Hattin 1187: Saladin's Greatest Victory (Praeger Illustrated Military History Series)

Overview

In 1187, Christian Europe was shaken by events in the Middle East. This volume tells the story of those momentous months - the campaign leading to the Muslim capture of Jerusalem after the disastrous Crusader defeat at Hattin where, in a two day running battle on the waterless plateau between Saffuriya and Tiberias, beneath a burning sun, Saladin's troops destroyed the Christian army. The disaster at Hattin resulted in the collapse of the kingdom of Jerusalem and sparked the Third Crusade under Richard I 'Coeur ...

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Overview

In 1187, Christian Europe was shaken by events in the Middle East. This volume tells the story of those momentous months - the campaign leading to the Muslim capture of Jerusalem after the disastrous Crusader defeat at Hattin where, in a two day running battle on the waterless plateau between Saffuriya and Tiberias, beneath a burning sun, Saladin's troops destroyed the Christian army. The disaster at Hattin resulted in the collapse of the kingdom of Jerusalem and sparked the Third Crusade under Richard I 'Coeur de Lion'. This book examines Hattin in detail and looks at the consequences of the battle.

The most decisive battle in the history of the crusades was fought on 3-4 July 1187 west of Tiberias in what is modern-day Israel. In the late twelfth century, however, this was part of the Christian kingdom of Jerusalem ruled by Guy of Lusgnan which was threatened by Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub, known to western historians as Saladin. He had invaded the kingdom of Jerusalem and laid siege to the city of Tiberias to draw the Christian army into battle. Raymond of Tripoli and Balian of Ibelin recommended that Tiberias, which Saladin could not hold for any length of time, be abandoned. Both these men were 'poulains', Franks born in the east who knew their enemy well and had a lifetime's experience of war in the Levant; indeed it was Raymond's wife Eschiva who was defending Tiberias. Their wiser council was rejected in favour of the advice of men like Reynald of Chatillon and Gerard de Ridefort to attack the Saracens. These men were western knights who despised the Franks of the east as effete and weak. Their experience of Levantine warfare was limited, however, and the campaign proved disastrous. In a running two day battle on the waterless plateau between Saffuriya and Tiberias, beneath a burning sun, Saladin's troops destroyed the Christian army. The disaster at Hattin resulted in the collapse of the kingdom of Jerusalem and sparked off the Third Crusade under Richard I 'Coeur de Lion'. This book examines Hattin in detail and looks at the consequences of the battle.

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Meet the Author

DAVID NICOLLE worked in the BBC's Arabic service for a number of years before gaining an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and a doctorate from Edinburgh University. He has written numerous books and articles on medieval and Islamic warfare, and has been a prolific author of Osprey titles for many years.
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