Siege of Jerusalem (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Type of action: Siege in the First Crusade. Result: Crusaders seized the city and established the kingdom of Jerusalem, which Europeans ruled from 1099 to 1187 and from 1229 to 1243.
The fortified city of Jerusalem, the site of Christ’s death and resurrection and the holiest city in Christendom, had been under Muslim control since the 600’s. Its liberation was one of the main goals of the First Crusade. The Frankish crusaders, Godfrey of Bouillon and Raymond of Toulouse, advanced on Jerusalem in the spring of 1099 following their successful conquest of the city of Antioch and the founding of a principality there under the rule of Bohemund. On the 400-mile march south, the crusaders kept to the Mediterranean coast where they could count on English and Genoese ships and supplies. The Franks were able to advance through Muslim territory without serious opposition and arrived at the walls of Jerusalem on June 7, ready to launch an all-out attack against its Fatimid Egyptian defenders led by Iftikhar ad-Dawla, the governor of the city. The crusaders assaulted the walls but, lacking scaling ladders and suffering from the heat and thirst, were thrown back. They proceeded to construct two huge siege towers and in several weeks were ready to make another assault. Godfrey of Bouillon led the successful breakthrough. He was riding one of the towers when it was pushed to the weakest part of the city walls. The crusaders ran...
(The entire section is 535 words.)
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