Battle of Arsuf (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Type of action: Ground battle in the Third Crusade. Result: Regained the coastline of the Holy Land for the crusaders.
On August 22, 1191, Richard I of England marched south from Acre toward the city of Jerusalem, which was the objective of his crusade. With Sultan Saladin’s army of 35,000 shadowing his line of march, Richard arrayed his 25,000-man force with military precision. He placed his cavalry between two columns of infantry to protect the knights’ horses from enemy arrows during the long fifty-mile march.
From the start, enemy horse archers harassed the crusader army from a distance, but Richard refused to launch a retaliatory cavalry charge until circumstances were in his favor. As he approached Arsuf on September 7, Richard felt the time had come. On order, the infantry opened its ranks, and the crusaders’ heavy cavalry charged into the startled enemy. Saladin briefly rallied his troops, but two subsequent charges forced Saladin’s army from the field. By nightfall, Saladin had lost more than 7,000 soldiers, and the crusader army lost perhaps 700.
The Battle of Arsuf in the Third Crusade (1187-1192) was a model example of a...
(The entire section is 307 words.)
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