The Battle of Ascalon 1099

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The final battle of the first crusade, fought a month after the fall of Jerusalem to the crusaders. Jerusalem had been in the hands of the Fatamid Caliphate of Egypt, and the vizier of Egypt, al-Afdal, raised a 50,000*(this number is debated by historians and our re enactment uses a more conservative number of 25,000) strong army to recapture the city.

News of his advance soon reached Godfrey of Bouillon, by now the Guardian of Jerusalem, who called the scattered crusaders together. Their combined forced assembled close to Ascalon on 11 August. The 10,000* (9,000 Infantry and 1,000 Knights) crusaders were outnumbered possibly by as much as five to one by the Egyptian army, but the Fatamid forces were vastly inferior to the crusaders or to the Turks, still resembling the armies of the original Arab outpouring centuries before. On the morning of 12 August, the crusaders formed up and charged quickly, catching al-Afdal entirely by surprise. His army dissolved, almost without resistance. The victorious crusaders harried the Egyptians as far as Ascalon, although internal jealousy between the crusaders prevented the capture of the city. Al-Afdal escaped back to Egypt, but the battle secured the success of the First Crusade and their occupation of Jerusalem.The Heavy Cavalry were in disarray prior to the battle

The Al-Afdal Shahanshah‘s Army

On the morning of 12 August, the crusaders formed up and charged quickly, catching al-Afdal entirely by surprise. His army dissolved, almost without resistance. But there is more to the story.

 

Infidel
Pikemen, Foot Knights and Archers cross the Plain of Ashod

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many Knights by this time of the Crusade had lost their mounts but continued to fight on foot. Flemish, Norman and troops from the Lorraine and Provencal all fought here.

Godfrey and his knights on the left flank

In the early stages Bedouin cavalry attempted to flank the Crusaders.

Godfrey and his Knights fought them off.

The Vizier had retired with his forces to a a plain outside of Asaclon and were preparing to rally forth and siege Jerusalem and recapture it.

Unbeknownst to them the Crusaders led by Godfrey, Raymond and Robert of Flanders were about to pounce upon them.

 

 

 

The Palestinian Army rushing to battle positions

According to history it was a short bloody affair. Al-Afdal left his camp and wagon train and treasure in order to survive.  They fled into the fortified city of Asaclon.

Thence back to Egypt.

The battle secured the success of the First Crusade and their occupation of Jerusalem.

See the reenactment and what else transpired at www.youtube.com/user/hipshot071o the BigBoard Channel

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