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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311

II: The Third Crusade: Richard the Lionhearted and Philip Augustus,   pp. 44-85 PDF (16.5 MB)

Page 51

source suggests that Saladin released him for fear that his inability to
lead the armies of the kingdom would lead to his replacement by a more effective
monarch. Guy of Lusignan was a brave soldier, but he was a most incompetent
general and an ineffective king. 
 At any rate Guy mustered a small army and marched to Tyre. When he demanded
admission to this city, Conrad of Montferrat refused to open the gates. According
to one source, Conrad said that he had saved Tyre and it was his. Another
authority states that Conrad declared himself a mere lieutenant of the monarchs
of the west and unable to act without their orders. Whatever his arguments
may have been, Conrad clearly refused to recognize Guy's royal rights in
Tyre. He did, however, form an alliance with him against Saladin. Towards
the end of August, probably on the 27th, king Guy and his troops occupied
a hill near Acre, while the Pisan squadron that had escorted him down the
coast blockaded the port.10 In the Middle Ages all that was required for
a "siege" was a force camped near a hostile fortress. Hence contemporaries
called this the beginning of the siege of Acre. Actually it was nearly a
year before the crusading army could make a serious pretense of blockading
the city on the landward side. 
 Saladin was lying with a small force before the great fortress of Belfort
when he learned of Guy's march toward Acre. The sultan wanted to cut across
country to intercept the king, but his emirs insisted on the longer and easier
route by the main roads. Hence Guy was in position when Saladin arrived.
As the sultan did not have enough troops to attack the royal army in a position
of its own choosing, he was obliged to await the arrival of the vassal lords
whom he had summoned from the east. It was at this point that the crusading
fleets, which had left Europe in May, began to arrive. Guy's little body
of knights was reinforced by the followers of James of Avesnes, count Otto
of Guelders, earl William de Ferrers, Guy of Dampierre, the counts of Dreux
and Brienne, and other barons. But far more important than the feudal contingents
was the magnificent north European infantry, Danes, Frisians, and Saxons.
They were the men who made it possible for Guy to continue operations in
the face of Saladin's host. The Turks were mounted archers used to fighting
in broad, open fields. They could not withstand a charge by the heavy feudal
cavalry, but they could usually avoid it by rapid maneuvering. Their tactics
were to sweep 
 10 Itinerarium, pp. 20, 25-26, 61-62; Estoire, pp. 127-128, 130-134; Baha'-ad-Din,
pp. 143-144; Bernard le Trésorier, pp. 184-185, 252-253, 256-257;
Eracles, pp. 78-79, 120-121, 124-125, 131. 

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