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“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Conrad of Montferrat Leaves Acre; Saladin’s Receives Reinforcements June 25, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, history, medieval period, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade, Tyre.
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(This post is the 28th 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 continued to stave off defeat at Acre with every tactic he could devise to put into operation. Yes, the stalemate had shifted to favor his western Christian enemies, with attacks day after day against his forces. But Saladin had two reasons to hope. First, during the last week of June, reinforcements arrived from Egypt, from Mosul and from northern Syria. This gave Saladin more forces to execute one of his most successful tactics—when western Christians attacked Acre from the front, Muslim soldiers inside Acre pounded kettle drums, signaling Saladin’s forces to attack the Christians from the rear. One of these attacks reached and overran the Christian camp, reducing Philip II of France, in command of the initial western Christian attack, to tears. Second, 820 years ago today, news arrived that Conrad had left Acre and returned to Tyre. This revealed serious dissension among Saladin’s western Christian enemies. Would it be enough dissension to dilute the growing Christian strength? And if these small reasons to hope did not result in a victory for Saladin, perhaps they would result in favorable terms to end the hostilities there. Negotiations for terms between the Muslim Acre garrison and the western Christian attackers continued simultaneously with the fighting. The end of the stalemate seemed in sight—the question was how it would end, and how to manage that ending into the best possible advantage.

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

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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“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks June 11, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, crusades, history, medieval period, Outremer, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 27th 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.) 

*****

A huge consequence of Richard the Lionheart’s arrival at the Mediterranean coast was the resulting total control of the coast by the western Christian Navy. 820 years ago today, that consequence manifested when Richard the Lionheart’s galleys sank a large relief ship coming south from Beirut, carrying 700 Muslim soldiers and supplies for the relief of the Acre garrison. Swimmers now became the only reliable method of communication between the soldiers inside Acre and Saladin. These swimmers would have to undertake brave excursions maneuvering through hostile waters to carry messages between Saladin’s command headquarters and the embattled garrison still fighting to hold on to the besieged city. The stalemate that had ensnared both forces surrounding the city appeared to be tilting toward the advantage of the western Christians.

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

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

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre June 8, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, al-Adil, arnaldia, Ayyubid, crusades, history, medieval period, Outremer, Richard the Lionheart, Safadin, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 26th 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.) 

*****

820 years ago today, amidst commotion that could be heard in the Muslim camps, with fanfares and cheering, Richard the Lionheart, as part of what would be twenty-five galleys (with more to come), landed at Acre. His arrival reduced morale among Muslims, though Saladin is reported to have remained calm. Richard arrived with his usual dashing confidence. He wanted to set up negotiations with Saladin as soon as possible. Maybe his arrival, and news of the numbers of forces and resources at his command, would motivate the Muslims to give up the fight. Whether it did or didn’t, Richard saw negotiations as a chance to learn about the enemy, to take the measure of them. But two problems emerged. At almost the moment he arrived, Richard became ill, contracting what the French called “arnaldia,” a fever causing hair loss and nails to fall out. He was in no condition to meet his adversaries for a number of weeks. And second, Saladin, probably suspecting Richard’s call for negotiations was not entirely sincere, was not interested in face-to-face meetings. “Kings do not meet while they are at war,” Saladin replied. He referred Richard to his brother, al-Adil (also sometimes referred to as Safadin). Over the coming months, Richard would forge a remarkable bond with this future sultan of the Ayyubid empire. Richard’s forces got busy bringing their resources into the fight. But except for some operations with Richard trying to command from a stretcher, it would be awhile before Richard would be capable of a direct active role in finally achieving western Christian victory at Acre.

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

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

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre June 6, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, Guy of Lusignan, history, medieval period, Outremer, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade, Tyre.
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(This post is the 25th 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.) 

*****

820 years ago today, Richard the Lionheart finally reached the Mediterranan coast, just under a year after leaving from France, over 3 ½ years after taking the vow to dedicate himself to conquering Jerusalem for Christianity, a vow he had taken when he was still a prince. His ultimate destination was Acre, just down the coast, to join the battle between western Christian forces and Muslim forces under the command of Saladin. But he stopped off at Tyre. Much to his surprise, Richard received a message that he would not be permitted to enter the town. The garrison commanders acted on orders from Conrad and Philip II of France, both at the siege at Acre. So Richard got his first direct taste of the intensity of the rivalry between Guy of Lusignan and Conrad of Montferrat for the title of King of Jerusalem. (Richard supported Guy, and Conrad—Philip’s candidate—was in charge at Tyre.) Richard camped outside the walls at Tyre before moving down the coast, but was not permitted the comforts of the city. This rivalry would chronically permeate the Christian side of the “third crusade.” Richard and his fleet moved on toward Acre the next day.

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

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

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp June 5, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, crusades, Cyprus, Famagusta, history, Isaac Ducas Comenus, Isaac Ducas Comnenus, Margat, Marqab, medieval period, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, Templar knights, Templars, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 24rd 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.) 

*****

Cyprus was completely under Richard’s control.  Isaac Ducas Comnenus was in custody. 820 years ago today, Richard’s fleet left from Famagusta on the east coast of Cyprus, finally bound for the eastern Mediterranean coast. Before his departure, Richard enforced his own brand of justice with a twisted medieval sense of humor on the man he perceived as the duplicitous phony emperor. When Isaac Ducas Comnenus surrendered Cyprus to Richard, a surrender that included his magnificent soon-to-be-legendary horse, Fauvel, he asked only that he not be confined in irons and that his young daughter would be treated mercifully. Richard kept both promises. Isaac’s daughter joined the court of Richard’s sister, Joanna, the former Queen of Sicily. And he shackled the “emperor” in gold and silver chains—not iron—especially fashioned for the occasion by his smith. Isaac himself was conveyed for imprisonment to Marqab/Margat, north of present-day Tripoli in Lebanon. Richard would soon sell Cyprus to the Templar knights, but this arrangement would not work well. Richard would be left to come up with a final, creative disposition of the island that would be intertwined with Outremer politics and rivalries.

On the same day, Saladin had to reposition his camp up from his previous position. The pressure from the constant fighting with a growing western Christian enemy forced Saladin’s forces to regroup in an effort to maintain strong enough positions to continue a viable resistance at Acre.

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

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

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Fighting Intensifies at Acre May 30, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, crusades, history, medieval period, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(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:

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

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

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Philip II of France Lands at Acre April 20, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, history, medieval period, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade, Uncategorized.
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(This post is the seventeenth of what will be approximately seventy 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.)

*****

Three weeks after leaving Sicily, 820 years ago today, Philip II of France and his fleet landed at Acre on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea, eager to join the fight against Muslims over which religion would control Jerusalem. Conrad of Montferrat, Philip’s cousin, Philip’s preferred candidate for King of Jerusalem over Richard the Lionheart’s vassal, Guy of Lusignan, greeted him warmly at his arrival. Philip immediately joined the effort to tighten the siege at Acre, anticipating that soon Richard the Lionheart, with his huge fleet, with the huge siege towers and machines built in Sicily on their way in large pieces for reassembly, would arrive to bring overwhelming force against Saladin’s forces, within and without Acre. Saladin’s chronicler reported that western Christian forces at Acre were disappointed by the small size of Philip’s force. By all accounts, Philip’s force was not going to tip the scales at Acre. Western Christians expected that Richard’s larger force was right behind Philip. But the same Mediterranean climate that brought Philip to Acre on calm spring seas, would not be so considerate to Richard the Lionheart.

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”

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

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Saladin’s Forces Relieve the Garrison at Acre February 13, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, crusades, history, medieval period, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the thirteenth of what will be approximately seventy 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 was known for excellent spy networks throughout the eastern Mediterranean region, including Western Christian occupied territories. From this intelligence, he was able to launch an effective siege-relieving attack, breaking through to the Acre garrison with fresh troops and a new commander. This action, 820 years ago today, brought a much needed to lift to his forces in this siege-within-a-siege at Acre. Could it have been a decisive blow, ending the Western Christian siege? Saladin did not order more significant military activity, concerned with the weariness of his own troops. He had reliable reports of the terrible conditions and suffering at the camps of the Christian besiegers. They couldn’t last much longer, could they? Winter still kept the French and English kings away. Saladin chose to hold back on a major attack and let time win the victory, especially in light of this breakthrough.  But time was not on his side. Winter may have kept the European kings away, but a supply ship full of corn arrived in March, and the Christian besiegers held on.  And it wouldn’t be long before much more significant arrivals would transform the situation at Acre.

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

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

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Frederick of Swabia Dies; Leopold of Austria Becomes Top-Ranked German Royalty at Acre January 20, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, crusades, Frederick Duke of Swabia, Frederick of Swabia, history, Leopold of Austria, medieval period, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the eleventh of what will be approximately seventy 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.)

*****

Before Richard the Lionheart and Philip of France started out on their journey to the Middle East, now commonly referred to as the Third Crusade, a huge army led by Frederick I “Barbarossa,” emperor of the Western Empire (also known as the “Holy Roman Empire”), leader of Germanic Christians, started out on May 11th, 1189 over land, also with the aim of retaking Jerusalem for Christianity.  But on June 10th, 1190, about a month before Richard and Philip began their journey, the emperor drowned at a river crossing in what today is southern Turkey. Frederick’s son, Frederick Duke of Swabia, took command of the formidable force, but the army disintegrated quickly as it moved east then south down the Mediterranean coast. Only a small portion of this army arrived in Acre early in October of 1190.  But Frederick, Duke of Swabia, son of the emperor, remained the ranking German Christian at Acre.

On January 20th of 1191, 820 years ago today, the Germans lost their leader, to the illness permeating the Christian camp, illness previously referred to as affecting the issue of the rivalry over who should reign as “King of Jerusalem.” Frederick’s death might seem to be a small issue, considering the reduced size of the German forces. And for the Third Crusade itself, this was arguably a small event. But for the future of Richard Lionheart, this was a huge event, starting a chain reaction of actions and consequences that would shape Richard the Lionheart’s ultimate fate.

Frederick’s death left Leopold of Austria as the ranking German royalty now present, who tried with limited success to rally the remaining German troops under his leadership. By all accounts, Leopold was an unimpressive man, a short pudgy man referred to as “the sponge” because of his love for drink. But he would fancy himself the ranking representative of the Empire. In a future 820th anniversary post, we will discover that Richard Lionheart would adopt the basic camp disrespect for Leopold, resulting in one of the more famous events of the Third Crusade, an event that would lead to some life-changing post-crusade adversity for Richard.

The death of Frederick, Duke of Swabia, on this date 820 years ago, started this chain of events in motion.

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

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

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: A Wall Comes Down, Presenting an Opportunity January 5, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, history, medieval period, the crusades, third crusade, Uncategorized.
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(This post is the tenth of an occasional series of 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.)

*****

Weather continued to assault the fortunes of the Muslim defenders at Acre (see December 31, 2010 post).  On January 5, 1191, a section of the outer wall at Acre collapsed, presenting an opportunity for the Christian attackers. But the effects of stalemate had depleted the strength of the Christian forces as well. They mounted an attack, but not strong enough to change the issue. An emergency mobilization of every unavailable builder and craftsman in the town succeeded in filling the breach and repelling the Christian attack. The Acre defenders struggled to hold off the Christians while under fire from arrows and stones. But though weather seemed to be conspiring to make life difficult for the Acre defenders, the Christian attackers were still unable to break the stalemate, and the besieged and the besieged besiegers continued their unresolved hostilities.

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

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