
t o appcar to

bc weakcr than tlie wings iii ail attempt

t o dr.i\v the

cncrn! tortvnrd s o the \\ins.; could


cn\clop the cncm!'s positioii. 'I'Iic apparent ncakness o f t h c center \\as dcccpti\c
\va% norinall! held by inamluk heavy cnvalr!.

;IS the ccntcr

the V o s l c i i i s w s to divide the c n c i i i y ' ~ arm!. :\iiothcr tactic used l ~ y

Due to their inherent

mol~ilit>. Turkornaii tiorsc archcrr would be used to harass a n cncin! army on the riiarch and prevent the cncriiy from f h i i r i g battle positions. T lie bloslciiis v.oiild attempt to cut o f f c i t l i c r tlic

advance or rear gu:ird o f t h c cncniy's a m ! lion1 i t s innin bod! and then attack the enemy
l~ picccincal. T h i s is espccinll! true ot'tlic ciiciny's rcar y a r d . T'lic Moslcms n o r ~ n a l only provided token resistance to the cncni!.'s adbancc guard \vlii!c Focusing their attacks on the rear cuard. Tlic purpose ot'tlic ntrnck w s
10 spread


the ciiciii! coluriiri by allon iiig the cncniy


ad\niicc guard t o iiiovc ahead fairly ticel> \\hilt the rcar etiard

lixccd to stop and form battle

pmitions. ' I l i c Moslem army would tlicii coiiccntr:itc its tixccs on tlic wanis bcrirccn the ina.jor
cnciii! torriiations mid split the uneniy's arm)

Wlicii fighting tlic Criisadcr iirniics. the Ibcus ol'Lloslcni tactics \\as to separate tlic Crusader cavalr! and int'h!ry. Crusader infailtry and cav;ilr!.
I l i c Moslcms iindersto,xi the symbiotic rc1~itioiisJiiphetireen the

Wlicri the Moslcrns could not scpnriitc the Criisadcr cavalry and

infantry. the Crusaders cithcr woii tlic hattlc or n c r c able to \ v i t I i h w from ttic ticld iii good order. When the Moslems succeeded i r i scpariitiiig the Crusader cavalry and i h i t r y . like the! did :it tlic I3attlc o t Ilattin. the Moslems ustiall! inllictcd great Io\\cs on tlic Crusarlcrs.

Ancithcr tactic tlic bloslciiis used vcr! succcssfi~lly against tlic Crusadcrc retront. 'l'hc goal o f the k i g n c d rctrcat


the feigned

t o lure

tlic Crusudcr cavalr> into cliarginy and pursuing

the retreating force. Lhic to their grcalcr mobility. the M o h i i s could and did driiw out feigned retreats tor days. The Moslcnis \vould draw tlic C r u d e r cavalry far cnough away tiorn their i n h i t r y so the t\\o forces could riot reunite easily and thcri turn ;ind artack tlic' \cpar;itcd torcc.


Many ofthc major bloslcni Yictoric:, against thc C:rus;idcrs \\crc \+on using the tactic 01' feigned

A liiial tactic used ugainsr tlic Crusaders \+aslo taryct tlic Crusaders' Iiorscs. Tlic
Moslems realized that the strength ofthc Crus;idcr knights was thcir liorscs. A rnouritcd Crusader
I licthilit> wlicti tlic kniyht \\as very difficult to dcfcar due to his tien\!. armor. That armor hccmnc ;

knight was tbrccd to light on foot. A Crusader knight liad limited niobilit! and could he ovcr\rhcImcd by infantry or liehtl! artiiorcd cavalry. 'I'lic Crusaders a l s o lind difliciill! rcplacinp warhorses. \rhich oftcii had 10 he shipped from Western Iiiropc. Tlicrcforc. in battlc. Moslem
ca\alr! would frcqucnrly direct tlicir Ianccs not at tlic Crusader knight but at his warhorse."

The M d c m nrm!


faced the Crusaders at tlic I3;ittlc o f Hattin had advanragcs in

iiiohility. total size. and. most iniport;intly. strory cciitrnliicd Icadcrsliip. Saladin was ahlc to rake
adwntage o t the strengths of his ariiiy ;ind the divided leadcrsliip o f his opponent t o shape the

hnrtlcficld and draw tlic Crusaders a ~ a trotn y tlicir siippl! hmc. Snladiii understood tlic \\cakncsscs of his urmy

rcali7cd that Iic had a limited nniount ottirnc to force the Crusadcr

army to tight. He knew that lie could itot keep his army in the ticld ti)r mi csrctidctl period oftiitic
and that lie did not hiivc !lie logistic5 base for a long campaigii. Ilc made ni:ixirniini use n f l i i s

army's mohility and \\as able 10 divide tlic Crusader army. iiothing lie did tactically was uiiiquc. Saladin did possess strategic visi(iii. strong Icadcrsliip. and kno\vletlgc of his cncin!

- -

. . . .

'It. C. Smail. Criisadinc Warfare 1097-1 I:?> (Canihridgc. UK: Cambridge Ilniversit! Press. 1956). 64.
-Ian Heath. m ~ a n F.iiein&(ftlie d 1978). 01-93.

Criis;&~:~~!.o&lY! (Wortliing. UK: I-lexiprinr

'lhid.. 82-85 'lhid.. 90-91

'lbid.. X X 4 .

Ian Ileath. A Warcaulncr's ciuidt: to th.e Crusaders (Cambridge. OK: I'ntrick Stephens. I O X ~ J ) .44-45,
'David Nicollc. I l a t t i i i I 187: Sal:idin's Grcarcsr Vicror\: (I.ondoi1. UK: Ohprc! I'ublisliiiig Ltd.. 199.3). 57-01.

'I<. C. Smail. Crusndine \i iirlire 1097-1 193 (Cnmhridge. L K : Cnmhridge [jiiiversil! l'ress. 1956). 67-75.

Ibid.. 75-Xi

"'I bid.
''Ian Heath. ;2 W:lrl?amcr'.;!;uidc IOXOI. 89.

ttic-Cr~i~aders (Camhridlc. l!K: Patrick Stcplieils.

M:ith Saladin's aiiiioiinceinciit ol'tlic jihad. both the Moslems mid Crusaders gathered their forces in preparation for what *as expected to be the Isrgcst military campaign since I IX.3.

Ha\ iiig defeated tiis major Moslem rivals. Salatlin w a s able to conccntiiite liis arm! tonard
execittion ofthc jihad. The Crusaders no\v faced

iiriilied eiiciiiy with littlc hope for oiitsidc

assi\tiince. llie most p o w r l l i l ('lirislian state i n the rcgioii. the t3yantinc I..mpire. \vat; :illidwith Saladin. The Kingdom o f Jerusalem was dividcd and 011 tlie hrink ot'civil nar. The threat posed

hy Saladin \rould reunite the kingdom. at least superticially. just trio iiioiitlis prior IU the f3attle o f
I lattin. The fragile state of Christian miit! cinJ old rivalries ninong the Cltristnn le:idership ultiniatcly led to tlie h t a l decision to light tlie Uiittle of' Hnttiii. 'I'Iie decisivc drknt at the I h t t l e o t Ilatrin spelled the end ofthc Kingdom of Jcrusalm and sparked tlie Third Crusade.
In preparation Ibr the upcoming caiiipaiyn. Saladin ordered his major vassal:, to asscmble

their troops at I<as al ivlai near Damascus. The Moslem forces ucrc divided. ;is Salndin's arm!
\vas disbanded a l i e r the successlitl cariipaign against Ilosul in I 180. Saladin arid his pcrson:il

guard (approximately li)ur thousand troops) were in 1:)amascus. A l Adil. Salndin'~brother and
goverrior o f tgypt. and most ofthc Egyptian arrny (iipproxirnately eight thousand troops) reniaiiicd in Egypt. Taqi a1 Din. Saladin's nephew arid governor ol' IIaiiiah. and thu Syri:in mii! (approximately four thousand troops) ncrc in the vicinit! o t Alcppo p u r d i n g against an! riio~cs
by the I'rincipalit! of Antioch. The remainder ol'the nritiy w i s in northern Mc\opotaiiiia

(approxiinatel!. six thousand troops). Saladin't tirst iask w a s to succes.;fiilly ;isscriiblc his xiii! and prc\cnt any offciisivc action b) the Crusaders wliile h i s army \\as


1)uc to tlic di\ isions in the Crusadcr lendership and Count Kayiiioiid's iilliii~ice ~ i t h
the ability to conduct offensi\e opcrarions. The Crusade: Saliidin. the Crusaders did not IIBVC

Icndcrship kncv. th:it :I large portion ofS;il;idiii's :miy was still iii Egypt. and Saladin only liiitl a limited force will1 liim at 1)aiiiascus. If the Crusaders had been united and able to undcrtahc ollicnsivc operations. the Crusaders cottld have attackd Saladin bcforc lie could conccntratc his

the Crusader arm) could torccs. [)iic to tlic Crusaders' interior lines ofc~iiiiniiiii~aiioiis.
concentrate iiiorc rapid11 t1i:iii the Moslenis. I I i c C'riisadcrs bcnclircd from hettcr roads. grcatcr
10 fresh

w m r . and shorter lines of coiniiiiiliicatioli. l h d c r tlic decisive leadership ofttic wo

prcvious kinps Uald\vin I V and Alniiiric it is likely that tlic Crusaders ~ o u l have d takcn thu

otf'ciisi\c. [Jiidcr tlic weak Icndcrship o f King Guy. tlic Crusndcrs ceded thc initiati\c to Saladiii. Saludin's iinmcdi:itc objecti\c was to unite his army iii C)amnscus with the

hod! 01'

the IIgy.,vl)ti:in i m i y the end ofmuIiarramlApril I IX7 lie (Sdadin) and his army and the I)nlrl;iscene gii;ird leli Daiiiascus and iiiurchetl to Kiis al-Ma.. where llic Syrian continycnts joined theiii. Il e gave his son ill-Mnlik a - A f h l 'Ali comrn;ind ofttieiri and iiiarched with ii contirigen1orhis own troops to Ihisra. .This \\\as because he had heard that Ariiut of:& Kcr:ik (Rcginald de Chatillon) uas p i n g to attack the pilgrims and cut ofl'tlicir adv:incc. making it cleilr that once he had dealt v.itli llicrii tic would return lo bar the n a y to the Egyplian army and prcvcnt its joining up with the S) rians. Saladin therefore ninrchcd ( ~ Busm to pre\'ent Arnar's attack on the pilgrims and to mahc liini sta) qiiietly at hoine Ibr

fear ofthe Sultan.' On 26 April I I X7. Saladiii (with approximately four thousand troops j laid siege to tlic
castle of Kcrak iii an attempt to prc\cnt Reginald dc Chatillon tiom divupting 11ic trnnsii o f t l i t

Egyptiaii army. Saladin did not have the troops i)r tlic sicgc equipment to rcriousl? tlircatcn Kcrnk:

his objectives were to contiiic I<cgiiialddc C:hatillon's forces inside Kerak and to allo\v tlic
m:ijv Egyptian army to forapc and plunder through Oultre~iocirdain. 13y contuiniiig tlic o n l ~

Crusader military l i m e along the L&ptiati ;iriii).s route ot'marcti. Saladit1 w a s h l e to unite his liirccs with the Egyptian army without Crusadcr opposition. With tlic xidition ot'tlic Egyptian arm). Saladin's ticld arm! tiurrtbcrcd o\er tmclvc thousand tric~i.Saladiii tiov. had rlic military force to oppose any Crusader otficiisivc action.
In iiortlicrn Sbria. l ' a q i a l - l h tnovcd Saladin's nortlierti Syriaii arm! from I latiiali to tlic

tortrcss o t Harim on the frontier with the Principalit! ol' Antiocli. 'Taqi al-l)in prdxihl! commanded hct\\ccn four to h e tliousantl i i i o m e d troops plus atixiliaricq. Hie iiiovcmcnt 01' troops

dcsiyned iis a show of force against ttic I'rincipalit! to prcvcnt it from providing

siyiilicaiit military astistancc to the Kingdom of Jcrusalcni.. The l'rittcipality litid tliu economic
and tinancial resoiirccs to raise a field army ofsc\ cral tliousantl troops. which could tlircatcn

Siiladin'\ tlanks or contribute to tlic dcfcnsc or the Kingdom of Jcriisalctii. Ilov.c\er. with the possible reintorccment o f Taqi al-Din b! troops froril Mcsopot:itni:i

n i t t i tlic lack d u n y

prospect o f outside support due to the political division, in the Kingdotii ofJcru\alcm. tlic l'riticipali!!

\\as Ibrccd to sign a triicc with Saladin While the I'riiicipalit! \vould sctid ;I small

contingent of knights to tight with Kin? G u y at I Iattin. the truce protcctcd Saluditi's tl;ink and
alloivcd liini to strip troops front northurn Syria liv iisc in the wutli.'

A s tlic si7e ot'Sal:idin's arm) continued to ?row. the old nohilit! convincud Kin? (iuy illat

he had to makc pcnce \\it11 Count Rayiiioiid. Count Raymond. through tiis control id'tlic County of
Tripoli and the Principalit) ol'Galilec. \vas onc o t t l i c richcst nnd tnilitnrilg tlic strolycrt vassal


K i n g Goy. The Count also controlled the best access routes over the Jordan ri\cr. Tlic King agrccd tliat a delegation should be sent t~ 1ibcri:is to nc?otiatc nit11 the Count. The parry consisted

of Dalicin of Ibcliit. Ilcginiild of Sidon. the blaster ot'tlic Tcmple-Chard dc Ridetort. tlic rvlasrcr of'

the Hospital-lbger de Lcs Ivlouliiis. and tlic Arclibishop ot'l )re.

The composition nf rhc negotiating coniiiiittcc represented a m i x between the court party :ind the nld nobility faction. though fa\oring the latter. Ualian of Ibelin and Ilcginald o f Sidon wcrc both nicnihers ofrhe old nobility taction. Kogcr de Moulins had opposed the wedding of Guy to Sibyl and attempted to prevent the crowning o f King Guy. The Archbishop appears t o
h;ive been a neutral part). Finally. Gcrard dc I<idcfort was an old cncni! o f Count Ilayinond and

supporter ot'the court party. C o u n t Ka) irioiid would. rhcrcforc. scc that tlic coinniittcc \\;is designed to be favorable to his position and a conciliator) gesture on tlie part of' King Guy.' Ihe negotiating party dcpiirtcd on 29 April from .Icrusalcm. The party. with tlic cxccption
of Ilcginald o f Sidon. arrived at Nablus later that cvcniiig. Kcpiiiald of' Sidon had decided to trawl

by ii different route. TIic goal for the iicxt da)'s journcy was thc Tcmplar castle at a1-l:ulah Raliaii of'lhclin. nominal Icadcr ofthc dclcgatiori. dccidcd to spcnd :in extra cia! with his family at Nablus. belicving that tic could c a d ) mcrtakc the party bcforc thc) rcachcd Tihcrias. Rolian of Ibclin's dclny at Nablus probabl) s a w d Iiis lifc. but also contributcd to tlic disastcr near the Springs o f Crcsson
A s tlie Crusader negotiation party was t r a d i n g to\v;ird Nahlus. Count Ilaymoriil w a s

approached by one o f Saladin's sons who requested pcrmihsion to conduct ; I raid i t i rhc I'rincipality
of Galilee. According to Eracles (a contemporary Christian sourcc)
Wlicri thc cnunt hcard this request. hc WBS very troubled. I f he reliised tlie hoon hc feared he would lose the help and couiisd ofSal;idin. II'he gr;inted it. he \vould be terribl) disgraced and blamed hy Christendom. Finally he dccidcd to act as Ibllows. 1 Ic would warn the Christians s o thcy would lose nothing. Therefore he informed the son o f Saladin that he was willing to give him leme to enter his lands and the lands d t h c Christians under certain conditions. At sunrise hc should c r o s the river. and at sunset he should go back to liis own territory not to return. In no town :ind in no h i w c should tic take anything or do any damage. This rhe son of Saladin agreed to do.'

Without the military assistance o f Salatlin. Counr Raynond'\ position at l'iberias \\'as untenable. Count Raymond did not h a w the strength to prevent King Guy from sciring I'ibcrias. Howver.


Count Raymond knew that Iii) political <tanding in tlic Crusader States \rould collnpse

I it

:ippearcd lie not only allmrcd but abettell tlic taking o f Christiaii liics and tlic dcstriicrion 01' Christian property To ensure that tlicrc wtruld he no damage from the raid. Count Ibynoiid sent word throughout the principality of(1alilee warning all Christinns to remain inside on the lirst ot'

M u ! .

the d;iy ot'thc mid. On 3 0 April. the Crusader negotiation tcmii. ininus Ualiun of lbelin and Rcpinald of Sidon.

arrived at tlic Tcmpl:ir fortress ot'al-Fulah. When the! ;irrived. rhe part! received nard of tlic impending Vosleni raid. A council !\as held uiiioii~ the kiiiflits conccrning the \ioslcm raid. l ' l i c (.;r;lnd Master ofthc Hospital and rhc M;ir4iall ofthc .Tcniplars ndiiscd against risking an

cng3gc111ciit \\itti the M o s I c m ~ .The Gerard dc Ridclbrt and the majority o f t h e knights (\rliidi \\ere prcdoniiiiaiirl! Tcmplnrs) ob,jcctcd. and plans were made ti) attack the Lloslem raiding force. Gerard dc I<idcthrt stripped the garrison of ,\l-Fulah and tlic ncighhoring 'l'crnplnr t'ortrcss o f Caco and WIS ~ b l 10 c raise (brt) secihr knights from Narlireth This small Crusader l i m e nutiihcrui

arid possihl! approximatel? one hundred :ind twenty knights. an unknou II iiutiihcr of~I'~ircopolcs.

:is man! as thrcc hundrcd itifantr). (probahl! less tliiiii eight hundrcd total troop\).

No nurnhers are ;ivailablc tor the s i x ofthe Moslciii (orce: howcwr. ol-Afdal. "took
Mu/a~far d D i n Kiokbari ihn Zairi a d - l h i ((hkbori). ruler of II i i r r m and Edcssa. with (.hitnai. an-Uajmi and Yildirirn al-Yaquti. t n c i ot'the leading amirs. illid sever:iI others."" Al-Aldal \xis the ruler of[)aniascus. which 31that time had approximatel) two thotisand cawlry. I larriin iind

I3icssa together nunibered almost as m i n y troops. nnd the other amirs probably lead ;inother live
hundrcd to one thousand troops. A rcisoiioblc estimate ofthc Moslem raiding party would he :ipproximately five thousand cavalr!.

The raiding part! split into 31 Icnct two distinct clcnicntc.

The largest clctiiciit under the command ofal-.Afdal rcmaincd iicar .ribcrias. while the stiiiillcr part! under the cornrnsnd of Gohbori procccdetl toward Namrcth. ( h k h r i proh;ibIy led hetween one


tliousand to fiftccn tiundrctl ca\alry. Due t o the limited amount ol'tinic allotted for the raid i w e

day). the raiding l i m e under Gokbori \+:is probably more a rcc:onnaissancc in tiircc than a raid.

The probable. mission \\as


acquire iin updated picture ofthc terrain. water resources. and lo gi\c

one of die ma.ior Moslciii commanders (Gokbori) a first hand look at an area that the bloslcm arm)
might liiivc to cross.

The opposing ti>rccs met near the Springs of Cresson outside Nazareth. 'The Crusaders.
thou~h outnumbered. cliargcd the Moslems wlio appear to have hcen taken by surprise. B)

attacking. rhc Crusaders l d t their infantr) bcliind. The Crusadcrs counted on the clement of surprise a i d their hmvicr iirmor to carry tlic battle. The Moslems. though initially surprised. w r c able to coiiiiteriittiick and ovcr\rhelm the smiill Crusudcr torcc. O\cr sixt) Iciiiplar arid Ilospitallcr knights were killed. and the fort) scculiir kniglits from Naiarctli ncrc cuptiirud. ' 1 ' 1 1 ~ Master ofthe Hospital and tlic Marshall ofthu Tcmplc mere among the killed. Only Gerard dc Ridefort and t\+o of his knights escaped the h i i t ~ l c .Gerard dc Kidcliirt wiis ;hlc to return t o Xazarctli wlicrc he W S rcuiiitcd \+ith I3alian o f lhcliri and tlic Archbishop c)fTyre.
On 2 May. Gerard dc Kidcfort and what rcmaiiicd ot' King Guy's negotiating party

rcsumcd their journey to Tihcrias. Sliortlj after dcpnrting. Ciurard rcturricd to Na7arcth duc to
wounds frorri the previous day's battle. (icrnrd. already an enemy o f Count Raymond. prohahly

blamed Count Ruymond for the disaster near the Springs of Crcssori. Tlic pcrsoiial enmity hrtwccn
Count I<ayrnoiid and Gerard dc Ridefort. strengthened h) the disastcr at Springs of Cresson. pla>cd

a crucial part in the decision to fight the Battle of Hattin.

Ncns of the battle near tlic Springs of Cresson quickly rcncticd Count Raymond. IIc sent
an armed escort offifry knights to come? the negotiating party to Tihcrias. The Count expressed

his willingness


do \\hatever tlie negotiating part! suggcstcd. The negotiating party insisted t l i i i ~

he sever his alliance nitli Saladill. rcnio\c all \Ioslciii troops froiii .I ibcriiis. and return n i t h tlic

parry and do Iioiriagc to King Gu!. Count Raymond met tlic King at Ncapolis and swore tcalt! t o hitii. I tic t\\o major lictions iii tlw Kingdom oiJcrusalcin were iiov.

Iciist wpcrtici;illy united.

IIowcvcr. tlic Mcislcin r:iid arid the barrlc ticiir tlic Yprinp otC'rcsson casl dotihts on Coim

fla! mond's loyalty ;itid reliabilit>.

\\ hilc the casualties froin tlic battle nc:ir the Springs of Cresson n c r c sntiill. the b a t i k I d
a significant impact

on iiioralc. On the ('rusatlcr side. the ciisuiiltics were altiisst cntircly Tcmplnrs

or liospitnllcrs. the elite 01"lic Crusader army. The IIospitdlcrs lost their (irund Master ;itid tlic Tcmplars lost tlicir Marstiall .just two months hcforc ilic Hattlc of Hatrin. Rotli iricii ncrc rcspccrcd and experienced 1c;idcrs. Their deaths undcrminctl Christian n i ~ m l c .O n tlic M o s l e m side. accordin: to Ihn al-Atliir (a coiircniporq Mirtlcni source). "it \\as a great victory. for ilic rcinpl:irs atid I lospitallcrs \+ere h e hackhonc d t l i c Fraiil\isIi armies. ' l h e j o ~ f i ~ ~ilc \ \ s spr&



idc."' l'roiii tlic rnidtllu ol'hllay until the end of Juiic. both llic Crusaders ;ind Voslctiis g;itlicrcJ

their liirccs fiir the iipcoiiiirig c;impnigii. .Voslem forces g:ithcred at Tcll'u\litcr;ijust c a s t of I.akc Tiheria. .*'I ticrc lie (Saladin) rcvicwctl his arm! mid cstiiiiatcd that Iic liad t\veIve thous:ind cavalry with r r pilar t i c t i and iiii1it;iry siipcnds ( i y / ~ )a .s \\ell a s voluiitecrs,"'

The ~ \ \ c l v c

thoitsand cavalry figure probobl! docs iiot include Turkoiiinn tribcsmrin. I lie volumcrs arc prohahly locally raised infintry. I urcopolcs. and possihl! Redoiliris. h;licii Saladiii Icti Tcll'ashtcra. tic probabl! led a forcc ofapproxirii;ircl! twcnt!-ti\c tliousand inen. Tl~c Crusader arm! gathered at S;iftiiriyu. I h c to the s i c d'S;iIacliii's army. Kiti,? GII! announced ;iii urrierc
h i .

All ahlc-bodied i i i c t i in the kingdom ncrc called t o joiii tlic arm! at

Sattiiriya. With the recent dclkat o f t h c Byzantine llcct hy the Noriiims mid i l i c Lgypiimi tlcci b! thc Italians. the Crusaders Here able to strip ttic dctknscs ofttic c o a s ~ acities. l Thc 'leiiiplars

! ; Kiiig Henr! II dI:ngl:intl a s part o1'liis pcnaiice for rhc iriiirdcr of~I'hotii:is released money sent h

t3cckctt. The rnonc! was used to hire and equip ;idditioiinl 'l'urcopoles. Prince Dohemond o f .\ntioch also provided fifty knights. Wirli the arricrc ban and the rncrcciiarics hired wirli the money provided by IIcnr! II. the Crusaders were able to muster a11army ot'alniost twent! thoiisand troop\. The Crusader arm! \vas the largest army raised in recent years and one o1'1hc largest ever
r a i d hq' the Crusntlcrs.'

On 26 June. S:iladin's army crossed the Jordan Kivcr and 011 27 June. he cstahli~hcd his

camp along its western banks. Saladiri spent thc next fiw da!s attempting t o drnv tlie Crusaders
away from Saffuriya. Saludiii sent raiding parties west to harass the Crusader arm! in an attempt
to draw the Crusiders onto the waterless

plateau region \vest ofthe Jordan river. IJp until 2 Jul!.

Sul;idin's I I 8 7 c;imp;iign looked \cry similar to his unsuccessful campaign in I IXi. During that campaign. Saladin had attcniptcd to lure the Crusaders away from S;ilTuri)ii for sewn da>s before withdrauing from Crusader territory and disbanding his army.
In an attempt to break the standott: on

2 Jul!. Saladin moved the bulk of his arniy to the

Saladin (according to Ibii aI-Athir)

high ground \vest o f t h c t t w n of Tiherins.

0 1 1 the siiiiic day.

"attackcd 'Iibcrias with a small l i m e . brcachcd tlic wall ;ind took the city b\ rtorin during the nisht. The inhabitants tlcd for rcfiigc to tlic citadel. uhcrc the Countess and her childrcn w r c . and dcfcndcd thcmsclws tlicrc while the loner town w'as sacked and burned.""' Tibcrias onl! had a skeleton garrison as the ma.jorit)- oftlie yarrison Iwd left with Count Hnymond to joir the Crusadcr army at Saffuriya. The I'ibcrias garrison u a s able to send word to the Crusader army at Satfuri!a aid was rccci\cd qiiickly. that their situation was desperate and that the citadel would fall ~iiilcss The message from the 'Tiherins garrison qiiichly cprcad through the Crusader camp. King

Guy called a council ofthc major barons to discuss what action sliould be taken. I l i c King tirst
sought the advice of Count I<a!moiid. who was lord ot'Tibcrios and whose wire \\a> iii iriiriicdiatc jeop;ird\. According to Ernoul (a pro Count Ilayinond conremporar) source). the Count rcplicd:


cctlvicc is th:it >ou let Tihcrias go. . . . I kiiow well that i f t l i c Saracci~s takc I iheri:is. they will not hold it. hut will break down the \valls and then leave: and will not conic Iicrc tc) scck (is out i n our encampment. And ifthey do takc my wife and my men and my goods. and destroy my city. I \ b i l l redeem them and enclose my tit> again when 1 can.


because I still \vould rather Tihcrias he destroyed and m> n i l c aiid men antl helongings all taken. then 1111: whole land is lost. and you and your whole army killed and taken captivc. %lien tlie count had linished his speech. the master o l t l i e Temple said. "He has a wo1l-s skin." 'Ilicn tlic king askell the haroiis \%hatthey tliought o f tlic iid\'isc the count had gi\cii. Tlic! answcrcd that all h e count said was true. and the! agreeti that it should he done a) lie said. Arid tlic Hospitallcrs assented. and the king Iiiinselfcoiicurrcti in that opinioii. and all the barons save only the master of h e Tcmplc. Nevertheless the king and thc barons agreed to act accordingly."
I \ liilc the account given above appears to hcnctir from hindsight. it is largely corroborated

hy Moslcm I i i w r i a i i lhii ul-Athir. Thc liolloniiig is I i i h account o f t h e Crusadcr coiincil:

\vlicn the Iranhs Icarncd that Saladin had attacked Tihcrias . _ _ they inct to take counsel. Sonic advised the hiiig to meet the Muslims in hattle and chase them out o t ' l iherias. but thc Cmiit intervened I U say: "By God. I have ohscrwd the armics of Islam over the coiirsc olyears and I have never seen one eqiial to Saladin's army hcrc in numbers or in lightins power. If lie takes 'l'ihcrias he will not he a h k to stay there. antl when he has lcli i t and gone away we will retake it: for i l l i e chooses to stay there Iic will he unahlc to keep his army together. for they will not put up for long \\itti hcirig away froin rhcir homes and families. He will be forccul to cvxiiatc the city. and we will lice our prisoners." llul Prince Arnat (Rcginald dc Chatillon) ofal-Kcrak replied: "You h a w tried liard to make us

afraid of the Muslims. Clearly you take their sidc and your sympathies arc with them. otIicrv,isc you would not have spoken in this wa?. As for the size of their army. a largc load of liicl will be good for tlie lircs o f Hell .: ' ..I am one o l ~ o u . "said tlic Count. "and it' gou advance then I shall advance with you. and ifyou retreat I sliall retreat. Y o u will scc what will Iiappen." I'he generals decided to advance and give hattle to the Muslims. so tlicy Icfi thc p l x c whcrc they tiad bccn cnc;impctl until now and ;idvanccd on tlic Muslim army. When Saladin received tlie news ht. ordered his army to withdraw trorn its position near Tihcrias: his only rciison for besieging 'Tibcrius was to innke the Franks oh;intlon tlicir position and offer battle." 13oth the Crusader and Moslem accounts agree that Count Ra).niontl advised against going to the rclicfol"1~ihcrias. lloucvcr. the bloslcm accmini diflicrs over \\hen the decisicxi to m r c h liom
Sdfuri>a was made.

According r o contemporary Criisuder soiirces. the Crusader coiiricil coiitiiiucd until :iliiivst midnight and linished with the understanding that the Crusader army \vould reiiiaiii ;it Siilliiriya




go to the rclicfot'Tihcrias. Alicr the coiiiicil broke up. Cicrard dc Kidcforr returned to tlic

tiiiig's trnr to argiic against the decision 10 remain iit Salliiriya.

"Sire." he said. you helicvc tliat traitor \ r h o lias given you this ad\ise? I t is to s1i;iinc you that he liss given it. For i r m i l l be greatly to your s1i;ttiic tind your disgrace if you. \\ho have been s o recently heen tnadc king. (and Iiavc as great an arm! as) ever an! kiiig had i t i this land. or asscmhlcd. (as you have done) i n so short a tinie.-ifyou allow :I city oiil! six miles away to he lost. This i s the lirst task which lias fallen td you since you werc cro\\ned. And know well tliiit riitlier tliiiti see that. Ihc Tcmplars w u l d put aside thcir \\hitc mantlcr. arid sell and pawn theiii lest the humiliation the Saracens have causcd me and all ofthem rogethrr he not avenged. Go. have i t atinoiinced throughout the : m i y that all should arm and r\ery mati go to his companq and l d l o ~ [lie standard ofthe Clol!

I'he king ikircd not gainsay liiiii and so did as tic liad commantlcd. thr he likctl and feared him hecaiise tie had made hini king and liad given liirn the [reaslire ofthe king of

IJnforriin;itcl!. there is no indcpcndciit contirinatioii o f a meeting bctwecn the king and (icrard dc Kidefort alicr the Crusader council broke up. All Crusader accoiirits (both pro- mid anti-Count
Ila!iiiond) do agree that thc council broke with the decision to rciiiiiiii a t Sal'fiiri!a arid then shortly

alicr midnight 11ic king chuiigcd his tniiid aiitl ordurcd preparations hc rnadc t o hrc:ik caiiip imd

niiircli a t d a ~ n ,
h r l q in tlie morning o f 3 July. the C:rus:idcr :irrn) hrokc camp and heyan tticir iniircli

toward 'T'ibcrias. King Guy chose 10 take tlic most direct routc. the northurn route over the dr! plnrc:iu region to the \vest of Tihcrias. ' l l i c Crusaders marched as three separate di\ isions. The
advance g o d was commandcd h ! Counr Ilaymond. ;is he

the hcst kno\rlcdse of tlic tcrriiin

and it w a s his city that tlic :irmy was marching to rclic\e. .I'hc m i n hody \\:is commandcd by the

king and included the true cross. Thc rear guard includcd I h l i a n of lheliri and the Tcinplars. Each division liad its accompati) ing inliinrr) arid llurcopolc light cavalry. The hea\y caialry rcnluiiicd scrcencd behind the infantry and light ca\alr) to protect i t lroin the Moslcni horsc archers 'The Crusader army cainc uiidcr attack alnirist irnrncdiatcly. Saladin's army h;d heen harassing the Crusader carrip for tlie last live days rind continued to do s o as die ('riisxlcr ariii?


limned its divisioiis. Whcn it was apparent that the Crusaders \\ere leaving Saffuriya for Tiherias. Saladin reportedly stated. "there is what we arc Lvaiting for. Our strength is non tremendous. Let
u s iichicvc their deti.211. and 'l'ihcrius with tlic c o a t Innds \vill open hcfbrc

us. Snthing stands in

the wa? o f our conquest.""

Saladin's main body moved away from libcrias and into position to

block the passes that lend to I ibcrias and olTthc virtually wtcrlcss platrnu.
The harassing attacks against tlic Crusaders increased in intensit!. as Saladin attempted to

force the Crusaders to make camp. True to 'Turkish tactics. the main strcrigtli ofthe harassing attacks was directed against the Crusader reilr guard. The Crusader arm! was forced to slo\v to prevent the three divisions from becoming scparnted. By noon. the Crusader rear guard sent word
to King Ciuy stating

the!. w r c unable to iiiiikc tbraard progress without assistance. The


('rusadcr army had cwered only half tlic distance between Saffiiri!

and I ihcrias. 'IIic King then

reportedly asked Count Kayiiond tiir his a h i c e . Thc count advised the king to turii the Crusailcr army riorrh toward the billage of Hattin. which \bas approximately six kilometers a\r;i!.

I f the

Crusader army could reach I liittin. thcy could camp tlicrc li)r the n i g h and miitinuc on to Tiheria.;
the next day. Tlic King follo\ved his ad\ ice and attempted to turn the Crusader nrniy ro thc north.

Silladin. who was prohabl> canipcd on high grouiid to the south (near the village of Liibia). s a w that the Crusaders wcrc heading toward 1 lattiii and ordered T:iqi al-l)iii and the right iliink of his army to prevent thc Crusader's froni reaching the village. I!nder the constant harassment of the
Moslciiiq. the Crusader army was iinahlc to move i t i time to reach the p ~ s s to I l a t t i n beforc l'aqi

al-Din. The Crusaders \yere now and the three divisions mere in daiiger of being separated. The rear guard mas under tremendous pressure from the left wing of Saladin's arm! under the command of Ciokbori. I!nable to ;idvnncc. King Gu! ordcrcd h a t the ('rusadcr arm! make camp.iiist outside the small village nf' Marescallia. Wlicii c'oniit Ka! rnond sair this
1 1 1 '

6 :

reportcdl! stated. "Alas! A l a s ! I.ord God. the irar is o\er. dewoycd.""

Wu arc hctro!cd

to death arid the Imd

I lie Crusader arm!

\vitlioiit acce\s to water. m;idc camp in the cnrly alicrnoon. T11c

Moslem x m y a l s o made camp. bringing up frcsti \rater frorri Lakc .I iberia5 mid :idditicwal arro\i\s.
Four hundred loads of arrotrs were distribiited throughout Saladin's army und an additional scvcnt! cmncl loads of arrows \ w e brought forw:ird. The Moslc'm arm! also collected hrusli

along the \rindward sidc d t h c Crusader army and their probable line ofin:ircli.

On tlie hllo\rinp moriiing. tlic Crusader arm\ tried oiicc again to reach thc village of
I-latiin. the incarest source ()[\rater. The Crusader ariliy asain l'ormcd tlircc divisions. I he major ch:inge liom the previous day \ w s the movement ofthc 'Tcnipl:irs and Ilospitallcrs to the main

body. The religious knights \\ere imovcd tc give them sonic' relief from the constant Moslem
attacks of'the previous da! and to forin tlicni into tlic mail1 strike force for the Crusader :irmy. liarly in thc morning. tlic advance y i x d tried to force the p a s s Illat led to the village of ILittin.

Salutliii's ai-my slowly ga\e ground in a i l attempt to tlclay n major cngqcnicnt until the s u n \\;is
Iiiglicr i n an attempt ro use the Jul!

;ig:iiiis[ the Crusaders. Saladiii also wanted to scparatc the


rhrce divisions ifpossiblc. tiwevcr. he was not poing to

the Crusaders to rcacti \ w c r .


approxiinatel! nine o'ulock.

1 July.

tlie main cnpngcrncnt began. The Crusader a m !

W:IS to the

w a s still arrayed iii three di\isions. roiighlj cast to \vest. The ad\ancc yiiird northcast ofthc main hod!.


closest to thc tow1 ofIla[tin. 'I'Iic main bod! was in the center and the

rear guard was \vest. soiith\rest ol'tlic milin hod!. 'I'licrc is ctill conliisioii on the disposition of Saladin's army. The hest cstiniatc is that tlic right tlank. under the command of Taqi al-

Din. was to the north and cast o1'tlic Crusadc'r ad\ancc guard. The main body. under Suladiii's
command. was to the south o f both the Crusader maiii bod! and the rear guard. The Moslem lcit

tlank. under Gokbori. was to the west and north ot'thc C r i w d e r rear guard. Saladiii's army
fornied a rough "11" shape :iround the Crusider arm!.

Hie tcrritor! at tlic top o f t h c "u" hctuccn


Fig 1.T i e Battle ofHattin, late morning to nooii. Repnnted from: David Nicollc, Hattin 1.187, Grcntest_\'ictoV, (Loiidoii: Osprey Publishing Ltd, lQQ.3), 70-7 I


tlic left :uid right llanks of the Moslcm arm) \\'as wooded and likely patrollctl by Moslem wluiitecr

troops :ind infantr!. I his was also the area \\ere the brush hud been collcctcd and sct


tire early

thar morning. I hc Crusaders wcre. thcrelbrc. surroundcd. with m o k e to their north hloning into their divisions. I" 1he ('rusader situation was hcconiing dcspcratc. I'lic Crusader infantry. demoralized hy ti day and a night witlioiit water. befan to hrcak fhrniatioii arid moved 1 0 the east toward the Horns ot Hattin. The horns arc Iiish ground s1i;iped likc the horns oTa hull. Thc infantry w a s prohahl! attcinptinp to move toward Lake l'ibcrias which was visiblc (iom the horns. Without infantry protection. [he Crusatier cav;ilry was no\\ in dircct contact

Moslems. King Guy and the

histiops protccting the true cross sent requests to the infantr! to rejoin tlic main hod! and protcct the king and the true cross. 'I he infantr) replieti. " K c cannot conie. hccause w e are perishing o T thirst and cannot liylit."" 'The Crusader cavalry made two attempts to hrcah throupli thc encirclement. T h e lirst attack was made by tlic 'fcniplars and IIospitallcrs against Saladin'.; niiiiii body. 'l'lie attack dro\c thc Moslems hack but did not hrcdk

encirclement. T'he second attack w a s iiiadc by the cavalry

ofthe xlviincc guard iindcr tlie command o f Count I<a>mond. 'I'Iic attack was dircctcd azainst thc
Moslem right Ilank with thc goal of breaking through to the town of IInttin. Count Raymond's

attack either broke through or was alloxed to break tlirougli the Moslem right Ilank. I-lowcvcr. the
Moslems quickly sealed the hreach and cut otfthe advance guard cavalry from tlic (.'rusader miii

body. Count I<aynond and what rcniainetl ofthe adv:ince giiard ca\alr>. iiriahlc to rejoin tlie rnaiii body. left the field o f battle.
Tlic Crusader army was now divided and most of the advmice p a r d cabnlr!

no longcr

the field. King Goy ordered that the royal tent hc set lip t o protcct the true cross and pro\idc ii

rallying point for the Crusader forces. 1-he royal tent wis set iip at the hasc ol'tlic soii[Iierii Ilorn

Fig 4 . Tic Battle of Hattiii, afternooil Rcpriiitcd from David Nicolle, Hatti!! \'!ctoty. (Londoll Osprcy Ptlblishing Lrd, 1003). 74-75

I 182: Saladg's Greatest.

of1 lattin. The battle continued throuyh the curl! afternoon when the remaining Crusader knights
and infantry were forced onto the rocky ground ;iround the southern Horn of Ilattin.

By late

alicrnoon. the battlcticld was compressed to the area surrounding the Iloriis of I-lnttin The tinal hour ofthe battle is best recorded h ! Saladin's son al-Afdal:
It w i i s nib first set battle and I was at i n ) h t l t c r ' s side. W-lien the King ot'thc Franks had retired to the hill. his knights made a gallant charge. and drove the Moslems back upoti my Father. I watched him. and I saw Itis dismay: he changed color. tugged at his hcard. and rushed forward. shouting "Ciivc the devil the lie!" So the Moslems fell upon tlic cncmy. who retrcatcd up the hill. When I saw thc Franks flying arid tlic Moslems pursuing. I cried in glcc. "We have routed them!" 13ur the Franks charged again and drove our men back oncc more to where my Father was. Again he urged them forward. and drove the enemy up the hill. Again I shouted. "We have routed them!" But Father turned to nte atid said: .'I lold thy peace! We have not henten them so long as that tent stands there." At that instant the royal tent was overturned. I'hen the Sultan dismounted. and bowed hitiiselKto earth. giving thanks to God. with tears o f j o y . ' "

I'he battle as dcscrihcd cndcd in the late aliernoon. I'hc Cruwdcrs had suffered 1hous:nids o1'easualties. primarily among tlie i n h i t r y and Turcopolcs. Very few of'the knights were killed but nltiiost ;ill ofthe horscs were killed. The greatest losscs had b c u i taken h ! tlic Templars and Iltyitallcrs. who had started the campaign with almost tivc hundred hnights between the two ordcrs. At the end of the battle Saladin offered liliy dinars for each Templiir and tlospit:iller prisoner. "Immediately he got two Itundred prisoners. who were decapitated at his connnand. IIc

hid these particular men killed hecause thcr were the fiercest of a l l Frankish warriors. and i t i this
wa) he rid tlie Muslim people ofthem."'" Also among the prisoners were King Gu). (icrard dc

Kidefort (not executed with his brother knights). I<egin;iltl de Chatillon. and most ofthe m j o i nohility. .I'hc onl) members ofthe Crusndcr leadership to escape were Count Raymond. M i a n of Ihelin. and the small number of knights who escaped with them. Over the next six months. Saladin's army rccaprurcd most ofttie Holy I.ands. The onl! arcas that remained uncapturcd at tlic end ofthe year ucrc the cities ofT)re. Tripolis. Antioch. and the 3 r d Ibrtresses of Vontreal and Kerak. Due to the cnlling ofthe iirricrc ban h r

Hattlc of

tiattin. the Crusader cities and t\)rtrccses did not Iiinc tlie manpower to dctend thcniscI\cs apiins SaI:itlin. Man! citic., mid fortresses surrendered as
to the poor Crusader decisions that
\eon iis

Salndin'h arm! arrived. l'hercibre. due

Icd to the 13;ittle of tiattin. the C:rutndcrs lost \ irtunlly

e\'er!thitip thcy had gained over thc pre\ ious nine[! ycars.

l l i c Crus;idcrs lost the Hattlc of Hattin due to poor tiictic:il decision m:ikins. l h c
C:rusadcr leadcrship did not take into account thc tcrrain. climate. ncccssar! logistic support. morale. and the army's innhilit) to coinplcte the march to I ibcrias in on2 day wliilc continuall) in
contact \rirh ths enemy. However. ultimately tlic reason for tlie Crusader defeat at the Rattle of

Ilattiii \+:is the dividcd and poor Crusader leudership.

I'rior to making tlic decision to march the Crusiadcr arm> to I'iherius. the C'ruandcr leadership nccdcd a clear understanding of the area o t operations. Ilie terrain and wathcr in the area hetnccn Safluriya and Tihcrias had a sipnilicant inipact

tlic outcome ofthc Rattle of

IIattin. The comhined ci'fccts oftlic arid. virttinlly wtcrless terrain and tlie July h u t may have
dcterniincd tlic outcome ofthc I h t r l c hcforc tlic m i i n body ot'opposing iirniics iiict

tlic I-loriis

Hattin. Tlic decisions made hy the opposing army comniandcrs \+ere directly tied t o tlic 1oc:itioii and mailuhilit! ofwnter. 'Ihc Criisiidcr decision to cross the diflicult tcrrain a l l o \ ~Sal;idiii ~I to shape the huttlctic.ld. to dcny thc Crusader arm) any ncccss tn \vaicr. and to ultimatcl! inllict the
m o s t decisive defeat on the Crusuclcrs since their arrival in the H d ) I-atids.

Thc Crusader army formed at tlic Springs of Satliiriya. rlic Sprinps arc loc;itcd less than

liw kilometers north ofthl: cit! of Numrcth in the highlands otGulilcc. flic immcdintc arcn
around Saf'fiiriya was one of the must fertile rceions oftlic Kitigdoni of Jcrus;ilcm. Saffiiriya had water year round and had been an important sourcc of\r;itcr for tliousiirids (+!ears. ccnrmlly located near the major north-south and ciist-\rcst roads in the liin:doiii. Salliiriyii u n s

An army camped

at Sa(furi);a could move quickl! ti1 :in! rcgioii threatcned h) the h,lo~lcnii. I h c iniport:incc o f


Saffuri!;~ \\as undcrstocid b! hoth the ('rus;idcrs anti tlic Moslem~.Saffuriya had heen used as : I

. cutliering point for Crusader armies siiicc tlic founding of tlic Kingdoin of Jcrusalcm.
1 1 1 1 :t o w

bcsicgcd h! Saladin. \ u s the most important to\vti on thu Sea ofG:ililec

and tlic >cat ot'thc Prince ofCi:ililee (Count Kaymond). IKihcrias :itid tlic Sea of Galilee Lire

surrounded by
oiit along

high plntcau. Thcrc is \cry limited level ground near Tihcrias and tlic t o w s p r 4

the banks oithe Sea of Galilee rather than inland. Due to thc diflicult terrain hct\\ccn

Tihcrias and Salliiri!a. thc tov.ii was isolated tioni tlic rcsi ol'tlic Principality ot'CiaIiIce. The nearest major Crusader settlement was Na7iircth. which i t a s t w n t y - l i v e kilonictcrs away. l'iherias. Juc its location along the Sea i f Ci;iIiIcc. did not siiffcr the extreme hcat ot'the high
pl:ilenu to its icest.

The rcgioii between Saffiiriya and I ihcrias \\;is virtually \vatcrIcss during tlic siiinrncr
rnonths. Water wiis otil! ;ivail:ihle l i o m isolated springs or \vclls. Along the route chosen by the

Crus;idcrs. only two locations offered enough w t e r to support the Crusader army: the towis of Ilattiii mid Tur'an. I.eaving Sdftiri!a travcliiig to\iard .I ibcrias. the terrain hcgins to rise sharpl! . The pliitcau region ;iver:igcs about ciglit hundrcd iiictcrs ;ibo\c sea IcvcI. The terriiiii is vcr! rugged and. due to the lack ofstanding water. i\ very arid

little or no Ihdder r , ; I

horses. 'I'Iic

tciiipcriitiire on the plateau can ru;icIi over one hundred dcgrecs in tlic stiniiiicr. In ci;ililcc. July is historically onc ofthc hottest inontlis. While there i s no rccord ofthc tctiipcrature for thc third and
hurtti ofJuly 11x7. it

is likcl! that the avcragc tcrnpcratiirc itas hct\rccn 85-90 dcgrccs with a

high of almost one huiitlrcd degrees at middiiy. Additif to the prohlcins thc Crusaders faced. the tcrnperntiirc at night could drop to n.: l(i\v a s tort! dcgrccs.'" Another factor that may h a w contrihutcd to thc disintcgr;ition of thc Crus;ider army was
dust. Galilee has two distinct scasons. ii wci sc:isoii and
; I dry

season. I h c ivct zciisoii lasts tiom

October to March or April. T h e vast majority 01';iIl ir;iintiiIl in the r q i o n ticcurs durin? thc !&ct


Fig 5 . M a p ofthe Viciriity o f Hattin. Reprinted from. Marsliall W. Baldwin. Rayniondlllpf Tripolis and t!le Fall ofJenrsalem (!I.&l 187). (Princeton: Princcton University Press. 1936). 103.

sc:3soii. Illiring the dr! \easoti. the skies are cltitidlc~s.there i F no iiioisture iii the air. and nonirrigated land bakes and heconies estrcmcly dusty. What little \rind occurs diiring tlic dry se;isoii hclpc to sprclid tlic dust. A Criis;idcr arm> ofiippr~iuiin;itel~ tourtccn thousand troops plus Iiorsc's

v.ould raise considcrahle dust \rhich probahl! lheightenctl the effects orthc iirmy.s lack afwuter."

'l'lic rcstrictiw terriiin in tlie region betireen Satliiri>a iind Tihcrias limitcd the choice oI'
routes that the Crusader arm! could tahc to I iheri;i\. There w r e tv.o nizijor roads to I'ihcrins

e The niaiti road frcvn Acre to the Jordan which had hccn in use bcliirc the iirri\iil o f ~ h Ilomans.
river triivcts fitst pasr Saftiiri>:i (scc tisure 5 ) to thc' south ot'ivlount 'fur'aii. lust m i t l i of Moiiiit Tur'an. h e road Ibrks. \rill1 the northern road going diie cast o\cr tlie high plateau dircctl! to

.Iiheriah. The \oiithcrn road hciids southc:ist until i t rciiclics K a f r Sj3bt. irhcrc' tlie road turns
northeast toward Tiherias. Both roads Itad their ad\aiit;i~csa i d disad\antages. The northcrii road
was tlie most direct hut Ii:id

water. and there \rere

110 ('rusader

fortiliciirions ;iloiig the rotitc.

T h e soiithern route also


little Hater and \+;I\ a longer iii:ircli: however. if :lie Crusaders were

fiirced to stop. tlicy coiilil retreat to Ihrtilicd positioiis to the nor111 of Moiinr rahor Itvrittcii .Ili;ihnr

on ligtire '??). I n addition to the two iiiiiiii ro:ids. the Crus;idcrs could have also taken :I tiiorc
circuitous route to the north throiigli the vallc! 0 1 I3cth Ketotiih: h o w v e r . that roiitc \r~iuId probahly have doubled tlic travel time:
> .

;\nother import:int tictor \\hen examining tlic region between Saffuriya and Tihcriar is its isoliitioii. Due to the poor terrain. tlicre irere few Crusndcr scttlcnicnts or tortilicntions. 'l'hc I:ich o f a Crusader infrastructurc in the region iiiciitit that the Crusiitlcr army did IIO! have a position (if strength 10 n h i c l i they could retreat. Tiberias was the only major Crusxicr fortiticxioil witliin twenty-tivc kiloinetcrs. .I'ht: lack o f tortitications iilsci inc';int that there was nothing to prevent Saladin':, ad\unce gu;iril from taking control ofthc resion and it:, miiilahlc n x c r . Thcretiire. Saladin \\as able to 1i~ir:isstlie Crusaders timi d m w t the iiioiiient thc) lcli Saitiiri! a.


The terrain. lack of water. aIid the weathcr in ihe Cialilenn plateau was well k n o w to both the Crusaders and Saladin. In thc past the Crusaders had used the region as a buffer againrr invading Moslem armies. In I 1x3. Saladin had attempted to draw the Crusader arm! aw:iy from S a f h r i y into the same waterless plateau region. but to no avail. Both parties k n w that i t w a s impossible to maintain an army on the plateau without water. l h e key was to control the limited wiitcr sources or cross the plateau in one day. 'The Crusaders did not control the water sources and

could not cross the platcou in one da). The rcsiilt was tlie disintegration o('tlic Crusader army ;it
the Hattle o f Hattin. The Crusader Icadership. knowing the difliculties o f the terrain their army had 10cross.

could have overcome snmc oftlie problems ifthey had made proper use of logistics. The
Crusaders did not have ii supply train and therefore did riot have enough water and fodder. l'hc Crusader laidciship knew that Saladin's army had plundered the reyion :Iround libcrias and sacked the town. N o support would be avail:ihlc locall! for the Crusaders. Even if the Crusader army had s u c c c s s f i i l l ~mndc the march to 'l'iherias. the) would not have hccri able to support thc army off the land. Why the Crusaders did not bring a largc enough supplr train is

kiiown. N o

contemporary sources mention Crusadcr logistics. It ir likclq that tlic Crusader leadership ielt that

supply train w u l d slow the army's rate o f march m d prevent tlic Crusaders lrnm reiichiny

Tibcrias in one day. The only mention of the use of logistics is hy the Moslcriis. \ r h o llad camel trains for water and arrows. lJsing hindsight. the outconic ofthe Battle o f tiattin probably hinged on the Crusaders' inadequate logistics: specifically. lack of water. Another major factor in the otiteome ot'thc l3atrle of I-lottin was the morale of the opposing armies. l h e Crusader arm)'s mnrale was Ion due to the recent disastcr oftlie battle ;if
tlie Springs of Crcsson and the divisions i n 1111: ('rusader leadership. Crusader iiinriile liirthcr


eroded due to the lack of water


3 and 1 July. Moslem morale \\;is high due to the \,ictory


;it the

Springs of Crcsson. the wcccssfiil stormiiig of.llihcrias.

thc strong leadership of Saladin.

I'he composition of both armies iilso pla!cd a signiticant role. T h e Crusader ammy had a
large number of inexperienced troops that had been called up h ! the iirricrc him. The quality ofthc m i n i n g :ind equipment of'thc Crusnder army \\;is very iineveii. Troops under the command of the religious orders and tlic hordcr nobles. such as ileginald de Chatilloii and Count Ila>mond. \\ere

well cqiiippcd and trained 10 light iis a mil. Mercenary inlgnfr!. armed religious pilgrims. and
troops from the normally secure c o ~ s t acities l tiad little experience or training. Due to the lien\! reliance offhe Crusader army on infantry. the lack oftraining nnd cqiiip!ncnt o f t h c majority ofthc infhirr! \ w s

major \rcaknc while it also had a large number ofvoluntecr or irregular troops. rclicd

TIic Moslem arm!.

aliiiost cxclusivcl\; on i t s regular (iqt:i supported) troops. Inlitntr!. Redouiiis. and 'l'urcopolc cavatr! played lesser roles in Saladin's arm>. The major contribution oftlie volunteer trwps

~ the north ofrhc Crusaders and to gather during thc Battle o f IIattin 'xis to screen the \ \ w d to
hrusli to provide smoke. Saladin's army was also more homogenous :iiid used ro ligliriiig togctlicr. 'l'hc nia.iority ofthe ;irrny hiid hccn lighting in S;ll;idin's campaign\ against /\lcppo anti Mosul and

had experience working together. The disposition ofSal;idin's army during tlic buttlc \vas
regionally based. Thc right flank consistcd ofS;iladin', S!ricin troops tinder I'qi ad-lXii: thc Idi

flank consisted o f Mesopotamian and Turkish troops under Ciokbori: arid the m i i n bod! was predominantly Efyptian troops under Saladiii. .Ilic regional orientation provided easier intcgraiion

of uii its.
l l i c Crusader decision
10 march

fo l.ibcriac \\ithotit :I supply tram \\:is ricd to thc idea that The Cruwdcr ledership

the Crusader army could cross the platc:iii and reach Tiherias i n one da!.

had to rcaliLe that the army \vould he in contact \\itli the Moslems throughout tIic march. 'I'Iic

Crusader camp at Satfiiriyn Iiud hcen harassed by the Mosleni udv;ince y a r d for tlie prcvicms l i v e
days. so there is

reason to believe that the Crusaders wo~ild inarcti unopposed. The Crusudcr
let1 iriiles

army had to hrciik cnmp. hrtn their thrcc di\isions. mid travcl over

in one day. While

ihcrc :ire ob\ ious ditYcrenccs bctmccn tlic rate (iftiiarch bct\\ccn the t\r.clftli and tv.cntielli ceniiirics. the rate of march under siiiiilar conditions hy U.S. Army i n h r r y is four to six kilotnctcrs pcr d u ~ .Even unopposcd. the march would take :it lea51 l i \ e hours. not including thc
riiiie nccdcd to hrcak camp and form di\ isions.

.The question rciiiiiins wlicthcr the Criissders had an opportitniiy


win IIIC Battle ol'

Ilattin. To win lliu tactical battle. the Crusaders would ha\c Iiud to intlict enough ciisiialtie> 011 Salxliii's arm> to force t h m to withdraw. or placc Saledin's army iii ii position where it c o ~ ~not ld l i r u g c or receive logislic support. E\en i f t h c Crusaders had ample water :ind tra\clcii a l m g a
r(iiite that pro\ idcd better protection

and supporr. it i s unlikely



tlie Crusader? could 11:ivc

;iccc?rnplishcd either ot'tlicsc chjeclivcs. Saladill's arm)

much more mohilc. and the Crusaders

did not hii\'c control o f t t i c fixding sites o\cr the Jori1:in r i e r tliat S;iI:idin uscd as his logistics liklinc. The hest the Crusaders could liavc hoped for was to rclicvc ' I ' i b c r k with tninini;il (Icss
than tlirce thousand) casiiiiltics. I>uc 10 the siic o f t h c forces involved. the terrain. ;ind the q u a l i ~ y

ol' lendership on horli sides.

tacliciil \ ictor) h ! tlic Crusaders was extrcnicl! unlikcly.


'Eraclcs as quoted i n Marshall Whithctl thldwiii. _Ra\r!Ioni i l l of:lGoJs and the Fall 01' Jeriisalem(! 140- I 1x7) (Princeton. NJ: Princeton liiiivcrsity l'rcs\. 10.36). 8 8 4 0 . "lbii al-;\lthir as quoted in Franccsco Gahricli. !Arab I-listoriuiis..~~ the Crusades. (Lcls hnzclcs. C A : University oI'CaliI'briiia I'rcss. 1984). I 17. 'Ihid.. I18

'Marshall Whithed Rald\\iii. R x m c p d 111 of Tripolis and the Fall ol'Jerusalcm ( I 1-10: I I X7) (Princcton. NJ: Princetori Ilniversity Press. 1030). 102. '"Ihii al-Althir a s quotcd in Franccsco Gahricli. Arab I listorians (>lithe Crusade> (Los .Angles. CA: Ilniversit) of'Calilbrnia Press. 19x4). 120. "Ernoiil a s quotcd in Marshall Whithed Daldwin. K A y y n d I l l o f ~ r ~ ) l i s . a ! l d r h e a l l!>I' J x s a l c r n ( I 140-1 1x7) (Princeton. NJ: Princeton I!niversity Press. 1936). 100-I I I . I21hnal-Althir as quoted in 1-rancesco Ciahricli. Arab I l i s t o r i ~ i i l ~ ~Crusades ~ l ~ ~ l l e (Lo5 Angcles. ( 1 4 : Universit! of Caliiimiia I'rcss. l9X-l). 120.
"Ernoul as quoted i n Marshall Whithcd Uuldwin. Ravmond 111 of'rripolis and the b.a!!,l' Jerusalem f 1140-1 1x7) - (Princeton. NJ: Princeton Uniwrsity Press. 19.76). I 13.

Imad ad-Din as quoted in Marshall Whithcd Ualduin. l < a ~ I i i o ~ i ~ oif ll r l i p o l i s and tlic Fall ofJerusalem ( I 140-1 1x7) (I'rinccton. NJ: I'rinccton University Press. 19.36). I I S . '*l.ibcllus as quoted i n bl\.lnrshallWhithcd Baldwin. Kmrnond I l l of'lripolis and the Fall of ?_e_Tusaleiii ( I 140-1 1x7) (Princeton. NJ: I'rinceton I!niversity I'rcss. 1936). 117. David Nicollc. I lattin I 187 - Saladin's Circatest Victorv (1.ondon. IJK: Osprq I'uhlisliing 1993). 62-64,


Lihellus as quoted in Marshall Whitlied Bnld%in. l{uynondlII ofTripolis and thc T m C Jerusalem ( I 140-1 1x7) (Princeton. NJ: Princeton I!niversity I'rcsc. 19.36). 123.
"Ihn al-Althir a s quoted in I'ranccsco Gahrieli. &ah I-Iistdrians of:tlic Crusades (Los Angeles. CA: University of Culilnrnia Press. 1984). 122-1 2.7.

I :

Ihid.. 124-125

-"'Ian Heath. A.JVarg4icgr.s Guide to the crusudep (Canihridpc. IJK: Patrick Stephens.

I980). 23-24.


Knowing the prohlems the Crusader army \vould h c e due to terrain. climate. logistics. and

cnetny opposition. the dcci3ion to m:irch t o [tic rclict'under these conditions did nut meet tlic
strategic objectives ol'the Crusaders. I'Iic Crusader States hail hceii : I predorninnntl> del'enbi\c lorce siiicc the dcutli of K i n ? Almaric ( I 17.1). I'lie strategic h j e c t i \ e s ofthc Crusader Sintes n c r c
to iiiiiintaiii

army i n hcing mid to protect the major torti1ic:itions that dcrkndcd tlic lrontier

I iberins \\;is nci! ii major Ibrtilication. nor iriis it considered part o1'tlie fionticr dclictiscs. I he
major li)rtilications i n tlie region were the great c a s t l c ~ ot' U d v i o r to the southwest ot'l'ihcrias

Sated to tlic north\rcsr. A l w . l.ibcrias could not he held Iiy the Moslems. It was an isolated cir!
o n the western hank o1'tlic Sea olGalilee. Saladin would not he able to keep liis arm> iii ~ l i c lidd
indcliriitcl~.and the Crusaders w u l d he able to quickly conceiitratc lbrce atid recapture (lie city. Count I<aymond :iIso stated that he would restore tlic city a t his ohn expense.

lhc only \ray the hattle could h a \ c iriipro\ed the strategic situiition of the Criisadcr Sratcs
would have heen by iritlicting ii decisive dclcut uyain\t Saladin. Saladin's political pvsition relied
on his personal prestige. The instability of'Saladiii's position was clearl. shown tluriiig his Inng

illness ( I I 8 5 to 1186) wlicti his vas\iils inade prcparatioii to h r w k a\ray from tln: ciiipirc. Saladin needed a victor> against the Crusaders to strengthen his po1itic;il position i n the .Voslcin norld.

The nccd to attack

tlic Crusudcrs was reinli)rced

by ~ncnibers of Saladin's council ol:iriiirs nlio

stated: '. I3ecause in tlie liast people are cursing 11s.saying t h t we

no lonycr light the inlidcls hui

have hegiiri to light l l u s l i i i i \ instead. S o ire milst d o wnctliinp t o justir) otirselves and silencc' o i i r


Tlic likclihood o f a decisive ('rusndcr victory was vcr! rclriote. l'lic Crusader nrrny. with
its hcav? reliance on i n h i t r y . was a prcdominantl! defensive f'hrcc. .The Crusadcrs did not have

the inobilit! or tiiaitpo\rcr to coilduct an oll'ensi\e campaign \\itlioiit outside assistance. .To :icliic\c
; I

dcciske victor!. tlic Lloslcm coninimidc'rs would have to allow the Crusadcrt to lislit n

sct piece Ibartlc \\liere the Crusadc'rs could niaxiiiiizc the tisc oftlicir major ad\aiit:ipe. hca\!

cabalry. At the Hatrlc ol'l Iattin. the armies wcrc loo l a r y and the Moslem:, were too mc>hilc t o
aIl(iw the Crusaderr to iii:ixiiiiix use ofthcir hca\> cavalry. .Ilie illability to decisively use tlic'ir

heavy cavalry \\as c\ idciit early on 4 .luly I 187. \\lien tlic tirst chargc hy the religious knights and C o u n t Raymond's chargc failed to intlict sipniticaiit daniagc on the Moslems. The only eff'cctivc
use ofttic (:rusadcr heavy cavalry c a m at tlic end ol'tlic battle \\lien Si1l;idin attempted to

ovcrwlieliii the Crusadcr position. In the last hours otthc battlc. the Crusaders probably intlicrcd the grcatcst cilsuiiltics oii the Moslems. arid if' the quote from Suladiii's s o n is correct. the Crusaders almost rciiclicd Sal:idin himself. The Crusadcrs. thcrctiirc. risked tlicir entire arm! h r a battle that did iiot iiccd to be fought.

All ol'rhc dcci\ion-in;iking prohlenis \\ere thc rcsiilt ofrhc ircak and divided Criisadcr
leadership. The di\isiori ofthc Kingdoin d'.Ic'ruralcin into two factions. tlic 1ic;ir c i \ i l irar. Count Raymond's reniporary iilliaiice with Saladin. arid rhc disaster at the Spriiigs of Cresson. a11 contributed to an atmorphcre o f hostility and suspicion hct\rccn the senior le;iders ot'rhc Crusader nrniy. The cnmit! hetireen Count K a ~ r r i o r d and (icrard de Kidcfort was especially irnporrnnt il' the rcportcd midnight mccring between King Gtiy

Gerard de Itidefort actiial occured. II'King (it!!

had been a stronger ruler. tic would h a k c been :hlc to stand up to any pressure lioin the Grand
Master of'l'eniplars and an!; n c y t i v e opinion iri the Ilol! I.aridr or Iluropc :Ii;it \rouId li:ivc

resulted from the loss of Tihcrias. Instead. Kin? (iu) was iritlucnccd h ! (3cr;ird dc Kidcthrt tci rc\crw the aliiiost iiniiniiiioiis opinion oftlie Crusader nohility not to go the reliefot'Tibcrias. One otlicr major intluencc oii King (.iu!.5 decision to 90 to the rclicl'o1'Tihcri:is had tci be

tlic results ofthe I I83 canipaign.


then huilli. was iii a ver! siniilar position. Saladin's arm!

\\as camped along thr. wcsterii hanks o f t l i e Jordan river and \\as plunderiiif ;dl ;ireas en.;[ (if the Crusader camp a t Saftiiri!a. Guy wa.; advised b! the iiohilit) 10 remain at Sai'fiiriy arid force

Saladin to light the Crusaders ut SaiXiri!a.

iiftrr seven da!s.

G u ! kept the army at Safliiriya and Saladin \vithdrc\r

Instead ofhcing commended tbr not risking tlie Crusader army for little gain.



condemned a s

coward: stripped of the hailliagc. m d a l m o s t had his marriage to the


King's si\ter annulled. lii I IX7. GI]!

k i n g IIonever. his position \\as tiof w o i i g and lie relied

on the \upport o f t h e court party. C;u! ma) h v c felt t1i;ii lie ncedcd to prove himself by mcirching to tlic r d i c f o f Tibcriiis.

In contrast to the Crusader arm!. the Lloslcm :irmy


strong Icndcrship. Saladill Iiud


clear strategic vision and lirin control over thc army. S;iladin


cxtciisivc experience. mid there

were no doubts o w the loyalr\.. of any of his comrnantlers. Saladin had taken into accouiit tlie
ctkcts (if the terrain and cliiiiatc and used tticrn
10 ttiuir

full advantu~c to shape the I3atrlc ot'

I l a t t i i i . Saladin ;ilso ensured flint his troops ncrc

ucII supplied and that tnoralc reinaincd high

Modern leadership. both prior to and during the Battle ofllattin. w a s superifir in a e r y ;ispect to

the Crusader leadcrship. I'hc Battle of Hattin was the most dccisivc battle in the history oftlic ('rusndcr states. 'l'lic Crusader States survived tor aliriost another two liiindrcd ycars hut never achic\cd tlic cxtcnt o f territory or the militar) strength they had h c l i m the battle. The Battle 01'1 lattin \vas Saladin's greatest victory and established him as the defcndcr ofttic M d e r n faith. Sal;idin's political


position in the Moslem world was ensured. and the Ayyubid empire was now established. The holy city of Jerusalem and the Dome ofthe Rock were restored to the Moslem faith. While the Battle of Hattin was fought over eight hundred years ago. it still provides uscfiil lessons i n military strategy and decision making. l h e Battle of Iiattin shows the importance of terrain, climate. logistics: and morale on the outcome of a battle. The battle also shows the results orucak and divided leadership and the lack of strategic vision on the part ofthe Crusaders. The Crusader States had survived for almost onc hundred years using a mostly defensive strategy. There was no need to gamble the future ofthe Crusader States for an objcctive that did not significantly impact thcir strategic interests. Also highlighted was the importance of the combined arms approach to warfare (infantry and cavalrv) and an understandins of the capabilities of your army. Probably the most critical lesson is the failure of the Crusader leadership to weigh the risks associatcd with the battle against the possible gains.

'lbn al-Athir as quoted in Franccsco Gabricli: Arab Historians ofthe C-s Angclcs, (:A: University ofCalifornia Press, 1984). 119.



Three primary sources were used in the rcscarcti ofthis papcr: Archhishop M illiarn 01' Tyre's &H&ory

o f k e d s done I ~ e y i d thc Sea: M.I<. Vorgati's

Lbe ('Iironiclc o f Lrnoul and

the Continuati(m ot' Williai~j~'vw~: and Francesco Gnhricli's Arah Historians 01 t l 1 . c . <;riisa&.

All three primary sources were written by individuals directly tied politically arid emotionally to
one oftlie protagonists. While this pro\ ides the iiutliors access to inlimnation on tlie 13;ittle 01'

Ilattin. i t leaves them open fix criticism of hitis. I tic biases ofthe authors will he discussed a> each source is evaluated. Regardless of bins. tlicse three books provide thr: Ibundation for most 01' the analysis done in tlie sccondury sources. O f the two Crusader contemporary sources. Ljji?!!)rv 01'r)eeds r h e Hevond the Sea i s considered one ofthe fixernost pieces of' medieval history due t o it'. c h i t ) and gcncral lack of hias. This document. written hy William. .Archbishop o f . i y e . is the basis for any stud) ofthe Crusades. William was Chancellor ofthe Kingdom of' Jerusalem f'rorri I I71 until his death ( I I 8 4 or 1185). Williani had intimate contact with all otthc major personalities in the Kingdom d' Jerusalem. Unfortunately. his history ofthe ('rusadcr States ends in I I X4.

The Chronicle of Ernoul and the Continuations of William._c!l:l>rg prescnrs a

conteniporar? account ofthe battle. Ihc author. in the service of Baliaii ot'lhelin. foiigtit in the battle. was captured. and later parolcd to Jerusalem where he was able to i n t e n iew other survivors
ol'the battle. His a c c w n t is the only eye\\itricss xeouiit ofthe battle from the Crusaders'

vic\\point. l l i s account is hiiiscd in tsvor ofthc role pla!cd by I<a>rnond Ill due to the politic:il viewpoilit of his employer Haliari i)tlhelin (a rna,jor all) ofKuy11iond Ill). Other contcmporar! historians. while riot acttiall! prcscnt at the b:itrlc. siibstuntintc Emoul's iiccount hut differ iwcr die roles p1;iyt.d by Raymond Ill and King Guy. Hoth I.atin sources suffer trom

numbcr ofdiffcrcnt

editions ~ i n d transliitions. l l i i s is cspcciall! true i i i t l i Ilrnoul. whcrc the diffcrcn~ translations

~ i c t t i ~ i lcliiinsc ly the ordcr ofcvcnts during the battle.

Gahricli'.; book


Historians o f t h c Crusades is 3 coiiipcnditini of quotatioils i i n d

notic ofthe

Iiistorical vigncttcs froiii [lie three major Arah histori:ins ofthc time. I!nfortunatcl!.

historians \\ere a[ the battle: lionever. all were conlidants o f Saladirt atid had :icccss to the leaders

c!ftlic Moslem ;imiy. I'hetr accounts ofthe 13attlc ofl-lattin \\ere written within approsiiiiatcl! a
year o f t h c hattlc \vhcn ihc intixmation ivas still fresh. While these liistoriiiiir arc bi;iscd i n I'avor 01' Suladin. the accoiints of the battle agree with those provided by Crnoul, While the soiirccs listctl above wcrc the primnr! contcmporar! sotirccs I;)r most scconti:ir! works on the hattle. h e Ihllo\virif iiuthors \\ere ahlc to add sipniticantl\ to thc ticld o f stid!.. work specializes in ; I particul;ir aspect ofthc L.atiii Kiripdorri of.Icrusalcm that
study o f t h e Rattle ot'l lattiii. I he two exceptions arc t:hrcnkrcutz's h $ & c h !


pertinent to the

and Kuncirnan's A

1 li.;iorv . of the ('rus&.V

( ) I . . Both . works wcrc included to provide hiichground on events iind

considerations leading to the battle tiorii both the Crusader and Mvlotlcm perspcctivc. Marshall Baldwin's hook Kavmon? l l l o ~ l r i p o l i and s the Fall of the Kinadoin of Jerusalem is consitlcrcd tlic detinitiie stud!. oftliis crucial tigurc in the Battle o f Hattin. Baldwin provides one ofthc hcst and most dctuiled iiniilysis ofthc battle mid the role of I<:iymond 111. 'I'hc work draws on all availahlc contemporar!. sources and criticizes other \rell-hnown secondary work for incomplete rcvic\\ of source material or hias to\v:ird

pxticular cause

Joliii La hlontc':, work E ~ ! c l a l Monarclp iii the I.atin Kinndom ot'.lerii~ikmI 100 to 1 1 9 1

while dated (19.;').

is one o f t h e classic hook5 011 the feudal strucriirc ofthc Crusader States. La

Monte clcnrl! lays out rhc I;.uJ,I

ohlig;itions ofthc Crusader tiobilit! arid how the whole structure

revolved around providing a stublc base o f inanpower to dcfcnd the Kiiigdoiii of.lcrusalcni. I Iic tciickil w i i c f u r c ofrhe Crtrsadcr States. while initiall! mirroring fhc ti.cltlal insfittilioiis in Wercrri Europe. ;iLlaptcd ro the particular requirements of tlic region. 1.a Monrc also ciplains tlic fciiikil rclntionship bmreen tlic Kingdom o1'Jcrusiilem. rhc l'rincipnlil) of Antioch. and the Count! 01' 'Tripoli. wliich played an important par1 in events leading to tlic battlc o t Hattin.
Ik. R. C. Sniail's Crusadiiix Warlhrc 1097-1 19.3 and Sir Charles Oiiiaii.:, A l.listcv\ ofl!i<

Art of W!ir ill the \,li&le

A I R arc tlie two Icadins studies of the iiiilitar) organizations. hattlcj.

and tactics ol'tlic L'rusadcr States. Oman's work. while dared ( I XOX). i\ tlic lirst scrioiis lirlciiipt iii

the h g l i s l i Iangu;igc to cxmninc tlic Bartle of Llattiii as a iiiilitary operation. His an;ily\is. \vhile
incomplctc. is uscd h ! iiiuny of the gencral hi5tori;iiis o f the crusade>. Sinail's \rork i s iiiiicli niorc
complerc and cxaniincs Crusading \v.arfHrc throiigli~iiit !lie period ofrlic k i r s t Kingdom of

Jcrwtlcin. 'l'his i( the most authoritative work on tlic organimtion. coriipositiori and lactics uscd by the Crusaders ot'the First Kiiigiom.
A ilistorv .

ofthe (:rusades Vol. I and jJ. edited hy Kenneth Sctron. i s iiii aiitliolos> 01'

individiial topics relating to tlic Crusadcs by thc prccinincnr authors in thcir !icld Includcil iii tlicsc anthologies arc five iirticlcs on thc Arab response to tlic growth oftlic Crusader states I>). Sir Hatniliton A. K. Gibh. one ot'thc lcading scholars oil fhc Lcnghid and Aiyuhid Muslini d!tiasrics.
In addition. M;irsh;ill l3aldwin has two articles on flic liiial )ears o f t h c First Kingdom.

I3ackground inaterial i s also probidcd 011 other rcgion;il actors th:i1 Iiud a dirccr or iiidirect clt;.ct rhc Latin Kingdom ot Jerusalem (the H!iantinc l h p i r c . the Normaii Kingdorri ofSicil>. a n d :lie Kingdom of (1 iliciiiii Arincnia ).


I'hrcnkrctitz's book M

1 pro\

ides a dctailcd analyhis oi'the rise ol' Saladin m d events

that ul'fected his policies toward the Crusaders. Most svcondar! soiirccs focus almost cxclusivcl)

tlic conllict

! h i the

C'rusadcrs' pcrspccthc and givc lirnitctl trciitmciit to thc problems and

goals ofSal;idin. While milirarily dominant in rhc Irloslcin Middle I k t . Saladin still had pov.cri'ul rivals in Turkey, Iraq. and h'orrhcrn Atricu. To solidify his position. Saladin needed a signilicanl
victor) against tlic Crusaders.

l'lic final secondary source listed is Sir Steven Kunciinun's A Ilistorv oftlie Crusades Vvl,
j is helicvcd to bc thc most iicccssiblc and complete general history ot'tlic (.rusadcs.

Runciman has

edited or contributed to every scholurly jotirnal coiiccriicd with the Crusades. Il u is the lcadiiig Hritish historian o f t l i c (:rusades and the Hyiantinc Empire. I l c has nrittcii cxtcnsivcly on botli

lieids and has ovcr a do7cn hooks currcnrl!. in print. H i s \wrk is thc only general histcry ofthc
Crusades listed in this rcvicw: howcwr. rtiirtccii sccondar) gciicral Iiiw)rics havc been consulted (and arc listed in the hihliography) t o observe ho\v these authors trciil [lie l3attlc of1 liiltin and

sources thcy used in their writing. I;nlimun;itcl~. many ofrlic ciirlicr narks (18x0-I 930) q w t e material without providing appropriate references. S0mc of thcsc qtiota[ioiis could IIIIYChccn
valuable i f vcrilicd: ho\vcvcr. due to lack ol'rcfcrcriccs thcy Iiiivc hccii omitrcd from this stud!.


Archer. 1. 4.. iind Cliarlcs I,. Kiiigslord. Tlic ( ' r u s a d g n d tlic sl~r oflficl.;itin m!siijfi.Nev. York: Ci. P. Putn;ini's Sons. I X O X .


Uald\riii. bllarshiill Whithcd. K.n!nontl Ill of.l'rinolis and ~ I ~ ~ ~ I ~ ~ I J i~ I 140-1 ~ s ~I X7). I I ~ I I I Princeton: Princctoii Ijniwrsity Press. 10.36.
I%eha'al-lliii Yusef ihii Rali.
m i l : or v.l?:it

bcti.ll.Siiltiiii Y@:

Lahore. Pakistan: Islaiiiic

Hook Servicc. 1076.

I3tn\eiiisti. Mcron. flic (:rus:itlers i n j l i e IId\ I.ands. Jcriis;ilcin: Israel Lniversities Press. 1970.

Uo;isc. 'I..S. 11.. cd. !he Cilicinii.Ki!!~?doni oft\rrncniii. Ncn York: St. M;irtin's I'rcss. I97X
Biiriiiaii. Edward. :uie Tmplars. Knights o f a . Koclicster. VT: I'liorsons P u h l i h w I O X & t;hrcnkrcut/.. Andrcw.


Alhiiny. NY: Statc L!nivcrsiiy ol'Ic\v York I'ress.1072

l.~~ii~l~ .I. ~ \1. ii:

Finuc:inc. Konald C. S i h C r s ofthe Fniili: Crusatlers an(j \lotlciris at M : ! [ . and Sons. Ltd.. 1983. (iahricli. Franccsco. & l i l i s t o r i a n s Press. IOX-I Cirousset. Rent. 1070.


ol'tlic C:rti\a&>. 1.0s Aiigclcs: Ijnivcrbiry ( ~ ~ C ' i ~ l i h i i i a

' I I . .Epic oftlie -~ C'riisides. . I r;insl;itcd

hy Noel Lindsiy. Ytv. Yorh: Orion Prcss.

Huiili. Inn. Armies and Enemies ol'tlic (:.r!isxfi.


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