The First Crusade

The First Crusade 1096

The first crusade to the Holy Lands were led by Bishop Adhemar. There was a total of five armies for the first crusade and each army was led by a nobleman. There were many wealthy nobleman across Europe that were sympathetic to the Christian cause of reclaiming is Holy Lands from the Muslim Turks and it was easy to recruit armies to fight for the Christian cause during the first crusade.

First crusade army

Many people wanted to be soldiers in the first crusade and there were many volunteers, the Pope had told criminals and excommunicated people that they would be given a pardon and made free if they came back alive from fighting the Muslims armies in the first crusade. There were criminals. knights and former barbarian soldiers amongst others within the first crusade armies.

First crusade main battle

The armies of the first crusade were truly heroic and fought against almost impossible odds. Just 30,000 crusaders troops were commanded by a warrior named Bohemond, under his direction these first crusade armies were able to keep at bay an army of 360,000 Muslim Turks. The Crusader armies were very disciplined and organised and fought as one, however the Turkish armies were disorganised and indisciplined and there was much infighting within the Muslim armies ranks.

Crusades Map

Map showing information on the Crusade routes

The first crusade and the holy lance

During the first crusade the Crusader armies were under immense pressure from the sheer numbers of Muslim Turk soldiers, and at one point they were struggling to hold them back, legend has it that in a particularly bad point of the battle for the crusader armies the holy lance that pierced the body of Jesus when he was crucified was found, this was considered to be a miracle amongst the Christian troops and this renewed and strengthen their resolve to win the battle.

The first crusade and the holy lance

There was a lot of rivalry and infighting amongst the Muslim armies who throughout history have never trusted one another and before the Christian crusaders could even reach the walls of Jerusalem, the Muslim Turks who were in control of Jerusalem at that time had been defeated in battle by Fatimid Muslims

The first crusade and the Fatimid Muslims

The first crusade had been started to reclaim the Holy lands from Muslim Turks, it had not been decided to fight all Muslims many of whom had very different views on the world, and in fact the Fatimid Muslims were quite tolerant of Christian people are more willing to share the Holy city with the crusaders and give them safe passage to Jerusalem and Mount Zion. The battle hardened crusaders however were in no mood for negotiation and decided that they would capture the Holy lands of Jerusalem for the Christian faith against all Muslims, this would escalate the first crusades into a Holy war against all Muslims and the Islamic religion.

First Crusade | the taking of Jerusalem

In 1099 the Christian crusaders were finally at the walls of Jerusalem and were in no mood to take any prisoners. The crusaders used battering Rams and Siege towers to break through and scale the walls of Jerusalem. Once inside the walls the crusaders went on a rampage slaughtering everyone in their path, it is described as being a bloodbath with bodies knee deep and blood everywhere. At the end of the battle over 70,000 Muslims and Jews had been killed and Jerusalem was now officially a Christian city.

Saladin the Great

Saladin the Great Muslim leader

The first crusade facts:

  • Five armies that numbered 30,000 troops gathered for the first crusade
  • Criminals were allowed to join the first crusade armies in return for their freedom
  • 30,000 Crusader soldiers fought against and defeated 360,000 Muslim soldiers in the first crusade
  • The Christian army in the first crusade was led by Bohemond
  • There was a lot of infighting within the Muslim armies ranks during the first crusades
  • It is believed the holy lance which pierced Jesus body was found in battle during the first crusades
  • The first crusades original purpose was to reclaim the Holy lands from Muslim Turks
  • The first crusade eventually escalated into a Holy war against all Muslims and the Islamic religion
  • In 1099 Christian crusaders used battering Rams and siege towers to penetrate the walls of Jerusalem
  • In 1099 Christian crusaders recaptured Jerusalem after a bloody battle
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