Battle of Hattin 1187

walwyn Sun, 07/31/2011 - 23:34
Wednesday, June 3, 1187

By June 1187 the Crusader army of Guy of Lusignan King of Jerusalem,  and Raymond III of Tripoli were camped near the fortress overlooking Saffuriya near Nazareth, awaiting the arrival of Saladin's army. For both sides a favourable pitched battle ws desirable, though more so for Saladin then for the Crusaders who could wait him out and wait for his army to disperse.1

Saladin had tried to lure the Crusader army away from their stronghold to no avail, so on the 2nd of June moved the main force of his army into the foothils above the garrison town of Tiberias, and with a small force attacked the town itself, where Raymond's wife was. Tiberias fell the same day, when the tower was mined and the walls breached.2

On the evening of the 2nd of June the Crusader commands decided to march the fifteen miles to Tiberias, across the arid plateau of the Horns of Hattin. They set out on the morning of the 3rd of June and by midday had managed to march half way whilst being harrassed by Muslim forces.2 At this point a decision was made to halt, and the army spent the night without water on the open plain.3

On the following day the two armies faced each other, during the battle the exhausted Christian army was unable to keep formation, the infantry broke ranks and tried to make their way to the springs of Hattin, where they were killed by waiting Muslim forces. The Crusader Knights made several attempts to charge Saladin but were repulsed and finally herded together around the Holy Cross and King Guy.45

The loss of the main part of the Christian army, resulted in the recapture of Jerusalem and most of the other Crusader held cities in Palestine.6