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Answers: Study The Sieges Of Antioch And Jerusalem During The First Crusade And Acre During The Third Crusade. Describe The Logistical Hardships Of Mounting A Siege In Foreign Territory.

1576 words - 6 pages

Study the sieges of Antioch and Jerusalem during the first crusade and Acre during the Third Crusade. Describe the logistical hardships of mounting a siege in foreign territory. Compare the means and ends of each campaign. How did the Crusaders act toward Jews and Muslims.Just as the developing warfare of the West, sieges were more common during the Crusades than were actual battles, and in the broader scope, the outcomes of these sieges were of more importance in the East, where territory was won and controlled step by step, city and castle, one at a time. From the onset, it was obvious to the Crusaders that they must establish a base of operations within the perimeter of the Islamic stranglehold, and the natural selection was the city once great Roman city of Antioch. It was the siege of Antioch on which the entire first expedition's success depended on, and it was with such desperation that the Christian armies besieged the city in 1097.The actual attempt of besieging was a military nightmare to begin with; the country surrounding the city was a mixture of plains, marsh, highlands, and river tributaries. The Muslims, under the leadership of Yaghi-Sian, increased the difficulties with sorties and arrows volleys, and essentially ended the crusader attempts of scaling the walls via belfries, and forced them to rely upon the blockade. It was during the blockade operations that the hardships already experienced by the crusaders became almost unbearable (and to those that deserted, it was unbearable). At Antioch, just three months after the blockade began, prices skyrocketed to a level that the less noble soldier was forced to live on reduced rations or go without food and risk starvation; however, after the fifth month, a small relief finally arrived by way of Genoese ships delivering rations.It was through an invaluable local helping hand that the Christians were finally able to penetrate the walls of Antioch. On the same night the Muslims planned to execute all untrustworthy Christians, Firuz Beni-Zarra made the ultimate sacrifice by killing his own brother to disguise his true loyalty, and used the situation to extend a rope ladder to Bohemond. Bohemond led the assault upon the Tower of the Two Sisters and once the Gate of the Bridge was opened, panic ensued as the Christians began their unflinching slaughter of the Muslims. However, even with the main city of Antioch won, the Turks still maintained control of the citadel, and with the arrival of a relief army, Kerbogha presented the 'rock and the hard place' scenario to the Christians.It was at this time, with crusader spirits at their lowest, that the ever-reputable discovery of the holy lance by Peter Bartholomew. Claiming to have the location of the lance presented him in a vision, Peter dug up the holy lance, and regardless of the event's authenticity, the crusaders were engulfed in a newfound hope. After a five-day fast, and the 'presence' of St. George and a holy army coming to aid the...

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