How did geography limit the success of the Crusades?

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Simply put, the Levant was too far away from Europe.  European armies had long supply trains.  They needed food for the army and fodder for horses.  There was also a need to bring weapons, clothing, and servants.  The roads in Medieval Europe were horrible, so it took a lot of...

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Simply put, the Levant was too far away from Europe.  European armies had long supply trains.  They needed food for the army and fodder for horses.  There was also a need to bring weapons, clothing, and servants.  The roads in Medieval Europe were horrible, so it took a lot of time for the Crusaders just to leave Europe.  There were also warring factions inside of Christendom, so it was not uncommon to have a supply train looted by armies going to war against each other.  Once in Asia Minor, the Crusaders learned that the local populace was either afraid or hostile toward Europeans and would offer little in the way of food or supplies.  Arab fighters learned that the best way to control the Crusading armies was to control oases so that the armies could not get to water, thus leading to men and animals dying of thirst and starvation as their food supplies ran out.  

Another way geography hurt the Crusaders was the climate of the region.  Knights still relied on metal armor, which overheated the owner on long marches through the desert.  The European horse was also a heavier animal than his Arabian counterpart.  While the knight was good for direct charges, he was no match for the Arabian horse archer, who would rely more on mobility.  Climate and sheer distance limited the abilities of the Crusading armies, and it would have been difficult if not impossible for them to maintain control over the Middle East.  

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