What were the reasons for the success of the First Crusade 1095-1099

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  • Reasons for the success of the first crusade
    • Military Leaderships and tactics
      • Bohemond's leadership and tactics
        • Antioch 1098
      • became accustomed to the Turk's lightly armed archerers
        • The Turks were not accustomed to the heavy charges of the crusaders
      • Siege Towers at Antioch (1098) and Jerusalem (1099)
      • After Adhemars death, the Crusade became more of a military expedition
    • Muslim disunity
      • divided between the Sunni's and Shi'ites which is further split into tribes - fatimids and Atabeks
      • were not prepared for a full attack after the failures of the PC
      • some communities actually helped the crusaders to attack their rivals
      • They were also facing difficulties towards the East in Persia so they were even more divided
      • disunity meant that they were weak
    • Religious zeal
      • the whole Principle to go on Holy War
      • Fight for God against the muslims who were 'alien to God'
      • united by a single religion unlike the Turks
      • Discovery of the Holy Lance gave them hope and motivation at Antioch (1098)
      • Remission of sins if they fought
      • after every victory they believed that God had made it so, therefore they believed that God was pleased with them
      • "Deus Vult!"
      • Drove the the crusaders onwards after Adhemar of Le Puy died
    • Aid from the West and Byzantium
      • supplies were sent by the west eg timber used for siege towers
  • victory gave them confidence and motivation
  • Crusaders were incredibly driven by unshakeable determination to conquer Jerusalem and complete their pilgrimage that they persevered the many battles, marching and conditions to get there
  • the Crusaders fought with such strike and and speed and vigour in battle that the Muslim had no time to every call for reinforcments
  • The FC would have never have triumphed had the Franks faced a united enemy
  • without any supplies from the west, the crusaders would have struggled greatly from lack of food provisions and military supplies
  • compared to the PC, this Crusade had far better Military skill


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