“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Fighting Intensifies at Acre May 30, 2011Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, crusades, history, medieval period, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
Tags: Acre, Berengeria, Crusades, Cyprus, medieval history, Richard the Lionheart, royal wedding, Saladin, Third Crusade
(This post is the 23rd of what will be approximately 70 posts following 820th anniversary highlights of what history now calls the “Third Crusade.” My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells the story of this legendary clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.)
Saladin needed some help. Philip II of France had already arrived at Acre with more men, more siege engines, giving his western Christian opponents the resources to mount more attacks against Saladin’s forces in and around Acre. Richard the Lionheart was on the way. Taqi al-Din, Saladin’s talented and effective nephew, had left Saladin’s camp earlier in the year on March 5th, against Saladin’s wishes, to establish himself in territories granted to him in the northeast area of Saladin’s empire. Taqi al-Din had grown weary of sacrificing his own ambitions to continue the seemingly never-ending Holy War against western Christian invaders. And his sentiment was shared by many. The Caliph of Baghdad, to Saladin’s surprise and dismay, seemed lukewarm to his efforts to capitalize on his victories in 1187, and to his defense against the western Christian counterattack. Saladin had put out a call for help, and some help was coming, though not enough to match the forces arriving from the West.
820 years ago today, attacks against Muslim positions at Acre intensified. Saladin was required to manage a fourteen mile front for the next week to resist the attacks. He could hope God would intervene on his behalf again, as he believed had occurred when German Emperor Frederick Barbarossa had drowned in May of 1190, causing his massive torrent of troops to shrink to a trickle. And Richard’s problems getting across the Mediterranean Sea were certainly reported to Saladin. But Richard was likely to arrive, and soon. Adjustments would need to be made.
Previous 820th Anniversary Posts:
To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.