The Crusades (Part II)

Previous: An enormous army headed toward Jerusalem. A bloody war had started and the result caused huge damage to the Muslim states. Jerusalem civilians, Muslims and Jews, were slaughtered by Christian forces.

“This war will be on history’s pages as a dark event with genocide.”

Second Crusade Begins:

Imad al-Din Zengi (The atabeg of Mosul of the Seljuk Empire) abled Muslims to unite and take back Jerusalem. Firstly he captured the city of Edessa from the Crusades, one of the secured places, prompting the Pope to call a second Crusade.

The army was built. However, unlike the other one, they were led by kings: German Emperor Coran, the Third and French King Louis, the Seventh.

On the first Crusade, the Christian Army from Europe plundered the cities of Byzantium. Because of this, the Byzantines had a plan. Before entering Anatolia, the Army was well-controlled and led meticulously not to face the same events again. By the time they arrived, there would be no meaning in waiting. Christians entered directly into Anatolia.

3 Ambushes:

The Army used different paths toward the same destination. They were heading near the Dorylaeum, which happened in the past, when Seljuk Sultan Kilij Arslan the First, ambushed the Christian knights. But it did not end well: Christians got support from their reinforcement army and won the fight. Mesud the First, the son of Kilij Arslan the First, wanted to take his father’s revenge. Mesud and his army settled in the same place where they ambushed the forces. On the other hand, the Christian Army was running out of supplies. They stopped near the Dorylaeum to resupply. Because they had no information and enough intelligence about the area, they were vulnerable to attacks. Seljuk Forces made a sudden attack on their camp. The remains ran away from the battlefield and were determined to go back to their homes.

The main Christian Forces changed their tactics and decided to advance from the south (road to Antalya). However, this did not happen to change the results of being ambushed again. The whole Army commanded by the German King was exterminated.

To reach Antalya, they had to pass through the Kazikbeli Gateway, which is narrow and surrounded by mountains on both sides. Since Seljuk spies were scattered across Anatolia, it was not hard for them to get intelligence as to the Crusades’ route plan. The battle of Kazikbeli occurred at that time and the Christian Army lost the battle and ran away with great damage.

Siege of Damascus:

Half of the Crusaders’ Army was executed and the remains reached Jerusalem through land and sea roads. They did a council about defending Jerusalem and at the end of the meeting, they decided on attacking the city of Damascus because of its geopolitical position. When the news reached the atabeg of Damascus, he took precautions and asked for help from Nur ad-Din Zengi, who was another Seljuk Atabeg. While Nur ad-Din Zengi and his army were on the way to Damascus, Crusaders began the siege. Nur ad-Din Zengi ordered them to lift the siege. Crusaders knew they could not resist the Zengi’s Army and lifted the siege. Nur ad-Din Zengi arrived and stopped in Damascus.

This Crusade caused huge damage to Europe and this failure caused them to collapse physically and mentally.


Onur Hakan Akdoğan

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