Battle of Ascalon, 12 August 1099 (First Crusade)

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The final battle of the first crusade, fought a month after the fall of Jerusalem to the crusaders. Jerusalem had been in the hands of the Fatamid Caliphate of Egypt, and the vizier of Egypt, al-Afdal, raised a 50,000 strong army to recapture the city. News of his advance soon reached Godfrey of Bouillon, by now the Guardian of Jerusalem, who called the scattered crusaders together. Their combined forced assembled close to Ascalon on 11 August. The 10,000 crusaders were outnumbered five to one by the Egyptian army, but the Fatamid forces were vastly inferior to the crusaders or to the Turks, still resembling the armies of the original Arab outpouring centuries before. On the morning of 12 August, the crusaders formed up and charged quickly, catching al-Afdal entirely by surprise. His army dissolved, almost without resistance. The victorious crusaders harried the Egyptians as far as Ascalon, although internal jealousy between the crusaders prevented the capture of the city. Al-Afdal escaped back to Egypt, but the battle secured the success of the First Crusade and their occupation of Jerusalem.
Nicolle, David, The First Crusade 1096-1099: Conquest of the Holy Land , Osprey Campaign Series, vol 132. The Osprey volume for the first crusade. Nicolle had a great depth of knowledge of middle-eastern history, which is reflected in this book. cover cover cover

Crusades Subject Index - Books on the Middle Ages

How to cite this article: Rickard, J. , Ascalon, battle of, 12 August 1099, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_ascalon.html

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