"Heinrich von Plauen, commander of the Teutonic Knights' defences at Marienburg Castle, calms his companions as a missile from one of the Polish-Lithuanian siege weapons crashes through the roof, during the siege that followed the battle of Tannenberg in 1410. Gouache painting by Graham Turner - image size 13"x 17" (33 x 43cm)"
American soldiers returning from Vietnam faced a similarly disconnected homecoming. And so did Jacques de Molay and the last crusaders. Europe had moved on, and the battles they had bled for no longer seemed valued by most of the people or rulers in whose name they had fought.
"Massacre in Shansi, The Third Crusade. Richard the Lionheart ordered the slaughter of . . . over 3,000 prisoners, women and children included. They were all mercilessly beaten to death, axed and cut down by swords and lances. A Muslim force, so enraged by this act, attempted to charge the crusader lines but was repeatedly beaten back, allowing Richard and his army to retire in good order. Thus concluded one of the most unusually ruthless battles/massacres, even by Crusades’ standards."
Leaders of First Crusade - 19th-century illustration, "The four leaders of the First Crusade.--Godfrey, Raymond, Boemund, Tancred," drawn by A. de Neuville. This illustration depicts Godfrey of Buillon, Raymond IV of Toulouse, Bohemond I and Tancred of Hauteville. The four led the Christian army to victories at Jerusalem and Antioch during the First Crusade.
November 27, 1095: Pope Urban II Orders First Crusade On this day in 1095, Pope Urban II gave rise to the Crusades by calling all Christians in Europe to wage war against Muslims in order to reclaim the Holy Land. Pope Urban’s brutal and bloody war was the first of seven major military campaigns, known as the Crusades, fought over the next two centuries.