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Author Topic:   Krak des Chevaliers
posted 01-27-2003 10:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moonlight   Click Here to Email moonlight     Edit/Delete Message
Does anyone have any information about specific battles fought at the Krak des Chevaliers (aka Crac des Chevaliers)? I know that there were twelve seiges, the last one ending in the castles's capture, but I would like to know more. By the way, this is for a school project. Thanks!

posted 01-30-2003 03:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter   Click Here to Email Peter     Edit/Delete Message
Dear Moonlight,
there is information on Krak, and some of the sieges there. even in brief it would be far too lengthy to type out here. far better to dig out a book(s) on the Crusades and see what it/they have to offer.
and although I know I have info somewhere, it would take me a few weeks to collate it it all.

posted 02-04-2003 05:12 PM           Edit/Delete Message
Ditto, but two books which describe the castle and it's sieges in great detail are already listed in the Castle Book Nook. The first may be hard to come by, the second less so. http://www.castlesontheweb.com/quest/Forum10/HTML/000097.html http://www.castlesontheweb.com/quest/Forum10/HTML/000072.html

'Demeure par la verite'
Visit; Gordon's Scottish Castles Resource Page

posted 02-18-2003 11:31 AM           Edit/Delete Message
Crac des Chevaliers began it's life as a Kurdish garrison known as Hosn al Akrad. It's site upon a hilltop overlooking the highways and fertile plains of the Homs Gap guaranteed it's continued strategic importance.
When the Crusaders arrived in the first week of January 1099 led by Raymond de Saint Giles, the local inhabitants fled with their cattle to take refuge within the existing fortress. When the crusaders began scaling the walls, the defenders opened the gates and chased out the cattle beleiving that they were about to lose everything. However, this caused confusion amongst the attackers who chased the cattle, allowing a counter attack against the crusader camp with St Giles almost captured.
The next night , the Saracens crept away into the night, and left St Giles and his force beseiging an empty castle.
The castle was not permanently garrisoned by the christians until 1110, when Tancred Prince of Antioch took it for Tripoli. It came to the Hospitallers in 1142 when ceded by Raymond 1 Count of Tripoli.
The Hospitallers were responsible for most of the building work on Crac, remodelling it on 4 occasions, and completely reconstructing it following an earthquake 1196.
The Saracens attacked and beseiged Crac in 1207, 1218, and 1265, however it's reputation for being the strongest of the Hospitaller sites deterred even Saladin from an attack at the height of his power in 1187.
The Hospitallers used it as a base for repeated harrasment of the Saracens and their lands/ supply routes.
It was lost to Baybars in 1271 who attacked following the collapse of the 2nd crusade of St Louis. He had again to extensively remodel and repaired the destruction caused by his mining teams. He had set up batteries of mangonels which destroyed the walls and allowed access to the castle suburbs, however torrential rain prevented the mangonels being brought to bear on the castle walls, and so mining work was begun. The south west tower collapsed, and the saracens accessed the outer ward. Ten days later, the Hospitallers were given a forged permission to surrender Crac, and were allowed to depart for Tripoli.

'Demeure par la verite'
Visit; Gordon's Scottish Castles Resource Page

[This message has been edited by Gordon (edited 02-19-2003).]

posted 02-20-2003 11:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moonlight   Click Here to Email moonlight     Edit/Delete Message
Thank you both Peter and Gordon for the information about Krak. Unfortuntaely,I had already turned in my paper when your 2-19-03 post was put up, Gordon, but I really appreciate your help. Thanks again!

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