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The Christians defeat Saladin at the Battle of Hattin.

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  • The Christians defeat Saladin at the Battle of Hattin.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hattin





    Battle of Hattin reference starts at 222nd minute

    The Muslims are defeated by the Christians at the Battle of Hattin on July 4, 1187, Saladin is captured by the Christians, and while imprisoned, dies. As time goes on, and w/o Saladin at the helm, infighting occurs among those who were led by Saladin, of which plays a role in preventing the Muslims from conquering Jerusalem. In addition, in the years following Saladins death, the Christians end up in control of all lands that were involved in the battles between Christians and Muslims during the Crusades.

    How do folks feel the next few centuries play out irt Israel/Palestine/Kingdom of Jerusalem?

    Fast forward to 2014, is Israel/Palestine/Kingdom of Jerusalem under Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or other, control?
    Last edited by Taieb el-Okbi; 19 Jul 14, 18:06. Reason: minor typo

  • #2
    The Christian army was just asking for a drubbing, as if they just didn't think they would loose no matter HOW many stupid things they could do in one campaign. Sooner or later...

    And, then we have the Monglols on the horizon. If the Kingdom of Jerusalem had grown to be the major power in the region, the Horde simply would have crushed them first, instead of by-passing them to go for Cairo.
    And with the resources and pasturage of the Levant to support them, a Mongolian Nile?
    "Why is the Rum gone?"

    -Captain Jack

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    • #3
      Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
      The Christian army was just asking for a drubbing, as if they just didn't think they would loose no matter HOW many stupid things they could do in one campaign. Sooner or later...

      And, then we have the Monglols on the horizon. If the Kingdom of Jerusalem had grown to be the major power in the region, the Horde simply would have crushed them first, instead of by-passing them to go for Cairo.
      And with the resources and pasturage of the Levant to support them, a Mongolian Nile?
      Pretty much agreed. The Grace of God ran out at Hattin- big time.....
      The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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      • #4
        Originally posted by marktwain View Post
        Pretty much agreed. The Grace of God ran out at Hattin- big time.....
        More like they checked common sense at the door, but yeah.

        Warrior-Priests ought to pick one or the other for a career path.
        "Why is the Rum gone?"

        -Captain Jack

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        • #5
          It is certainly possible for the Christians to win once, just relatively unlikely. There could be consequences such as no Third Crusade and a surviving Angevin Empire. We might completely avoid King John and his Great Charter, producing huge changes in all the Robin Hood films.

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          • #6
            Yes the mongols approaching certainly occurred to me and I don't think they would have held them off. Without continued reinforcement from Europe at some point the kingdom of Jerusalem is going to run out of steam. There are those who believe that the crusades ultimately kept the Muslims out of Europe with the social development that led to. Winning at Hattin would solidify this further. If memory serves Saladin was concerned that the crusaders would go into Arabia. Winning at Hattin may encourage them go do this with the overstretch that this would entail.
            Last edited by copenhagen; 22 Jul 14, 07:20.

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            • #7
              I think that there would be minor changes at least for Otremere. Christians defeated several times Muslims in major battles previously and defeated also Saladin but this didn`t change a situation. Only gave some more time for weak Crusader`s states. Main problem was seasonal income of manpower from West - pilgrims came once in the year for 2-3 months and then left leaving military Orders and weak forces of local kingdoms to protect Holy land. And they had not enough manpower therefore even before battle of Hattin Templar Order and others too left some fortresses on border or were objecting against several military actions to seize some land. Templars objected because knew that they don`t have enough resources to protect these newly gained lands.
              So victory at Hattin (even crushing victory) would only prolong life of weak Christian kingdoms but will not affect the outcome.

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              • #8
                I'm having to do a presentation on this battle for U.S. Military History and I have been tasked with if I had been in command how would I have done it differently. No one really mentions how the Crusaders could have won or at least minimized their casualties while maximizing theirs upon Saladin. It's like the only best outcome for King Guy would've not to listen to Gerard de Ridefort, the Grandmaster of the Templars and probably also Reynald de Chatillon who wanted to attack Saladin. Or perhaps it was Ridefort threatening Guy to pull Templar support of him. Didn't Ridefort sponsor his throne and therefore the king in debt to the Templars?

                Raymond of Tripoli, the Prince of Galilee advised waiting it out since he was once a captive of the Arabs and knew that Muslim warriors from faraway lands wanted immediate battles rather than a long campaign. He also advised not campaigning in summer unless ample water supplies could be secured. Was Raymond's advise sound in regards to his assumptions about Muslim warriors from afar? Or does he have ulterior motives? Raymond was allied with Saladin at one time, although he does understand logistics better. On the other hand, Ridefort and Chatillon probably knew how hard it was to assemble all able-bodied men in the Crusader states to fight united against Saladin wouldn't last long, so perhaps they felt that they might not get another chance to defeat Saladin in a pitched battle with such a force. Although, didn't this buildup cause Saladin to call a Jihad so that he could also increase his numbers?

                What was the real composition of the battle?
                I've read that the Crusaders had 1,200 knights and their mounts, and 15,000-18,000 foot soldiers of mixed quality. Also, read there might have been up to 4,000 light cavalry sergeants or Turcopoles at the battle. But how many of the infantry were simply sword and shield wielding light infantry, how many were spear and shield wielding spearman and how many were sword, shield, and armored heavy infantry? How many were ranged units like archers, crossbowmen and slingers?

                Tactically, what could have the Crusaders done to prepare for a Muslim invasion? It's not like this was the first, nor would it be the last. Did they not know the locations of springs and how much water each spring had? Did they not know how fast an army of their size could march in the desert at the height of summer? Did they not understand that the terrain they were traversing was in Saladin's advantage? Did they not understand that by encircling the horses with infantry it made them a slower and larger target for Saladin's archers to shoot at? The Romans (and Eastern Romans) had defeated light cavalry, horse archer light infantry with elite heavy cavalry armies before, or had they ignored or forgotten those lessons? Guess the Byzantines and the Crusaders weren't on good terms or there were no military historians present in Jerusalem, or else they were ignored. What practices could've been implemented to at least make the Crusaders offer an effective fighting force without dying of thirst?

                Implement novel tactics using forces available. They didn't have the time to retrain units to fight as desert warriors. They could've if they waited until autumn or winter to campaign but who knows whether Europeans trained in a certain style would be willing to change their style of fighting. They probably saw fighting as Muslims as beneath them? Would they have been willing to trade big, heavy, thirsty European mounts for more hardy mounts? How would that impact their power on the battlefield? What about the common men-at-arms? Could you simply lose some armor to gain in mobility? The Crusader's tactics were to support cavalry with infantry, which makes sense but that isn't an easy tactic to pull off without training and discipline. So while it was difficult to do in the best conditions, at Hattin they were in the worst conditions. Mid-summer desert heat, thirst, lack of water, knowing supplies cut off, smoke from fires, dying by a stray arrow at any second, etc. It's no wonder this tactic, which sounded good in theory didn't work at all. Maybe they did have some success. Were there any successes from the Crusader cavalry? I've heard stories that they almost were able to reach Saladin.

                Mimic Muslim forces. Perhaps alter equipment and tactics to match the environment? Possible train local forces with local mounts that offer similar mobility and endurance? They should've known the moment they couldn't counter the Muslim skirmishers that harassed them as soon as they began movement that they had little chance in taking initiative. That pretty much meant that if Saladin wanted to cut off their supply and communication, he could and he did. Meanwhile, Saladin had no problems maintaining communication and resupply of his forces.

                It was so bad that the Crusaders were under constant fire for the first 18 km on the first day of marching. They still had 17 km to their destination which had a suitable water source. Saladin had sealed off whatever small springs there were they passed. That's why the change of route towards Hattin because it was a closer water source but with tougher terrain.

                The only way I see any hope is if the Crusaders were able to bring the water supplies they need or deny Saladin freedom of movement to go around them. One would require a large number of animals to carry the supplies and the other would require an equal force of horse archers. Since Saladin had around 12,000 cavalry, and the Crusaders had 1,200-1,600 with most being knights, that's a big discrepancy in horse archers to make up. Raising and training that number of horse archers on appropriate local mounts would take years. Could they possibly hire or recruit some from Christain friendly kingdoms? Was there any horse archer kingdoms friendly to Christians?

                A quicker stopgap would've been to have crossbow light cavalry. No training or discipline needed to charge and turn in formation while firing a bow. Just firing a bow accurately is hard enough on two feet. Crossbows are easier to shoot and the horse provides them mobility to move in and out of range as needed to engage the enemy (like dragoons). They could also carry wooden spikes to emplace if they are to tasked with holding key terrain and protect it from enemy cavalry.

                Obviously, a good balance of foot archers and crossbowman to infantry to protect them is necessary, but they would still require some cavalry support.
                The Europa Barbarorum II team [M2TW] needs YOUR HELP NOW HERE!

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                • #9
                  Hi Fritigern: the best bet would have been to wait at the water source for Saladin to come to them. In the long run, the crusader states would have become a vassal of the Mongol empire - but the expansion of the Khans out of the Steppes of Asia was unforeseen.
                  The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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