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“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard the Lionheart Leaves Acre to Move South Toward Jerusalem August 22, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, crusades, history, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 34th 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.) 

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With the issue of the Acre prisoners resolved, lives coldly ended as part of a tactical calculation, Richard the Lionheart was now ready to move his forces south. On August 22nd, 820 years ago today, the western Christian forces started that move. Richard would take the long way, down the coast, and then move inland toward Jerusalem. Taking an inland route would have covered less distance, but Richard’s forces would have been vulnerable to harassing attacks from Saladin’s cavalry. Traveling along the coast allowed constant resupply from Richard’s ships, which enjoyed complete naval superiority along the eastern Mediterranean coast. This was planned as a meticulous march south, organized so effectively that Christians with long histories in the area marveled at Richard’s leadership. Even his Muslim opponents had to admit the effectiveness of the march. But this would be a difficult, slow march, under a brutal desert summer sun, with Saladin’s cavalry hurling attacks at the formation at every opportunity. One infantry column marched next to the sea, with mounted knights and horses in the middle. Another column of infantry marched on the inside toward land. Despite the well-planned and implemented procession, the western Christians took many casualties in men and horses as they moved south toward their objective of Jerusalem. And the further south they got, the more determined Saladin seemed to be to provoke them into battle.

Previous 820th Anniversary Posts:

July 4th – The 820th Anniversary of the Launch of the “Third Crusade”

October 4th – Richard the Lionheart Sacks Messina

November 3rd – Queen Sibylla Dies

November 11th – Richard the Lionheart Signs a Treaty with King Tancred of Sicily

November 15th – Queen Isabella’s Marriage to Humphrey of Toron is Annulled

November 19th – Archbishop of Canterbury Dies

November 24th – Conrad of Montferrat Marries Queen Isabella

December 25th – Richard the Lionheart Feasts at Christmas

December 31st – Shipwreck at Acre; Muslim Defenders Lose Resupply

January 5th – A Wall Comes Down, Presenting an Opportunity

January 20th – Frederick of Swabia Dies; Leopold of Austria Becomes Top-Ranked German Royalty at Acre

February 2nd – A Playful “Joust” Gets Out of Hand in Sicily

February 13th – Saladin’s Forces Relieve the Garrison at Acre

March 3rd – Richard the Lionheart Settles the Alice Marriage Controversy—Sort Of

March 30th – Philip II Leaves Sicily; Berengeria Arrives

April 10th – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Sicily for “Outremer”

April 20th – Philip II of France Lands at Acre

April 22nd – Richard the Lionheart Lands at Rhodes After His Fleet Scatters

May 1st – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Rhodes to Rescue His Sister and Fiancée

May 8th – Richard the Lionheart and His Troops Storm Limassol

May 11th – Crusaders Opposed to Conrad Visit Richard the Lionheart on Cyprus

May 12th – Richard the Lionheart Marries Princess Berengeria

May 30th – Fighting Intensifies at Acre

June 5th – Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

June 8th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre

June 11th – Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks

June 25th – Conrad of Montferrat Leaves Acre; Saladin’s Receives Reinforcements

July 12th – Acre Surrenders

July 31st – Philip II of France Makes a Promise and Leaves for Home

August 2nd – Envoys Discuss Acre Surrender Terms

August 11th – Date for the First Installment of the Acre Ransom Ends in Stalemate

August 20th – Richard the Lionheart Orders the Executions of the Acre Hostages

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

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