Crusades - Battle of Hattin 1187 Mr. Odren Overview of Battle Area Background of Battle • Although Crusaders (they did not use the term until centuries later) still controlled Jerusalem and most areas of Holy Land, the Muslim forces under Saladin were uniting and growing. • There was increasing dissention in Jerusalem with the elevation of Guy of Lusignan to the throne in 1186. • Existed an uneasy truce with Saladin Background of Battle • Raynald of Chatillon continually raided Muslim caravans in the Holy Land leading Saladin to renew war. • Although there is dissention; King Guy of Lusignan is joined by leading knights, Raymond III of Tripoli, and Balian of Ibelin in support against Saladin. • They wanted to engage Saladin before he could gather an even larger army • They gather a Crusader army of around 20,000 men near Acre. Advancing, they occupied a strong position near the springs at Sephoria. Events leading up to Battle • The Crusader army decides under Guy leadership to leave their well defended and supplied position and advance across the desert to meet Saladin who is attacking Raymond's fortress at Tiberias on July 2 • This decision plays right into Saladin’s strength to fight in the open with his more mobile and better supplied army • Forces the heavily armed Crusaders to march across desert without proper water supply Battle of Hattin • Crusader army camps at Saffuriya about 6 miles from Tiberias • Have to cross a plain with little water supply • Army is tired and thirsty • As they march, they come under constant attacks by Saladin cavalry • Forced to stop advance • At night, harassed by Saladin through noise and at light burning brush which caused smoke to blow which covered Saladin troop movements and caused further discomfort to Crusader army Movement of Armies Knights Attack • Knights makes several attempts to break through Saladin lines to get to Hattin and water. No success.. • Raymond and small force do break through, but can provide no assistance, eventually leaving for Acre • Saladin forces used crescent shape maneuver to receive Crusader knight attacks, draw them in and surround them, eventually wear down tired and thirsty Crusader army • Foot soldiers make run for water, knights driven off their horses eventually either killed or captured by overwhelming force Battle at Hattin Victory for Saladin • Approx. 150 knights surrender including Guy, Reynald and Balian. • Many executed including Raynald, and all Templers and Hospitallers. • Large number sold into slavery • King Guy was later freed after literally paying a “king’s ransom” • Saladin victory partly due to failure of logistics, planning, and common sense of the Crusaders and due to Saladin’s patience and strategy Surrender at Hattin Aftermath • Beginning of the end for Crusaders • Some 30 Crusader castles fell within next year • Jerusalem left with small force under Balian who was released by Saladin. Eventually also surrenders. • The struggles for Holy Land would go on, but at Hattin the Crusaders threw away any advantage and perhaps their chances for winning in the long term.