The Crusades: The Battle of Acre –

how many stories about Richard the Lionhearta time when neither more nor less than Jerusalem was at stake, Holy LandRichard arrives from the Crusades, Richard arrives from Acre. The fall of Saint John of Acre, the name with which the Christians baptized the city of Acre, was a heavy blow to Christian Europe in the 13th century. We can consider that the battle of acre marked the beginning of the end, the Holy Land fell into Muslim hands. In this article we will know what caused the battle of acre or what consequences it would have for the history of humanity.

The Crusades – The Battle of Acre | Background

The year 1187, was a year that marked the destiny of the crusades, after the battle of the Hattin Horns, saladin had managed to snatch the Christians the greatest of his treasures, Jerusalem. It was at this time that the Crusaders were forced to move their base camp northward, specifically it was installed in Acre. This base remained in Acre for one hundred years, renamed San Juan de Acre.

It was from this base that it was decided which battles had to be faced and which ones not to participate. After the Mongol invasion, the Christians used them as potential allies. Like the incursion of the Egyptian Mamluks, when in 1260 from Acre they were allowed to cross through their territory, in order to defeat the Mongol armies in Galilee, in the well-known Battle of Ain Khalut.

It was from this battle that heThe Mamelukes began to attack Christian locations. Thus the crusaders began to lose positions, Caesarea, Arsuf and in 1266 the important cities of Galileeafter Jaffa, from Beaufort Castle who had belonged to the Order of the Temple. On May 18, 1268, the troops of the Sultan BaibarsThey managed to break down the walls of Antioch.

As a consequence of these heavy losses, several crusading expeditions were set out to march east. Crusades like that of Louis IX of France towards Tunisia, failing in his attempt. Edward I of England’s Ninth Crusade, as a result, failed to prosper.

Latakia fell in April 1285, after the mighty fortress of the Hospitallers, al-Marquais. Shortly afterwards it was the city of Tripoli, Botron and Nephin.

But the cross spirit wasn’t the same anymore, now the great kingdoms had other types of problems to attend to Felipe IV of France and Pope Nicholas IV, in constant war with the kingdom of Aragon and Genoa for the dominion of Sicily. Edward I of England, fighting for the conquest of Scotland. So when the Pope called for a new great crusade, no one decided to participate.

Acre however, it was beginning to be prosperous city, commerce began to flourish and the streets were full of Muslim merchants. When the new crusaders sent by some kingdoms, as small contingents, came to town, they started causing trouble. These Crusaders were not soldiers, they were drunks and thieves, who had joined because they had nowhere else to go. These did not abide by any type of rule or law, so their control was very difficult.

A revolt at the end of August 1290, caused a massacre. Hordes of these newly arrived Crusaders, thirsty for blood, hunted every Muslim they encountered, men, women and children.

When the carnage reached the ears of the sultan qalun, successor of Baibars, he demanded the delivery of those responsible, not being satisfied his request, decided to attack what remained of the Frankish kingdoms. Qalaun died without seeing his wish come true, but his son and his successor promised to complete the project.

The Crusades – The Battle of Acre | Isolation and Fence

the new sultan Al-Ashraf Khalil, full of rage began its offensive towards Acre, He was capturing every aid caravan he encountered, some Templar forces who were taken prisoner.

In April 1291the mamluk army had stood in front of the city walls of Acre, the entire plains surrounding the city were swarming with Al-Ashraf Khalil’s Mamluk soldiers. The Mamluk forces and the defense forces of Acre were not compensated.

Under the command of Al-Ashraf Khalil, there were 160,000 infantrymen, 60,000 cavalrymen and 100 catapults, compared to 14,000 infantrymen and about 800 cavalrymen, by the defense of Acre.

Masters William Beaujeau and Jean de Villiers had summoned the available marshals and troops. Although the Christians tried to gather the maximum number of contingents, they did not approach the number that the sultan had.

The days passed and the city, located on a peninsula and surrounded by the Mamluk army, was besieged. The city had a double row of walls and was divided into neighborhoods, in the north that of Montmusart, to the south the wall curved at right angles to the sea.

had a castle, which was located to the north in the Montmusart district, next to the second wall. Access to the city was by land through two gates, that of Maupas north and the Saint Anthony, in the center, next to the castle. It was in this central area, where the defense of the troops of King Henry of Cyprus, King of Jerusalem, was established in the barbican.

The Order of the Temple, was in charge of the north door of Maupasin front of the door were the armies of Hama under the command of Al-Malik. From the Temple to the tower of San Antonio, the Order of the Hospital was located. Facing the Hospitallers was the army of Damascus commanded by Ruk ad-Din Toqsu.

The plain occupied by the Mamluk sultan, reaching as far as the bay, where King Henry’s troops were on his right, Pisans, Venetians and Teutons on the left.

The siege began on April 15. An attack was attempted by the Templars and the Hospitallers, a night attack that would have the surprise factor, but the attack was a failure, having to fall back inside the walls.

Even though that him King Henry arrived with reinforcements from Cyprus, He soon realized the insufficiency of his forces, so he sent some emissaries to speak with the sultan, but seeing that they did not bring surrender, he did not attend them.

Shortly after the barbican of King Hugo, had to be abandoned, orOne week later, the sultan mined the Ingresa and Countess of Blois towers, causing part of the wall to collapse. On May 15, Sultan Al-Ashraf attacked the central gate, that of San Antonio, at first repelled by the Christian forces.

The Crusades – The Battle of Acre | City Assault

The city of Acre was totally weakened, the Mamluk bombardments carried out with catapults were being very effective. The number of stones projected, managed to break the city walls. The wall closest to the Cursed tower was the first to give way, passing great hordes of Mamelukes, driving the defenders back inland.

Al-Ashraf, I enter accompanied by drumsTrumpets and cymbals, before the archers were clearing the way. Templars and Hospitallers went to the place where the breach had been caused, but their positions were occupied by the armies of Hama and Damascuswhich were much more efficient.

South Oton of Grandsdon, had been pushed, losing the tower of san nicholasMeanwhile, the Muslims had already entered the city.

First William Beaujeu, Master Templar, fell, then Marshal Hospitaller Matthew of Clermont, all the others embarked with as many men as they could muster.

the city had fallen leaving defenseless a terrified Christian population fleeing in panic trying to leave the city by sea. The ships did not have enough space and many of them sank due to excess weight.

The Templars distributed as best they could to a terrified population, women and children were the first to occupy the few ships that had seats. But when the mamluks managed to reach port, They began the great massacre, everyone who was on the ground was put to the knife.

The sultan had practically got the whole city, only a small redoubt remained, the fortress inhabited by the Templars to the south of the city, where a small redoubt of knights resisted defending the civilians, who, escaping from the pier, had taken refuge in the fortress.

After several days of besieging the fortress, the sultan decided to allow them to leave unmolested, when Pierre de Severy, admitted surrender, a group of mamluks, occupied the fortress, to ensure their departure. It was at that moment, when Islamic flag raisedover the Templar fortress. This fact annoyed the Christians residing in the fortress, rebuking the Mamelukes and causing the Templars to act, who they wiped out the small Mamluk force.

This caused the closing of the gates of the fortress and the hoisting of the Templar flag, of the beausant. Without further delay, that same night, Gaudin, got a way out and embark for Sidon, taking a small group of Christians and the great Templar treasure, full of holy relics.

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We also leave you so you can watch a video about this unique battle, which meant the end of the Crusades.