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Editor says, what if the Crusaders had lost the Battle of Arsuf? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s). This article is part of the Generals thread.
In 1191,the Battle of Arsuf was lost because the indiscipline of the Hospitallers caused King Richard's tactical plan to unravel.
Saracen Victory at the Battle of ArsufThe culprit was the hotheaded Master Garnier de Nablus; he disobeyed orders to maintain position by charging into the Saracen ranks with a cry of St. George!. Richard knew that if he did not support the Hospitallers, they would soon be cut down and slaughtered. But while he mustered his forces, one of Saladin's commanders Muzaffar al-Din Gökböri reacted even more quickly and managed to rally his men to attack the enemy bowmen. Saladin's nephew Taqi al-Din then led seven hundred men of the Sultan's own bodyguard against Richard's left flank and the battle was lost.
Arsuf further enhanced Saladin's reputation, preventing the Crusader Army from occupying the port of Jaffa. Although it was a fatal blow to the Third Crusade, there was an upside because it forced Richard to return home and focus instead on the governance of his own neglected Kingdom.