Why did the Second Crusade fail in 1148?

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  • Why did the Second Crusade Fail?
    • 2. Poor Leadership
      • Louis VII marched troops along Turkish coast and the Templars were forced to take lead
      • Eleanor of Aquitaine believed Louis to be 'more monk than man'
      • Damascus
        • poor strategy
        • moved position from the Orchard
        • 4 day long siege
      • Council of Acre
        • Why decide to take Damascus?
        • Jerusalem (Melisende) making this decision rather than Louis and Conrad
      • Raymond of Antioch's motives - not interested in Edessa
      • Effect of the rumour about Eleanor and Raymond
      • did not unify the two armies under one force
      • Routes of the Crusade
        • French through Lisbon
        • Germans through Wend country
        • travel along the Turkish coast
    • 3. Lack of a clear aim
      • Aim to recapture Edessa was vague and wishful
      • Council of Acre - Why Damascus?
      • Following the siege of Lisbon, Crusaders remained as they believed that they had done their duty to God by fighting the Muslims
        • also a waste of resources, men and time
      • Wends
        • allowed for corrupted ideas
      • Edessa was taken four years before the Crusader's arrived in the Holy Land
    • 4. Lack of Support from Byzantium
      • Manuel I had made an alliance with Turks due to threat of Roger of Sicily (a Norman) rather than support the Crusaders
        • Turks wanted to expand south towards Egypt - away from Byzantium - alliance took this threat away from them
      • Unlike the First Crusade, Manuel had not requested support from the West, instead saw the Crusaders as a threat
      • Some French soldiers attmepted to convince Louis VII to attack Constantinople Louis refused
      • Manuel hadn't supplied troops (such as Takitios) or aid the army in any way as they marched into Anatolia
      • If the Crusaders took back Edessa there was a concern that they would push into Byzantine territory
    • 1. Muslim Unity
      • Jihad - finally united under the banner of Holy War
      • Nur ad-Din had a strong united army
        • victory of Raymond of Antioch in 1149
          • although after the Second Crusade - shows how powerful the Muslims had become
      • Zengi initiated unity at Field of Blood '19 and Edessa '44
      • Easily defeated Conrad's army at Dorylaeum in 1147
      • Believed God was on their side
  • FC a far easier enemy that was divided, and able to form alliances. however, now they faced an enemy that was nearly completely united under Jihad
  • the FC Byzantium support had been crucial for support and lines of communication. A joint expedition may have succeeded against the newly unified Muslims, but Byzantium refused to offered any support. Could be argued that the Byzantine's would prefer to see the Crusaders fail in order to weaken the effect of Roger II of Sicily
  • The second Crusade, became a completely different feat for the Crusaders. During the First Crusade, they faced an enemy that was divided and far easier to defeat. As well as the ability to form alliances with different Muslim tribes as a result of mutual hatred. However, during the Second Crusade it was evident that the Crusaders were facing a new enemy, one that had nearly been fully united under Jihad. 
  • The Second Crusade started out as a campaign to take back Edessa from the Muslims. That was the original aim for the Crusaders. However, there was no real thought put into how this would happen, nor how the two armies would unite to fight the Muslims. Furthermore, once decided that the Crusaders would not try to attempt to take Edessa back, there was no real strategy in place to take Damascus, one of the major cities in Muslim territory and as a result became a humiliating defeat for the Crusaders. 


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