Battle of Montgisard

Battle of Montgisard
Part of the Crusades
Schlacht von Montgisard 2.jpg
The Battle of Montgisard, 1177, by Charles Philippe Larivière
Date25 November 1177
Location
Montgisard (possibly Gezer), near Ramla
ResultDecisive Crusader victory
Belligerents
Vexillum Regni Hierosolymae.svg Kingdom of Jerusalem
Cross of the Knights Templar.svg Knights Templar
Flag of Ayyubid Dynasty.svg Ayyubids
Commanders and leaders
Vexillum Regni Hierosolymae.svg Baldwin IV
Vexillum Regni Hierosolymae.svg Raynald de Châtillon
Cross of the Knights Templar.svg Odo de St Amand
Flag of Ayyubid Dynasty.svg Saladin
Strength
  • 500 knights (within 80 templars)
  • 500 knights hospitallers
  • 4,000 infantry
21,000–26,000[1]
Casualties and losses

1,850


1,100 killed
750 wounded[1]
Heavy

The Battle of Montgisard was fought between the Ayyubids and the Kingdom of Jerusalem on 25 November 1177. The 16-year-old King Baldwin IV, seriously afflicted by leprosy, led an out-numbered Christian force against the army of Saladin. The Muslim army was quickly routed and pursued for twelve miles.[2] Saladin fled back to Cairo, reaching the city on 8 December.[1] Muslim historians considered Saladin's defeat to be so severe that it was only redeemed by his victory at the Horns of Hattin in 1187.[1]

Background

In 1177, King Baldwin IV, and Philip of Alsace who had recently arrived on pilgrimage, planned an alliance with the Byzantine Empire for a naval attack on Egypt; but none of these plans came to fruition.[3] Meanwhile, Saladin planned his own invasion of the Kingdom of Jerusalem from Egypt.[3] Learning of Saladin's plans, Baldwin IV left Jerusalem with, according to William of Tyre, only 375 knights to attempt a defense at Ascalon, but Baldwin was stalled there by a detachment of troops sent by Saladin. Saladin left part of his army to besiege Gaza and a smaller force at Ascalon and marched northward with the rest.[3]

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