Battle of Arsuf

1191 battle of the Third Crusade / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Battle of Arsuf took place on 7 September 1191, as part of the Third Crusade. It saw a multi-national force of Crusaders, led by Richard I of England, defeat a significantly larger army of the Ayyubid Sultanate, led by Saladin.

Quick facts: Battle of Arsuf, Date, Location, Result, Terr...
Battle of Arsuf
Part of the Third Crusade
19th-century depiction of the battle by French painter Éloi Firmin Féron (1802–1876)
Date7 September 1191
Near Arsuf (present-day Israel)
32°12′09″N 34°48′45″E
Result Crusader victory[1]
Crusaders control central coast of Palestine (including Jaffa)
Angevin Empire
Kingdom of France
Kingdom of Jerusalem
Knights Hospitaller
Knights Templar
Contingents from other states
Ayyubid Sultanate
Commanders and leaders
Richard I, King of England
Hugh III, Duke of Burgundy
Guy of Lusignan
Garnier de Nablus
Robert IV of Sablé
James of Avesnes 
Henry II, Count of Champagne
Al-Afdal ibn Saladin
Aladdin of Mosul
Musek, Grand Emir of the Kurds 
Al-Muzaffar Taqi al-Din Umar
11,200 (total)[2][3]
  • 10,000 infantry
  • 1,200 heavy cavalry
25,000 cavalry[2]
Casualties and losses
c.700 killed (est.)[4] (Itinerarium) c.7,000 killed (est.)[5] (Itinerarium)

Following the Crusaders' capture of Acre, Saladin moved to intercept Richard's advancing army just outside of the city of Arsuf (Arsur in Latin) as it moved along the coast from Acre towards Jaffa. In an attempt to disrupt the cohesion of the Crusader army as they mobilized, the Ayyubid force launched a series of harassing attacks that were ultimately unsuccessful at breaking their formation. As the Crusaders crossed the plain to the north of Arsuf, Saladin committed the whole of his army to a pitched battle. The Crusader army maintained a defensive formation as it marched, with Richard awaiting the ideal moment to mount a counterattack. However, after the Knights Hospitaller launched a charge at the Ayyubids, Richard was forced to commit his entire force to support the attack. The Crusader charge broke the Ayyubid army; Richard was able to restrain his cavalry from a rash pursuit, regrouping them to achieve victory.

Following the engagement, the Crusaders secured control over the central coast of Palestine, including the city of Jaffa.