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On June 26, 1187, the Muslim Sultan Saladin crossed the river Jordan with 20,000 of his followers “ an army consisting of roughly 12,000 light horsemen and a number of footmen to a location south of the Sea of Galilee where he and his men encamped.
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On June 26, 1187, the Muslim Sultan Saladin crossed the river Jordan with 20,000 of his followers – an army consisting of roughly 12,000 light horsemen and a number of footmen to a location south of the Sea of Galilee where he and his men encamped. They had been ravaging the nearby countryside in hopes of provoking a Christian attack, but had been unsuccessful. The Frankish Christians led by King Guy in Jerusalem had also mobilized their own army and camped at the spring at Saffuriyah . Marshall W. Baldwin says that the Franks too had an army 20,000 strong,...
hold out and where. As Baldwin notes: "This is the tragic significance of Hattin. It was a battle that perhaps need not have been fought and certainly should not have been lost"25. It was a clear case of military strategy at its best; obviously not on the part of the crusaders, but by their adversary. It was not long before Saladin went on to conquer the territories surrounding Jerusalem, and then the city itself. With Saladin spread the nightmare that the Christians had fought against so vigorously during the first crusade; with Saladin, the Mosque26 was returned to Jerusalem.
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