Yarmuk Ad 636: The Muslim Conquest of Syria (Praeger Illustrated Military History Series)

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In 636 AD, after protracted skirmishing and minor engagements the Arab and Byzantine armies faced each other on the banks of the Yarmuk river. The Byzantines were initially successful, driving back the Arab right wing. Finally, though, the Arab counter-attacks broke the Byzantine lines and the subsequent pursuit became a rout. The awful fate of the fleeing Byzantine soldiers was remembered for several generations until it was recorded in early Islamic histories. David Nicolle not only looks at the battle itself ...

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Overview

In 636 AD, after protracted skirmishing and minor engagements the Arab and Byzantine armies faced each other on the banks of the Yarmuk river. The Byzantines were initially successful, driving back the Arab right wing. Finally, though, the Arab counter-attacks broke the Byzantine lines and the subsequent pursuit became a rout. The awful fate of the fleeing Byzantine soldiers was remembered for several generations until it was recorded in early Islamic histories. David Nicolle not only looks at the battle itself but also the whole decisive Arab campaign - from the Muslim invasion of 633/4 to the fall of Byzantine Syria.

The battle of Yarmuk was the single most crushing blow suffered by the Byzantine Empire until the battle of Manzikert in 1071. It resulted in the loss of Syria, Palestine and most of the Byzantine provinces in the Middle East. In 636 AD, after protracted skirmishing and various minor engagements the Arab and Byzantine armies faced each other on the banks of the Yarmuk river. The Byzantines were initially successful, driving back the Arab right wing and attacking one of the camps containing the women and families. This attack was however repulsed, with the help of the Arab women, and further attacks were beaten off. Finally the Arab counter-attacks broke the Byzantine lines and the subsequent pursuit became a rout. The awful fate of the fleeing Byzantine soldiers was remembered for several generations until it was recorded in early Islamic histories. In this title, David Nicolle not only looks at the battle itself but also the whole decisive Arab campaign - from the Muslim invasion of 633/4 to the fall of Byzantine Syria. An analysis of the differing performances of the two armies at Yarmuk, and a look at the battlefield today completes this interesting examination of one of the key battles in the history of the Middle East.

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Meet the Author

DAVID NICOLLE, born in 1944, 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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