Why was the First Crusade a success?


Why was the First Crusade a success?

The main reasons that contirbuted to the success of the first crudsade were:

  • Strong military leadership
  • Muslim disunity 
  • Clear aims & peparation & motivation
  • Support from Byzantium  


Strong military leadership

This was demonstrated at Dorylaeum in July 1097, through Bohemund of Taranto's military tactics, which held off the Muslim forces for long enough that Godfrey and Baldwin were able to join the vanguard. 

Baldwin and Tancred left to pursue other objectives (land and wealth) in the form of Tausus and Edessa.

Baldwin was able to delay Kerbogha's army at Edessa for long enough that the crusaders could get into Antioch.

Baldwin was also able to keep his brother's (Godfrey's) army better supplied due to controlling Edessa. 

Bohemund at Antioch, he was the one who enabled them to get into the city in May 1098. He also marched out and maintained the formation which enabled them victory against the more powerful army of Kerbogha in June 1098.

Bohemund and Raymond of Tolouse quarrelled over ownership of Antioch, at its worst they were occupying opposite sides of the city and claiming it as their own.

Bishop Adhemar of le puy died in August 1098, meaning they lost a central leadership figure. 

They (Raymond) weren't able to keep soldiers fully supplied, as shown by rumours of cannibalism at Ma'arrat.

Also at Ma'arrat foot soldiers dismantled the city in order to move Raymond on, suggesting he was more interested in gaining land than being a strong leader and taking Jerusalem.

Raymond unnecessarily besieged Arqa.

Godfrey moved the siege tower to enable an attack on Jerusalem in


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