Richard and Saladin
that Richards horse had been killed, Saladin sent him a new horse! 42 As a result, they suffered great numbers of casualties, the knights taking a bloody revenge for all they had had to endure earlier in the battle. Once their squadrons were back in order, Richard led his knights in a second charge and the forces of Saladin broke once again. Richard organized the advance with attention to detail. 19 Estimates of the size of the opposing armies edit The Itinerarium Regis Ricardi implies that the Ayyubid army outnumbered the Crusaders three-to-one. He saw Frankish infantrymen with from one to ten arrows sticking from their armoured backs marching along with no apparent hurt, whilst the crossbows struck down both horse and man amongst the Muslims.
The front of the army was composed of dense swarms of skirmishers, both horse and foot, Bedouin, Sudanese archers and the lighter types of Turkish horse archers. 1997 The Chronicle of the Third Crusade: The Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi, Ashgate. During the night the Saracen dead were looted. 189 Itinerarium, Book.
25 26 The first Saracen attack did not come until all the crusaders had left their camp and were moving towards Arsuf. Although pressed for time he proceeded at a relatively slow pace. There were risks in this, because the army was not only marching under severe enemy provocation, but the troops were suffering from heat and thirst. The twelve corps were organised into five larger formations, though their precise distribution is unknown. 23 Organisation and deployment of the armies edit At dawn on 7 September 1191, as Richard's forces began moving out of camp enemy scouts were visible in all directions, hinting that Saladin's whole army lay hidden in the woodland. The International History Review. Stubbs 1864 ;. In an attempt to destroy the cohesion of the Crusader army and unsettle their resolve, the Ayyubid onslaught was accompanied by the clashing of cymbals and gongs, trumpets blowing and men screaming war-cries. Saladins reputation for generosity, religiosity, and commitment to the higher principles of a holy war have been idealized by Muslim sources and by many Westerners including Dante, who placed him in the company of Hector, Aeneas, and Caesar as a virtuous pagan. In order to do this he needed to commit his entire army to a serious attack. Richard knew that the charge of his knights needed to be reserved until the Ayyubid army was fully committed, closely engaged, and the Saracens' horses had begun to tire.
First, Saladin was a strict Muslim. To the soldiers of Saladin's army, as Baha al-Din noted, the sudden change from passivity to ferocious activity on the part of the Crusaders was disconcerting, and appeared to be the result of a preconceived plan. 14 15 By early September, Saladin had realised that harassing the Frankish army with a limited portion of his troops was not going to stop its advance.
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