Battle of Arsuf, 1191 animated battle map
Saladin versus Richard Couer de Lion: A Saracen army under Saladin harasses a Crusader army under Richard. Will Saladin’s provocations break the discipline of Richard’s soldiers? Also known as the Battle of Arsouf. Click on images below to view; first image opens video presentation and second image opens PowerPoint presentation. | Legend |
Even with this crushing victory, the Third Crusade still ended in failure and so a Fourth Crusade was called in 1199.
This battle is a solid educational tool to illustrate when and how forces sustain casualties. Until the Saracen flight, the Crusaders had taken more than they had inflicted. However, whenever a force turns its backs to the enemy force to flee, it is utterly vulnerable and unable to defend itself. Virtually all of the 700 Crusader casualties were suffered before the rout which means the Saracens suffered roughly 6,300 casualties during the rout. Any student of war should understand that ability is not only measured when the outcome of the battle is undecided, but after the battle is decided, when an orderly retreat is required to maintain an effective fighting force or a deadly pursuit is required to prevent the enemy from doing the former.
My original idea for Season I was to have each battle illustrate one of the Seven Classical Maneuvers of Warfare being used successfully (Leuctra being the eighth, which was not intended to be animated). Arsuf illustrates “penetration of the center” although the Crusader cavalry charge broke though far off the true center of the Saracen line. Mohi Heath was intended to illustrate “feigned withdrawal” except the successful feigned retreat during this engagement occurred before the battle took place which means it is not included in the animation.
- Jonathan Webb
Chandler, David. The Art of Warfare on Land. Norwich: Jarold & Sons Ltd, 1974.
Edwards, Sean J.A. “Swarming and the Future of Warfare.” Pardee Rand Graduate School. http://www.rand.org/pubs/rgs_dissertations/2005/RAND_RGSD189.pdf (Jan. 28, 2008).
Fratini, Dan. “The Battle of Arsuf.” Military History Online. http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/crusades/articles/arsuf.as px (Jan. 27, 2008).
Macdonald, John. Great Battlefields of the World. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1987.
Richard, J. “Third Crusade, 1189-1193.” History of War. http://www.historyofwar.org/index.html (Sep. 30, 2008).
Crusader infantry: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=22289
Crusader knight: http://knightanddragon.com/crusaders.html
Crusader turcopole: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=22289
Richard Coeur de Lion: http://expatyank.wordpress.com/2008/03/31/get-the-demonizing-terminology-straight/
Salah al-Din Ibn Ayyub: http://i-cias.com/e.o/saladin.htm
Saracen cavalry: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=22289
Saracen light infantry: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=22289
Tags: 1100s, cavalry, Crusaders, envelopment of a single flank, infantry, land, Medieval Era, modern day Israel, penetration of the center, Richard Coeur de Lion, Saladin, Saracens, Season 1, skirmisher, Third Crusade, Western Asia
Weider History Group