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Battle of Yarmuk, 636

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Khalid Ibn al-Walid versus Vahan: A Byzantine army under Vahan stands in the way of a Rashidun army under Khalid. Will the religious fervor and military genius commander of the Rashiduns sweep aside the Byzantines? Also known as the Battle of Yarmouk, Yarmuq or Hieromyax. Click on images below to view; first image opens video presentation and second image opens PowerPoint presentation. | Legend |
 
 
It is impossible to read any account of this battle from either side without being overcome by the drama, intensity and resonance. Unlike any other animation to date, the Battle of Yarmuk features massive, determined men fighting for superiority rather than red and blue boxes.
 
The battle may have had a different result had Vahan used his cavalry reserve when it was needed most. Vahan launched three offensives aimed at breaking the Rashidun lines, all of which only marginally failed because Khalid effectively used the force at his disposal in a variety of ways. The reason for the Byzantine cavalry’s inactivity has yet to be properly explained. Although these marginal, defensive victories by the Rashiduns were only able to take place because of their superiority in morale and motivation, the Byzantine soldiers fought just as fiercely. The majority of the Byzantines did not flee until the situation was clearly hopeless and even then, they did not go quietly.
 
 
When I first set about researching this battle, I was immediately confronted with a seemingly impossible task: determining the strength of either side. Sources for Rashidun numbers range from 15-43,000 and the Byzantine numbers range from 20-400,000. I was also torn between whether the Western historians were just making excuses for the loss or if Middle Eastern writers were just making their greatest victory seem more spectacular. I considered just giving up and animating another battle but what kind of historian would I be? I came to the conclusion that Khalid was a military genius, that there was no sandstorm to explain the disastrous Byzantine defeat and then dug deep to decide on numbers. Dupuy’s Encyclopedia of Military History avoids specific numbers at the battle altogether but states that the entire Byzantine Empire fielded an army of 120-150,000, divided into thirteen themes. Seven of them were posted in Anatolia which means that if Vahan did command 80,000 troops at Yarmuk, there were no other Byzantine units for the rest of the region which is highly unlikely. After realizing the overwhelming attritional nature of the battle, mostly based on Akram’s The Sword of Allah, I then concluded that 40,000 Byzantines against 24,000 Rashiduns is a ratio that is plausible but also appreciates Khalid’s abilities as a commander. Based on the feedback I have received for this animation, I believe my decisions were more than satisfactory.
 
- Jonathan Webb
 
Works Consulted
 
Akram, Agha Ibrahim. The Sword of Allah: Khalid bin al-Waleed - His Life and Campaigns. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
 
Donner, Fred McGraw. The Early Islamic Conquests. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981.
 
Dupuy, Trevor N. The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 BC to the Present, Fourth Edition. New York: HarperCollins, 1991.
 
Fratini, Dan. “The Battle of Yarmuk, 636.” http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/muslimwars/articles/yarmuk.aspx (Nov. 3, 2008).
 
Kaegi, Walter Emil. Byzantium and the Early Islamic Conquests. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
 
Kennedy, Hugh. The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2007.
 
Regan, Geoffrey. The Guinness Book of Decisive Battles. New York: Canopy, 1992.
 
Images
 
Byzantine cavalry: http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/15mmRanges/15mmDarkAges.htm
 
Byzantine infantry: http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/15mmRanges/15mmDarkAges.htm
 
Rashidun cavalry: www.tedtoy.com/newtoysoldiers.htm
 
Rashidun infantry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashidun_Caliphate_army
 
 

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  1. 62 Comments to “Battle of Yarmuk, 636”

  2. You should also add a line for “Hazrat Khalid bin Waleed” that he had not lose a single battle in his life.
    also we would like to view more battles from middle ages

    thanks,

    By Shahzad Hassan on Feb 20, 2009 at 11:01 am

  3. Thank You ever so much for this excellent presentation. It was very neutral and well researched. I am an Islamic Scholar, also very interested in Islamic History. I too personally think that you should do more battles that took place betyween the Muslims and the Christians.

    Hamid

    By Hamid Mahmood on Apr 22, 2009 at 7:13 pm

  4. THanks a lot. I appreciate your effort with the numbers. It is true that the Arab historians exaggerate while the Western historians tend to downplay such battles. The numbers seem logical to me, thanks for the effort.

    By Hamad on Apr 25, 2009 at 3:57 pm

  5. Mr Hassan: I thank you for the appreciation of my work, this animation is one that was particularly time-consuming and difficult. I’m definitely looking into more Muslim/Christian battles based on very positive responses for Arsuf and Yarmuk. As of right now, the Battles of Walaja (633) and Mu’tah (629) are slated to be animated. However, if you have any suggestions for battles outside Saladin and Khalid, please let me know.

    Mr. Mahmood: You’re very welcome. Most of the conclusions I came to during research for this battle were based on assumptions but I also believe them to very logical assumptions based on Arab and Western historians. I hope the numbers I’ve put forth are respected and utilized by others because otherwise I wouldn’t have published them. Thank you again for your encouragement.

    By Jonathan Webb on Apr 26, 2009 at 3:17 am

  6. The Battle was a Victory for Islam and God (Allah , The Most High ) Knows Best .

    By Musa Fatih Al Muizz on May 23, 2009 at 7:31 pm

  7. Thank you very much for that great effort.
    appreciating your time, we want to see more.

    By Dr. Omar Elhennawi on Jun 29, 2009 at 10:30 pm

  8. I appreciate your work as well as your hard work to know the reality rather than the biased view. That is, I believe, every body should search for. Even if it were a failure you will learn from it, Rather than thinking, some group is always mighty or undefeatable.

    By Elias on Jun 30, 2009 at 2:08 pm

  9. please how about the battle of al-Q?disiyyah?

    By Elias on Jun 30, 2009 at 3:37 pm

  10. hi, its truly a great work, great presentation and great research. I hope to see more such works from you and i really appreciate your efforts for a person like me, a fan of strategies and tactics your website is an ideal place to learn about any battle with in moments via these animations. I am an amateur writer on wikipedia, here is my user page

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mohammad_adil

    Battle of Qadisiyyah is also a good candidate to be animated as it was Guagamela of Caliph Umar.

    I am anxiously waiting for battle of Ankara and also what about battle of An al jalut and battle of manzikert ? i will be working in the maps of the above mantioned battles shortly on wikipedia.

    By Mohammad Adil on Jul 6, 2009 at 2:50 pm

  11. the muslims were half in number as apposed to the christians. From authentic revelations the muslims had their creator with them and help from the heavens, the christins saw dreams of this before the battle and knew they would lose! please do not doubt the number of the muslims as they were obedient true servants of the One god as apposed to the corrupt disbelievers they faught against! the muslims loved death more than they loved life and never feared shedding their blood for this cause which made them victorious both in this world and in the next.

    By zmotz on Sep 4, 2009 at 4:08 am

  12. Ah yes, Mr. Adil. I remember your signature from a great number of posts on Wikipedia discussion pages. Based on your geography, it’s good to know I can provide an unbiased presentation that every part of the world appreciates.

    Sorry for late response, sometimes I am not alerted to comments. Ankara is already posted as I am sure you noticed. Manzikert is a strong candidate for future seasons.

    By Jonathan Webb on Sep 11, 2009 at 8:27 pm

  13. Thanks for this great effort in shape of animation but i am not agreed with your figures…

    150,000 Byzantines against 40,000 Muslims

    70,000 Byzantines Killed and 4,000 Muslims. Many great muslims and non-muslim historians confirm the numbers.

    By Umar Shah on Sep 22, 2009 at 6:01 pm

  14. The numbers for this battle do greatly vary. Muslim and non-Muslim sources agree and disagree on various details.

    I found two issues with the larger figures for the Byzantine side:

    As cited by Dupuy and others, the whole Byzantine Empire fielded only 120-150,000 soldiers divided into thirteen themes. Only seven were based in the region so the army would have to be supplemented by a vast army of mercenaries, larger than the Byzantine army itself.

    The other issue is logistics. The battle lasted six days and to supply each army was like supplying an army six times its size on the march (assuming the army can march quite quickly). Sizes of armies during this time period were relatively small, even in the Fertile Crescent, due to logistical limitations.

    By Jonathan Webb on Oct 1, 2009 at 2:31 pm

  15. I thought the Byzantines had the local Ghassanid Arabs (with a strength commonly quoted at 60,000) fighting alongside them?

    By Jacob on Dec 3, 2009 at 10:37 pm

  16. Jacob you are correct the Ghassanid Army was commanded by Jabalah ibn al-Aiham, king of the Ghassanid Arabs. He had an exclusively Christian Arab force of 60 000 men.

    By Jack Harris on Dec 18, 2009 at 8:15 am

  17. David nicolle in his book “Yarmuk 636, Muslim conquest of Syria” has mentioned that beside regular Byzantine army (the standing army that was ~135,000) a large number of levies could be raised temporarily in time of need, mainly from warlike tribes of christian Arabs and Armenians. This wasn’t much costly and the units could be disbanded after the particular campaign. This led David Nicolle to estimate Byzantine army at yarmuk to be 100,000. including 25,000 regulars.

    By Mohammad Adil on Jan 9, 2010 at 9:00 pm

  18. Very nice presentation. For Yarmuk in particular such a decisive battle must have historians from both sides either attempting to glorify the efforts of their army or make the loss seem less spectacular and thus make it appear less devastating. The East vs West aspect of the battle also antagonizes the biases with numbers, but you were very balanced in your interpretation of what numbers would be most accurate. Well done

    By Sammy Prentice on Feb 17, 2010 at 2:00 pm

  19. There’s one intriguing battle in the history between Egyptian Mamluks and the mighty Mongols. No, it doesn’t involve Saladin. It is called the “Battle of the Spring of Goliath”. It is famous for being the very first occasion in history when Mongols were decisively defeated. A preliminary research could be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Ain_Jalut

    Good work done.

    By Ahsan Akbar on Apr 1, 2010 at 4:43 am

  20. Dear Sir,

    May I firstly add my sincere thanks and congratulations on a most excellent piece of research and presentation, upon what was afterall, a pivotal moment in history.

    I myself being a historian would like to add some thoughts on the actual numbers involved in this most decisive of battles.

    An important fact has to be factored into the Byzantine Army estimates, that is that prior to the advent of Islam and the Revelation to the Prophet Mohammed (mpbh), the Sasassnid Persians and Byzantines had been in a protracted long war with one another for 20-30 years. This war was a long drawn out affair and must have exhausted and severely depleted the resources of both Empires substantially, particularly upon the Byzantines. Exactly how, I would like you to follow the consequent line of reasoning…

    The sum impact of this war (Sasassnid Byzantine War of 602-628AD) was that the Byzantines had lost much of Syria, Palestine and Egypt to the Persians, the rich cities of Antioch, Alexandria (grain supply), Damascus and even Jerusalem, when Chosroes took away the Holy Cross. Even with the return of these territories to Byzantine control by Heraclius’ valiant efforts by 629AD, these areas needed time to become fully integrated back into the Byzantine Empire .

    Furthermore, when one considers that the Byzantine state was, for its time, a sophisticated a state based upon the collection of tax revenues, such loss of territory denuded the central exchequer of vast sums of revenue, the very revenue which paid for the furnishing of the Imperial Army and the Thematic Armies. The accumilated loss of tax revenues and resources from these territories would have therefore impacted heavily upon the numbers of soldiers the Byzantines could have afforded, to put into frontline service at this vital juncture. One should also remember that the Byzantines were, due to the wealth generated by tax revenues, in the habit of hiring on mass mercenary forces (check Heraclius’s counter attack into Persia following the capital’s siege). With the gruelling long term impact of a protracted war with Persia just before the advent of Islam, the Byzantines therefore could NOT have put so significant a force in the field. Your estimate of Byzantine numbers would therefore be inclined to be far more realistic when considering these factors mentioned above.

    A simple but important reason for the Muslim success at Yarmuk must also be that the polyglot nature of the Byzantine Army at Yarmuk made the command structure cumbersome, unwieldly and at best difficult to manage for Vahan. The Muslims on the other hand had more or less a singular command structure Khalid-ibin’Walid, plus Abu Ubaida the later Govenor of Levant and were singular in their faith and motives.

    One last point, and forgive me for displaying a hint of Muslim bias, the Muslims were undoubtedly fired by the conviction that they were fighting for a higher ideal, that of eternal salvation and to enter paradise, thus giving Khalid-ibin-Walid the confidence to make greater demands upon his men….if that didn’t work…..THERE WERE ALWAYS THE WOMEN TO PUSH THEIR MEN-FOLK FORWARD!!!!!

    Many thanks and best regards.

    Khorrum

    By Khorrumg on Apr 5, 2010 at 9:26 am

  21. Dear Sir,

    Might I add that Mr Umar Shah’s observations also seem to be most pertinent that the logistical implications of supplying an army in this geographical location over any period of time was fraught with difficulties. Obviously the larger the force the harder it was to supply such numbers, suggesting that the numbers involved would have been towards the lower estimates.

    I would also like to add that the the Christian Arab forces may well have proved to have been of negligble use and of questionable loyalty making Vahan’s command situation even more precarious.

    One last point I also failed to mention in my last comment is that the Byzantines tended to avoid military confrontation and often chose to pay tribute instead of fighting. This was shown to be the case when Heraclius ‘bought off’ the Persians during their siege of Constantinople in 621AD allowing him to leave the city and open up another front by launching a bold counter-attack into Persian territory, by way of raising a largely mercenary army. This also proved how much wealth the Byztantine state had at its disposal at this time through its tax revenue system.

    The arrival of the Muslim Arabs on the political map at crucial this junture must have thus made it easier for them to go the offensive against the Byzantines and Persians who had both exhausted each other in a war for some 30 years previous.

    As to the establishment of the Thematic system of army recruitment there is some debate whether Heraclius was the architect or whether it was the later Emperor Constans, so it is not at all clear what the exact army structure was in place at the time of Muslim offensive into Syria

    Best regards.

    Khorrum Gilani

    By Khorrumg on Apr 5, 2010 at 9:52 am

  22. When does the Battle of Ullais come out?

    By Myself on Apr 13, 2010 at 3:06 pm

  23. Khorrum: Great thanks to your compliments on this animation; it is one of the most criticized animations so far.

    Myself: I am actually considering postponing another Khalid battle for a future season so that the great Russian battles of history can claim some glory. I’ll keep viewers updated.

    By Jonathan Webb on Apr 14, 2010 at 11:44 pm

  24. Great research and effort put into all these battles. Refreshing to see someone other than a Muslim paying any attention to these battles. I would like to make a few pertinent points:

    1. Study of history has to be undertaken not to point out how great a particular civilization was, but so that we get inspired by past events and not repeat past mistakes.

    2. Study of past battles are a subject of their own, as they are a class of tactics on their own. They need to be studied even if its Yarmuk or Manzikert or Tours or Lepanto.

    3. Increasing the opponents numbers and reducing our own to make the victory more spectacular is not the point here. Study history objectively rather than shout down genuine detractors.

    4. Khalid was a millitary genius, the likes of whom the world has rarely seen.

    Thanks again for all your effort Jonathan.

    By Mir Farooq Ali on Apr 28, 2010 at 7:52 am

  25. You’re very welcome Mr. Ali. Even as a Canadian with strong European ties, I find regions/areas I know little about very interesting because I learn so much with just a little research.

    Your four points were stated elegantly and there is no way I can expand on them.

    Be on the lookout for more non-European battles in coming seasons, Manzikert in particular.

    By Jonathan Webb on May 11, 2010 at 7:09 pm

  26. This battle was a victory of barbarism over civilization.

    By Me on Aug 2, 2010 at 8:33 pm

  27. this is called the real research.this all time neutral and very impressive so i thank you and ur team.and appreciate your hard work.

    By WAQAS on Aug 5, 2010 at 12:12 pm

  28. Thanks for the support WAQAS.

    By Jonathan Webb on Aug 9, 2010 at 9:39 pm

  29. Thanks for the great effort.

    I’m waiting for your next animations.

    By Bayu hartanto on Oct 20, 2010 at 11:18 am

  30. Firstly, I thank you for such a presentation. I just wanted to ask, is the animation for the battle of Walaja complete? If not when will it be?

    Again, I do thank you for your work.

    By Sayyid Sarmad on Dec 22, 2010 at 1:59 am

  31. Sayyid: First of all, thank you for the encouragement. Walaja has been released: http://www.theartofbattle.com/battle-of-walaja-633.htm. The animation for the Siege of Damascus will also be released in coming days.

    By Jonathan Webb on Dec 23, 2010 at 7:22 pm

  32. dear webb
    i was trying to prepare a paper on battle of yarmouk. the wiki helped alot, but as a military student i was interested to look for the strategic development of the battle & tactical efforts of the belligerent. i am trying to asses the battle, the causes of defeat or victory and the lessons learnt for a pragmatic point of view.it appeared to me that muslim historians often tried to involve some divine contribution for their victory and the Christians tried to hide their lacuna. i was trying to understand yazid’s ‘kaar wa faar’(hit & run) tactics against gregory’s Testudo (close defensive infantry formation) assault. things were not atall divine, i found & excellent tactical maneuvers like envelopements, turning movements and bringing opponent to the killing zone was adopted aptly. hope i will be able to finish my endeavor.

    however thank you very much for your useful research. i am not able to download your video from you tube, is it there any where as torrent?
    thanx again.
    del h khan

    By del h khan on Feb 1, 2011 at 8:09 pm

  33. Del H Khan: I’m sorry the Yarmuk video did not work for you but luckily I provide additional forms of media.

    If you click the second image on the page, you may view the PowerPoint file. I understand not everyone owns Microsoft Office or PowerPoint but you may download Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer for free from the official website: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=048dc840-14e1-467d-8dca-19d2a8fd7485&displaylang=en.

    Best of luck with your endeavour; I hope my work helps you.

    By Jonathan Webb on Feb 2, 2011 at 3:51 am

  34. Thankyou for this animation. Incidentally I was thinking if this kind of a visual aid to explain the battle which I have read about but was still unable to properly grasp. Your visuals made it quite easy to grasp.

    May I add one fact that during the preparation of the Battle of the Trench, Mohammad (saw) was foretold of the conquests in Yemen, Syria and the west as well as Persia. Syria included Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan. West of Syria meant Egypt and Libya etc. This prophecy came true within a decade of Mohammad’s (saw) passing away.

    The control of the Fertile Crescent gave the Ishmealites control over the promised land of Abraham.

    Best!

    By Aliya on Mar 14, 2011 at 12:48 am

  35. It is typical of these non-muslims to downplay the great muslim victories of the past. They usually make excuses to explain away their humiliating defeats at the hands of the muslims. So in the case of the Byzantines and persians they say that these 2 great empires had weakened themselves by constant warfare with each other. This therefore allowed the muslims to easily defeat them. But these arguments are misleading and deceptive, because both the Byzantines and Persians were still super powers when the muslims arrived on the scene. So the muslims were fighting against 2 super powers. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that the muslims were usually outnumbered by the Byzantines and the Persians on the battle field. Also the Byzantines and Persians usually had better war equipment than the muslims, not to mention well trained imperial soldiers. Many of the muslim soldiers were just simple tribal warriors, nothing compared to the imperial soldiers of the Persians and the Byzantines.

    It should also be noted that the muslims were fighting both the Byzantine empire and the Persian empire at the same time. Fighting against 2 enemies at the same time is never easy, especially when those 2 enemies are powerful.

    I hope the muslim-haters stop making excuses and give the muslims their due respect. Thank you for your time.

    By Gajibur on Mar 23, 2011 at 3:41 pm

  36. I have read from an ardent Muslim source that in this battle a Byzantine commander by the name of Gregorius Theodorus converted to Islam after requesting a meeting with Khalid. He wanted to know why Khalid was called Sayf Allah (sword of Allah). Khalid explained that the Prophet called him this when he had converted to Islam. Khalid then invited Gregorious to his tent to perform ablution and salat. He then joined the Muslim army in battling his former comrades and was martyred less than 3 hours after converting to Islam. However I cannot find any non-Muslim source that relates this event. Can you tell us more about this Gregorius dude from a Byzantine perspective/source?

    By Jerantutferry on May 12, 2011 at 5:06 am

  37. I would love to see more long videos like this one. Theyre much more entertaining

    By Mike Rakshan on May 16, 2011 at 7:30 am

  38. Amazing insight into a critical moment for the Muslims, Islam and the world.

    By Mudassar Rana on May 24, 2011 at 10:22 pm

  39. hopeful my post not offense anyone.. my thought is although this winning promise by god in Quran.. Muslim’s army will never did it if not by Khalids some form of tactic, fast learning the situation and taking opportunity.. and we can see here the effective of cavalry which always save the situation.. while the opposite ‘tank’ seem never use at all.. until now we can see how cavalry be the factor of victory.. before airborne came to the theater.. Muslims now never learn this.. at that time Khalid never deploy suicide killer to kill civilian in enemy town.. no coward assassinate plan which was planned by Verdun ended by himself killed.. as well as civilian killed commit by Crusaders.. Never play coward game.. be strong to fight.. defend while u not strong.. if u not able to defend.. die with your good name….

    By Faizan on Sep 6, 2011 at 4:10 am

  40. Fastidious replies in return of this query with real arguments and describing the whole thing about that.|

    By tatouage on Nov 25, 2011 at 8:12 pm

  41. ?????? ???? ??? ???? ???? ???? ???? ?? ???? ??? ????

    By sultan *saudi arab on Dec 11, 2011 at 4:55 pm

  42. i do not agree with the number of troops on both side as mentioned by you. byzantine army clearly outnumbered muslim army that is the reason the war lasted up to 6-7 days. otherwise it was just 1 day game for rashudin army.. byzantine were more than 1000000 and muslim 40000. due to this huge difference Khalid fought defensively for first 5 days but as soon as he realized that opponents were not eager to fight any more, he changed his tactics from defensive to aggressive..probably he was waiting for such a moment…

    By shayzoo on Feb 8, 2012 at 5:24 pm

  43. The Muslims were outnumbered perhaps 4 to 1 along with being massively outgunned and under equiped.

    To suggest otherwise is pure euro centrism and nonsense … you don’t see disputes regarding numbers for the battles with Persians, do you? Muslim writers were FAR more honest than the compulsive euro writers who exaggerated numbers to no end.

    By Ghazi on Feb 20, 2012 at 9:44 am

  44. Based on my research, the Muslims had much greater numbers. Both Persia and Byzantine were recovering from the bubonic plague that had decimated both armies. this plague scholors believe was on the same level as the bubonic plague that hit Europe in the 14th century. it did not hit
    Arabia that was protected by its vast desert. Keep in mind, The Persians and the Byzantines were used to fighting each other and had grown lazy in keeping up to date with the latest battle tactics. neither armies were prepared for the savery of the bedioun Muslims who had sharpened their skills subjugating the Arabian people under Islam. Also, the Byzantines like the Persians wore armour weighing from 75 to 125 pounds seriously limiting their mobility. While the muslim generals were most definitely geniuses, and their men full of fevor, it still doesn’t excuse their colonizing and behavior that included rape, plunder, genocide of Christians, and Zoroastrians, the destruction of priceless artifacts including the rug of Khosro, the ruin of Cteisphon and Christian churches etc. Shame that after the catasphoric defeats of the Persian and Byzantine armies, the entire area- through forced Islamization and the use of Jizzah- turned the middle east into an intellectual wasteland. Truly, there exists no religion like Islam that inspires men to rape, murder and plunder without regret or guilt.

    Kennedy, Hugh. The Great Arab Conquests, DaCapo Press. (2007)
    Ye’or, Bat. The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam; from Jihad to Dhimmitude.fairleigh dickinson university press, (2009).

    By Wolfy Ghalkhani on Mar 1, 2012 at 8:14 pm

  45. Aliya,

    Heres some more of your ‘brave muslims’ at work:

    http://www.eutimes.net/2012/03/libyan-rebels-destroy-wwii-commonwealth-cemetery-in-benghazi/

    By Dennis on Mar 5, 2012 at 7:50 pm

  46. Dear oh dear!!! This Wolfy Ghalkhani!!! What crass comments from someone who cannot even submit their own name!! Shame really….the illinformed comment that “…the entire area- through forced Islamization and the use of Jizzah- turned the middle east into an intellectual wasteland. Truly, there exists no religion like Islam that inspires men to rape, murder and plunder without regret or guilt..” is at best completely wide of the mark and at worst facile. In actuality, Islam and Christianity learned to life in peaceful co-existence for much of the time, which allowed the cross-fertilization of ideas, especially the transfer of books and knowledge from the Byzantines to the Arabs (see Photius Bibliotecheca), especially ancient Greek texts, which had long been lost or forgotten in the West. The Arab Caliphate nurtured and sponsored science, art learning and development, so what you state has very little foundation other than uneducated baseless nonsense…pretty dumb really. Its NOT to say atrocities were NOT committed by the Arabs, but even the Christian texts mention the simplicity of the earlier Rashidun Caliphate, particularly Omar Al Khataab, (a contemporary of Yarmuk events), following the Muslim victory of Yarmuk and fall of Damascus, according to the Christian Byzantine monk Theophanes asked for no more than to have his riding cloak washed on Bishop Sophronius’ request, after being given the keys of the city. He also decided to sleep on the floor, declining the offer by the Bishop of Damascus to sleep in the most resplendent dwelling in the city! Not quite like what you state really and this anecdote from a Christian bias text suggests that even the Christian’s were surprised by how, the famed leader of the Muslim Armies was untouched by the need to be enriched OR rewarded by conquest. This suggests something rather to the contrary that Omar Al Khataab was motivated by higher ideals, the need to feel spiritual reward rather than physical/worldly reward. The fact of the matter is that the later Crusades really brought out the worst in BOTH Christian and Muslim, the former who conducted the most barbaric slaughter of Jerusalem’s population upon its first capture by the Crusader armies. So….Wolfy dear…get your facts straight and please…get an education!!!

    By Khorrumg on Mar 24, 2012 at 6:28 am

  47. One has to understand that the runup to this battle had seen 5 years of peace for the Byzantines during the preceding 26 years. They had not just fought a toe to toe religious war with the Persians for 20 years, but also had had to face the Avars and Slavs in a two front war as well, during which time they had lost somewhere near half of all of their territories, many of which were not in the Middle East at all. They were the best equipped, and most experienced and powerful state of the time, but they were worn out, not only by the wars, but by the internal divisions caused by religious questions and social problems. As we can see in recent wars, wars are often lost far from any battlefield.
    The Byzantines at the time would have suffered a lot from political problems related to taxation. Egypt was lost, not so much by this battle (Byzantines had an unopposed navy at the time) but due to the government’s unpopularity in Egypt. The Arabs would quickly build one, though. A similar situation existed in the Levant at this time, where the Greeks had become unpopular, and the Semite Arabs were much closer in appearance, language, and thoughts to the Semitic Christian majority of the local inhabitants. Islam was a relatively unknown religion at the time, and Christians were still being protected and unmolested by Muslims then.

    I think Mr. Khorrum’s remarks are the most worthy of the above.

    By Dan Sparkman on Apr 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm

  48. Two more questions: why do you dispute the sandstorm, and what about the chains on the Byzantines? Other writers mention the sandstorms, which the Arabs would have known about from Qadisiyah and from ages of desert warfare experience. This would have given them a huge advantage if true, and may explain why they won the battle in spite of being out-manned. There are certain facts about this storm which would not be consistent with the battle as presented here (i.e. the direction), but I think it has to be dealt with as an issue.
    The chains, which are mentioned by Muslim writers as binding the Byzantine soldiers to each other, would explain why the Byzantine formations moved so slowly. Again, their presumed presence is not entirely consistent with logic, but sometimes that can happen in history.

    By Dan Sparkman on Apr 2, 2012 at 7:41 pm

  49. Overall a nice presentation, too bad for some replies e.g.:
    “The Battle was a Victory for Islam and God (Allah , The Most High ) Knows Best .”
    -> this is a site for objective tactical and strategical battle investigation, not a religious forum. But I guess some ppl will never learn.

    You could also do the battles on how the first crusade captured Antioch and then defended it against overwhelming odds against Muslims and how they went on to capture the whole region. This with a force that travelled thousands of miles across land and sea, which came in an inhospitable environment and still had the stamina, belief and perseverance to accomplish all this ! This is still an extraordinary feat for a largely infantry based army, there’s no other example in history, save perhaps Alexander’s exploits in Asia.

    Reality is that there’s many examples of fine tactical and strategical command to be found on both sides, or even dumb luck. Let’s honor the commanders that made those brilliant decisions and not forget the men that lost their lives in all of this. After all, the best commanders are those who can gain victory with minimal losses.

    By Moraelin on Apr 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm

  50. I’d like to tell you that i am a gr8 fan of your site and this was the first video i saw from among yours on youtube. and as for new battles you want between muslims and christians i’d highly recommend the famous fall of constantinople that changes the whole era of world history. i was kinda surprized you didn’t put that on. rest are
    Battle of Manzikert
    Battle of Plassey
    Battle of Qadisiya
    Seige of Vienna
    Battle of Hittin
    you can add some new gr8 leaders like Alaud din Khilji, Akbar, Aurangzeb, Charlemagne, Joan of Arc, Henry V.
    Again i’d like 2 appreciate your impartiality and fairnessin your animations. Thanx.

    By Md.Zaid on Apr 6, 2012 at 4:40 pm

  51. this site is amazing! i wish there is more battles related to Subudei Bahadur. keep it up guys!

    By Syazwan on Jul 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm

  52. All I can say is “well done !”

    By The Slave on Aug 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm

  53. Very nice work.

    If you can, i would appreciate it if you made a similar animation for the battle of Qadissya. Rashidun vs Persians. Great battle by Sa’d ibn Aby Waqqas.

    By Omar on Sep 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm

  54. Like the animation, look forward to Alwalaja, but I disagree about the numbers, as most sources indicate 150-160k vs 40k (the 40 k is quite confirmed) and 70k vs 4k killed. your way of arriving at the numbers is fine except for the fact you ignored that the byzantines were joined by the armies of the christian arabs who were not part of the byzantine army per se but were in their army for the battle and suffered the greatest losses in the early stages.

    By Hussein Alramini on Jan 13, 2013 at 7:53 am

  55. Narrated with excellence and presented with brilliance.

    Its not just the divine help that won Khalid the battle. Superior tactics , planning , equipment and use of terrain. Lets not undermine the abilities of Khalid .

    By Aamer Khan on Jun 3, 2013 at 5:49 pm

  56. analar halid gibisini do?uramaz o seyfullaht?r biz türklerin müslüman olmas?na vesile olan tüm sahabilere minnettar?z allah onlardan raz? in?allah bizdende raz? olur.

    By turkish ottoman on Jul 21, 2013 at 11:36 pm

  57. It is interesting to note that there was apparently a previous or,if youlike, first battle of Yarmouk that did not take place. There were rumours of an invasion by the Byzantine army. The Muslim defenders arrived in Yarmouk in anticipation. But the Byzantines never arrived so after a while the defenders dispersed. Can you comment as to what was going on?

    By Mac Mahmood on Nov 9, 2013 at 8:38 pm

  58. Cool post, firstly some people need to stop it with the religious mumbo jumbo whether Muslim or Christian. I don’t think anyone with a sane mind would want war and murder. This however is history and unfortunately humans like other animals fight and kill each other, Romans themselves for a long time were killing machines( although i dont consider Byzantines true Roman civilisation,society religion culture was much different, regardless if they built roads, were accepting of other people doesn’t change the fact they still invaded people without justification even in the Italian peninnsula ! When they attacked the Greek cities of magna gracia for example or Parthia.) But the point is they were not alone every empire behaved in a similar way , it was the way the world works and probably still is. I hope we can in the future rise above the idea of war and conflict and understand cooperation and coexistence is better for humans as a whole. Sorry for my off topic post and bad grammar( lol typing on my nexus)after reading the religious peoples comments i was just really annoyed. One question ,is this really considered medeival history? I thought was late antiquity. Also I think the fact Muslims just had a prophet with a new religion and with that prophecies of becming a major force in the world the Muslim forces had higher morale, better cohesion and were united in their aims which really helped, regardless Khalid bin walid was a military genius, interestingly he was the only non Muslim who was able to defeat the Muslim army and physically attack Muhammed in uhud.

    By nomnom on Feb 19, 2014 at 1:05 am

  59. Christians and Muslims, hatred spilling from their blood!

    By Keaton on Jul 7, 2014 at 7:34 pm

  60. there is thisone element which leaves me flabbergasted..andthat is about communicating to infantry about when to move back andwhen to attack amongst the whole melee. How did these commanders undertook such mass communication within their army units during the battle times?

    By curious on Jul 15, 2014 at 1:45 am

  61. You might find the book, “The Great Arab Conquests” by John Baggot Glubb, “Glubb Pasha”, creator of the Arab Legion to add much to the analysis of this battle. Had the wave of pan-Arabism that swept the Arab world in the 1950’s not forced King Hussein of Jordan to dismiss Glubb, the 1967 war would most likely have had a very different outcome.

    By Hal KLegman on Jul 25, 2014 at 5:10 am

  62. As I recall, the Byzantine Empire set up themes in reaction to the loss of most of the East at some point following the Battle of the Yarmuk, settling the former armies of the empire in Anatolia as farmer/soldiers. And that historians cannot determine if this took place during Heraclius’ reign or that of his son and successor. In either of which case, themes did not exist at the time of Yarmuk.

    So the presence of 7 themes in Asia Minor is reporting an anachronism. Which also ignores that much of the Byzantine force at the Yarmuk were Christian Arabs such as the Ghassanids, which being auxilliaries and clients were not necessarily enrolled in the Byzantine Army anyway. And I also think that putting that army at 150,000 immediately following its decades long and ruinous war with Persia is just too high.

    By Kurt NY on Sep 4, 2014 at 6:11 pm

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