Barbaric Act by English Templar

Acre - mass execution

Mass execution at Acre

King Richard I (The Lionheart) a skilled warrior much remembered for his crusading exploits in the Holy Land.  Richard showed his true colours at Acre, a cruel and merciless warrior.

His crusaders faced the might of Saladin’s army, and the prize on offer; Acre Castle.

On the 12th July 1192, the crusaders were victorious, for they had captured Acre Castle and taken 3,000 prisoners.

Richard demanded a ransom of Saladin for the lives of the 3,000 captives.  Saladin unable to raise the money, agreed payments by instalments.  When one payment was delayed, Richard was not prepared to wait, and showed Saladin… no mercy.

On the 20th August 1192, he beheaded 3,000 captives on the castle walls, their heads fell to the ground, and the ground ran deep red in blood.

An act of barbarism had taken place, dished out by an English Knight and Templar.

Image: Wikipedia

Third Crusade: Teutonic Knights

The Teutonic Knights

The Teutonic Knights

The Teutonic Knights of St.Mary’s Hospital of Jerusalem was founded on the 19th November 1190, during the third crusade, and built its hospital within the city walls.  Duke Frederick of Swabia supplied Conrad a hospital chaplain and Burchard a steward to assist.

It began life, like the Templars, one of charity, protection and medical services, for injured pilgrims and knights, and gradually turned to a military order, ever seeking sovereign power.

On the 6th February 1191, they were legalized by Pope Clement III, and received the protection of Pope Celestine III in 1196, and on the 5th March celebrated the brotherhood, a Knightly Order consisting of some forty knights were confirmed, an exclusively order of German Knights.

The emblem of the order; a cross potent sable, granted to them by the Emperor, Henry VI in 1197.

On the 19th February 1199, Pope Innocent III conferred upon the Teutonic Knights, the wearing of a Templars White Mantle, and the drawing up of the Order’s Statues.  In 1211, these knights had their uniforms approved by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Pope.  These knights were divided into two classes; knights and priests.  The priests took monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, attended Mass and administered sacraments to the knights, along with their duties to offer aid to the sick and fight the infidels.

From 1211-1215 Teutonic Knights settled in Burzenland, a request of King Andrew of Hungary, with the aim of freeing Transylvania from the Cumani pagan people.

In 1214, the Grand Master of the Order was granted the right of action, one backed in name, of the Imperial Court.  Frederick II with the support of Pope Honorius II, saw that the Teutonic Knights received many of the privileges as confirmed upon the Knights Templar and Hospitallers.

On the 18th March 1228, Frederick II was crowned King of Jerusalem in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

On the 18th May 1291, Acre fell to the Muslims, and they were expelled from the Holy Land, alongside the Knights Templar and Hospitallers.

On the 9th September 1309, the Teutonic Knights established itself in Marienburg, West Prussia, and the Grand Master; Siegfried von Feuchtwangen of the Order took over management of the country.

The Order of the Teutonic Knights had become a governing aristocracy, with the Grand Master as King and the Pope as Emperor.  Its subjects were heathens, and little more than peasants.

In 1328 the Teutonic Knights went to war against Poland, and lost West Prussia, but retained East Prussia.

In 1525, Grand Master Albrecht, turned Protestant, and went on to create a Duchy under Poland.  It was during this time, that it had been put forward, that the Order of the Teutonic Knights should be disbanded.   What actually took place; the order was confined to Germany, and its Grand Master became Prince of the Empire.

On the 4th April 1809, the dissolution of the order took place by Napoleon, and was restored by the Congress of Vienna on the 28th April, minus their properties.  Come 1840 it was fully revived in Austria, by its Emperor.

On the 6th September 1938, the Austrian Order was disbanded, and not revived until 1947.

Image: Wikipedia

The Third Crusade

Third Crusade

The Third Crusade

On the 4th July 1187, Saladin the Sultan of Egypt, came face to face with the 20,000 strong Christian army, commanded by Guy de Lusignan, the King of Jerusalem.  An exhausted and dehydrated Christian Army met Saladin’s forces at the “Battle of Hattin,” in the hills behind Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee.

Thousands of Christian warriors lost their lives, other’s captured and thrown into chains, and Guy de Lusignan, captured.  The Holy Cross that had been carried into battle, was lost, and became one of the spoils of victory for Saladin.

Saladin’s victory, led to Christian held cities opening their gates to him, followed by Jerusalem, who after a short siege accepted him as leader.

News of the disaster in the Holy Land, spread across Western Christendom…  Public opinion demanded that the Kings of England and France should rescue Jerusalem the Holy City.

On the 29th October 1187, Pope Gregory VIII sent greetings and an apostolic benediction, to men of God.  He called upon the warriors of God, to take up arms and free Jerusalem from these infidels.  Thousand’s answered the reply, sewing the sign of the cross upon their garments.

King Philip Augustus of France, King Richard I of England and the German emperor; Frederick Barbarossa took the cross, believing in the restoration of Christian supremacy.  Each ruler, each commander headed a large army, destined to take back the Holy City of Jerusalem.

On the 11th May 1189, the sixty year old, Holy Roman Emperor; Frederick Barbarossa, set out, believing this would be the crowning act of his career.  His forces travelled overland, rejected by the Byzantine Empire, crossed into Asia.  In May of 1190 defeated the Turks of Armenia, but they suffered much from thirst, hunger and constant ambushes.  Thousands died on route, just laid down and died.

Survivors of this traumatic journey, negotiated the Taurus mountains, and into the valley of the Goksu, and the fast flowing river.  The heat was so intense, that Barbarossa sought the coolness of the water’s, plunging in without thought, and his troops were stunned, when their commander drowned before their eyes, on the 10th June 1190.

King Richard the Lion-Heart, successor to Henry II of England and King Philip Augustus, successor to King Louis of France, would go side by side on Crusade, not because they were friends, but because they be enemies.  Whilst the King of England ruled half of France, they would remain enemies.

With their armies assembled, these two large armies were prepared to fight, side by side, as one.

The siege of Acre began in the summer of 1189, when Guy of Lusignan, the King of Jerusalem laid siege to the city, with but a small band of supporters.

Two years later in 1191, the crusader army led by King Richard I of England and King Philip II Augustus of France, arrived to break the stalemate that had existed.

Richard’s fleet intercepted and sank a Muslim vessel from Beirut, carrying supplies and reinforcements for the garrison.  After that time a blockade existed by land and sea, imposed by crusaders.

At one point, a tunnel was dug under the wall, supported by wooden beams, and then set alight.  As the beams burned, the walls collapsed, it had the desired effect; weakening Muslim forces.

By July of 1191, the garrison, the city had no choice but to surrender, for the city was rife with disease, and any hope of rescue by Saladin’s forces, appeared doubtful.  The siege had lasted from the 28th August 1189 to the 12th July 1191.

On the 31st July 1191, King Philip II and his forces, set sail for home.

King Richard I remained in the Holy Land, and left Acre on the 22nd August, and faced Saladin’s forces at Arsuf on the 11th September, a victorious victory was achieved by Christian knights.

King Richard I made a truce with Saladin, the terms laid down, permitted Christian’s access to Jerusalem, and holy sites.  In October of 1192, Richard sailed to England, as the third crusade drew to a close.

(Image) The Third Crusade: Wikipedia