Monday, October 29, 2012

Siege of Acre

The Siege of Acre was a hallmark moment in the Crusades. Saladin's army held the castle and city of Acre and the army of King Guy of Jerusalem lay siege to it. While attempting to batter the walls down Saladin made several attacks on Guy's camp, distracting his main siege efforts. After several inconclusive battles in which the lighter armed troops of Saladin failed to break the siege, and the outnumbered Crusaders failed to drive off Saladin.

More support arrived for the army of Jerusalem as the months panned on, as did more support for Saladin. The battle wore on for a great many months until King Richard the Lion Heart arrived and set to pressing the Siege and an attack on the Saladin. Soon there after the starving city garrison lay down their arms.

Richard attacked Saladin and defeated him in two major battles but then had to uproot and head home as he had pressing business there.

Acre held as a bastion of the Crusader kingdoms for a hundred years and was one of the last footholds of the Europeans on in the Holy Land. In 1291 it was attacked by a large army commanded by Kahlil of Egypt. The long grueling siege end with the extermination of the garrison of the castle and city.  

John de Villiers, Master of the Knights Hospital, penned this letter before being killed: "I myself on that same day was stricken nearly to death by a lance between the shoulders, a wound which has made the writing of this letter a very difficult task. Meanwhile a great crowd of Saracens were entering the city on all sides, by land and by sea, moving along the walls . . . ."

Post Script: this was all written show I could post my favorite painting.

1 comment:

Gerald said...

Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

Your article is very well done, a good read.