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Battle of Al Mansurah

The Seventh Crusade was prosecuted by King Louis IX in response to yet another loss of Jerusalem. His goal was similar to that endorsed by Richard I during the waning of the Third Crusade and attempted during the Fifth: win Jerusalem by first occupying Ayyubid Egypt. To that end, Louis won a contested amphibious landing in Egypt on 5 Jun 1249 and occupied Damietta while his opponent, Fakhr al-Din, fell back on Mansoura. To avoid the Nile flood season Louis did not move to al-Din until November and then puzzled over crossing the Tanis, all the while suffering harassment from the Egyptianson the opposite bank. With the discovery of a ford, a mounted contingent finally crossed at dawn on 8 Feb 1250. It was an undisciplined charge, led by the king's brother Robert, that was Louis’ undoing: it continued into the narrow confines of Mansoura where it was cut apart by a garrison of Mamluks. Having beaten back the ensuing counterattack, Louis clung stubbornly to his position until disease and starvation forced his retreat in April. That turned into a bloody rout and Louis, himself suffering from dysentery, was captured and subsequently ransomed. The tactical failures of the crusade fatally shifted the balance of power away from Christian and Ayyubid alike: Mamluk hegemony in the Levant was on the ascent.

Owner/Source14th century illustration. Published in the U.S. before 1923 and public domain in the U.S.
File nameMansura_battle_1250.jpg
File Size60.39k
Dimensions450 x 308
Linked toCharles I de France, Comte d'Anjou, King of Sicily (Military); Louis IX de France, King of France (Military); Robert I de France, Count of Artois (Death); Jean de Joinville, Seigneur de Joinville, Seneschal of Champagne (Military); William Longespée (Death)

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