Battle of Hattin

Crusades - Battle of Hattin
Mr. Odren
Overview of Battle Area
Background of Battle
• Although Crusaders (they did not use the
term until centuries later) still controlled
Jerusalem and most areas of Holy Land, the
Muslim forces under Saladin were uniting
and growing.
• There was increasing dissention in Jerusalem
with the elevation of Guy of Lusignan to the
throne in 1186.
• Existed an uneasy truce with Saladin
Background of Battle
• Raynald of Chatillon continually raided Muslim
caravans in the Holy Land leading Saladin to
renew war.
• Although there is dissention; King Guy of
Lusignan is joined by leading knights, Raymond
III of Tripoli, and Balian of Ibelin in support
against Saladin.
• They wanted to engage Saladin before he could
gather an even larger army
• They gather a Crusader army of around 20,000
men near Acre. Advancing, they occupied a strong
position near the springs at Sephoria.
Events leading up to Battle
• The Crusader army decides under Guy leadership
to leave their well defended and supplied position
and advance across the desert to meet Saladin
who is attacking Raymond's fortress at Tiberias
on July 2
• This decision plays right into Saladin’s strength to
fight in the open with his more mobile and better
supplied army
• Forces the heavily armed Crusaders to march
across desert without proper water supply
Battle of Hattin
• Crusader army camps at Saffuriya about 6 miles
from Tiberias
• Have to cross a plain with little water supply
• Army is tired and thirsty
• As they march, they come under constant attacks
by Saladin cavalry
• Forced to stop advance
• At night, harassed by Saladin through noise and at
light burning brush which caused smoke to blow
which covered Saladin troop movements and
caused further discomfort to Crusader army
Movement of Armies
Knights Attack
• Knights makes several attempts to break through
Saladin lines to get to Hattin and water. No
• Raymond and small force do break through, but
can provide no assistance, eventually leaving for
• Saladin forces used crescent shape maneuver to
receive Crusader knight attacks, draw them in and
surround them, eventually wear down tired and
thirsty Crusader army
• Foot soldiers make run for water, knights driven
off their horses eventually either killed or
captured by overwhelming force
Battle at Hattin
Victory for Saladin
• Approx. 150 knights surrender
including Guy, Reynald and Balian.
• Many executed including Raynald,
and all Templers and Hospitallers.
• Large number sold into slavery
• King Guy was later freed after
literally paying a “king’s ransom”
• Saladin victory partly due to failure
of logistics, planning, and common
sense of the Crusaders and due to
Saladin’s patience and strategy
Surrender at Hattin
• Beginning of the end for Crusaders
• Some 30 Crusader castles fell within next
• Jerusalem left with small force under Balian
who was released by Saladin. Eventually
also surrenders.
• The struggles for Holy Land would go on,
but at Hattin the Crusaders threw away any
advantage and perhaps their chances for
winning in the long term.
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