Military Review

Dorley 1097: premiere was quite successful

In November, 1095, Pope Urban II (1042-1099) addressed a large gathering of nobilitet and French clergy in Clermont with an inspired sermon, during which he called for an expedition to help Eastern Christians - first of all, Byzantines - against the Turks, as well as the liberation of Jerusalem and other holy places from the hands of infidels

Dorley 1097: premiere was quite successful

Crusaders besiege Damascus. Chronicle of d'Ernol Bernard le Trezot (end of 15 c.). British Library. Actually, 1097 miniatures of the year have practically not survived, and who would have painted them under the walls of Doriley?

As is known, the truth of the religious plans of the Crusaders was often questioned, although it is clear that faith played a significant role in the causes of actions and representatives of the nobility, and ordinary people who "took the cross" and set off to liberate Jerusalem. Undoubtedly, the nobility was impressed by the likelihood of ownership of land, and thus to consolidate in the East as sovereign lords, while less well-born pilgrims, of whom there were most, would have arranged just a change of their fate for the better.

The crusade at that time was not considered as a campaign, as such, that is, a military action, but as a pilgrimage, for participation in which the Crusaders, according to the pope’s assurances, abstained from all sins. Naturally, they could rely on material remuneration in the event that the outcome of the hostilities was successful. Urbane's call entailed a violent reaction: many of the major nobles of Western Christianity immediately "took up the cross" and began to gather forces for the campaign. Among the leaders was the elder brother of the King of England and the younger - the king of France, not counting other, no less significant leaders. The kings themselves did not have the right to go camping because they were under papal excommunication imposed on them for numerous sins!

Urban planned the beginning of the 15 crusade of August next year, on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Up to this point, the princes and other nobles were given time to collect funds and people for the upcoming campaign. Thus, four large coalitions gradually took shape. North French were headed by Count Robert II of Flanders, Duke Robert II of Normandy (brother of King William II of England), Count Etienne de Blois, and also Count of South de Vermandois, the younger brother of the French sovereign.

The Provencal group of knights was headed by Count Raymond of Toulouse, the main commander of the entire crusade (he considered himself as such, although, in fact, he was not - note. Aut.), And Ademar, Bishop of Le Puy, he is also the papal legate - the official representative of the pope Roman in the army of the Crusaders. The Lorraine crusaders were “supervised” by the local duke, Godfroy of Bouillon (de Bouillon) and his brothers Eustache III, Count of Boulogne (de Boulogne), and Baudouin (usually called Baudouin of Boulogne). In addition, a significant role was played by the Norman knights from southern Italy, headed by Prince Boemon Tarantsky and his nephew Tancred. All these groups set off each with their own route with the goal of meeting and uniting under Constantinople.


In addition to the armies assembled by the princes, spontaneous, less organized "troops" were formed, not recognizing any discipline and not accepting submission. The masses of commoners led by Peter the Hermit or the Hermit were the most famous of these "formations". And although this army was considered badly armed and practically deprived of an organization by a gathering of the poor, the “army” of 20 000 people. still included the core of 700 knights and other fighters. And although it was a battle of professionals, he lacked two important components - a good commander and material resources. The Crusaders of this wave arrived in Constantinople in August 1096, that is, before the better organized forces came from Europe, and, despite the warnings of the Byzantine leadership, they demanded that they be immediately transported to the Asian coast, dominated by the Seljuks. Haste, no doubt, was a consequence of the lack of centralized command and the influence of supply problems. Unfortunately for them, October 21 members of the people's crusade clashed with the Kilich-Arslan Seljuks. The pilgrims fought well until the knights, who succumbed to the ruse of the lightly armed Turkish cavalry who had turned to the feigned flight, were surrounded and killed.

The siege of Constantinople by Christians in 1204. A miniature of their chronicle of Charles VII, Jean Cartier, near 1474 (sizes 32 × 23 cm (12.6 × 9.1 in)). National Library of France.

When the main combat detachment of the campaign and its leaders were taken out of the game, the remaining fighters and noncombatants turned into erratic flight, during which many died. About 3000 people escaped a general massacre and later joined the ranks of the First Crusade.


In the meantime, the other forces of the Crusaders marched in order to converge at Constantinople. The gathering lasted for several months, but Godfroy de Bouillon and the Lorraine crusaders arrived at the meeting site first, just on Christmas 1096. The last - at the end of April 1097 - the Boehon Tarantski reached the goal with the Normans from southern Italy and Raymond of Toulouse with troops from Provence and Languedoc. When the pilgrims approached Constantinople, serious disagreements arose between the main crusader and the Byzantine emperor Alexey I. In the end, with difficulty, agreement was achieved. The parties entered into an agreement regarding the fate of the territories, which, as expected, the Western pilgrims will win back from the Muslims. The treaty with the Byzantines was not an official union. Alexei had to take into account the complexity of the political situation, as well as the reaction of various Islamic states. And in the case of the failure of the crusader campaign, take into account the sad fate of the national crusade. As a result, military support from the imperial troops was limited. Nevertheless, the help of the emperor gave the crusaders a number of significant advantages.

The Byzantines provided military assistance, including a small army, led by the commander Tatikiah, who spoke as the representative of the emperor during the campaign. In addition, the Byzantines had small vessels that were used during the siege of Nicea. Indirect support was to provide information on the local political situation, geographical and topographical data, and information on the availability of weapons the adversary.


Toward the end of spring, the crusaders "made" a detailed plan of "hostilities" against the Seljuk Turks. Knights-warriors gathered a huge army, numbering around 70 000 people. This, together with a large number of non-combatants (the so-called "attendants" troops). However, there were quite a few of them who had a weapon, knew how to handle it, and thus could, if anything, stand in one row with the soldiers and fight no worse than them. There were women among the troops: wives, maids and whores. Thus, the "army" turned out absolutely huge, and it was clear that such an army had not yet happened in the XI century. The army in terms of quantity was three to four times the size of the army of William the Conqueror, the one that invaded Britain 31 a year earlier.

It is 6 May 1067 of the year. The main goal of the campaign - the city of Nikaia, which at that time was the capital of the Rumsky sultanate of Kilich-Arslan, was reached. The Sultan himself at that time was in the east. Trying to somehow gain time in this difficult political situation, the Sultan wanted to seize the opportunity to capture the ancient Roman fortress of Melitena. But, having received news of the approach of the Crusaders to the walls of his native city, where his family remained, he was forced to go back.


The Crusaders approached the walls of the city, and its siege began. Sultan was in no hurry to deploy the army for battle. This gave him the opportunity to either strengthen the military guard of the city, or to take the battle with the Christians in the field and thus force them to lift the siege. 16 May Kilich-Arslan attacked their army. They lined up, intending to block the passage through the southern gate of the city. At the beginning of the crusader squads missed the moment of striking, but the Provencal army managed to group and strike back at the enemy. In addition, the Turks are not lucky with the terrain. Attacking the Crusaders in the narrow gap between the city walls and the hills covered with thick forest, and not being able to quickly maneuver, Turkish horse archers suffered serious losses. The Crusaders, with strong equipment and superiority in physical strength, felt much more confident in battle and had more room to maneuver.

The defeated Sultan was forced to retreat, thus opening the way for the crusaders to the city walls. And a new wave of siege began. To capture the walls of the city, it was decided to use special mechanisms, and schemes for the construction of these machines and materials for their manufacture were provided by the Byzantines. The Crusaders also received ships to block the city from the lake, thus depriving defenders and citizens of the opportunity to import food and drinking water. In addition to building siege machines, the Crusaders took to dig a tunnel under the walls of the city.

When the battle began, the sultan's wife attempted to flee the city, but was captured by a Byzantine ship crew. Soon, the city’s defenders realized that the situation was hopeless and decided to tacitly surrender with the Greeks. The city was surrendered to Byzantine troops on the night of June 19.


Crusaders planned to move to Syria, Palestine and to their main goal - Jerusalem. The route was laid along the Byzantine military road leading south-east to Doriley, then crossing the Anatolian plateau and leaving in the direction of Syria. The route made it possible to establish relations with potential allies, the Christian principalities of Armenia, which could assist in the struggle against both the Turks and the Byzantines, the relations of the crusaders with whom they cracked immediately after Nikaia. The Crusaders did not waste time and continued the campaign at the earliest opportunity. Less than a week, as the first military units were removed from the scene. Given the size of the army and the absence of real command structures, the Crusader army was divided into two groups for convenience. Avant-garde, including the small Byzantine detachment Tatikia, consisted of no more than 20 000 people. The detachment consisted of Boemon Tarantsky, Tancred, Etienne Blouissky and Robert Normansky. The main forces following the avant-garde numbered over 30 000 people. These included detachments of Count Robert of Flanders, Godfroy of Bouillon, Raymond of Toulouse, and South de Vermandois.

Meanwhile, Kilich-Arslan made a regrouping of forces and teamed up with the Danish Turks, concluding an alliance with them. This gave his army an increase in 10 000 riders. The plan of the Sultan was to arrange an ambush for divided Crusader detachments.

Having chosen a convenient place, where the two valleys joined, the sultan decided to lure the knights into an open field and surround them just at that moment when the infantry could not cover them. Such tactics allowed the Turks to use their numerical superiority in the main sector of the battlefield, and horse archers - the space for maneuver. The Rumsky Sultan did not want to repeat the mistakes made under Nicaea.


The crusaders learned about the approach of the Turks in the evening of June 30, although they, apparently, did not have exact data on the number of enemy troops.

Robert of Normandy in the battle with the Muslims in 1097 – 1098 Picture by J. Dassi, 1850

The next morning, the vanguard of the Crusaders continued his speech on the plain. Then it became clear that the Turks are moving in large masses, approaching from the south. Expanding the plans of the Turks, the crusaders set up a camp, which at the same time could be a defensive base. It was erected by foot soldiers and non-combatants from the avant-garde, they also set up a camp at the exit to the plain of two valleys so that the marshy areas of the terrain cover the western approaches. Boemon put the mounted knights in front of the camp so that they blocked the way to the advancing Turkish horsemen. The main army of Christians was approaching from the west, but was still in 5 – 6 km from the avant-garde.


As soon as the Crusaders camped, the battle broke out. Boemon went against the Turks with the main core of mounted knights. In doing so, he played into the hands of the enemy. When the knights advanced, they came under fire from horse archers. Separated from the infantry that defended the camp, the knights could not converge in hand-to-hand combat with the nomads, and horse archers showered the enemy with a hail of arrows. Then a small part of the Turkish cavalry attacked the Christian camp and broke into it.

The cavalry of the crusaders was pushed aside to the southern tip of the camp, where the riders were gathered by Robert of Normandy. When order and order were restored, the knights were able to organize the defense of the southern corner of the camp, where the Turks did not have such room for maneuver as before.

Battle of Dorilee 15's illuminated manuscript. "Continued stories, Guelmo of Tyr. National Library of France.

In the course of the battle, the crusaders began to gradually run out of steam. Fortunately for Boemon and all the others, around noon, help came from the Crusaders of the main squad. It took several hours for the knights of the main compound to arm themselves and cover the distance in 5 – 6 km, which separated the two contingents. The reason was the warriors who strayed from their troops and simply deserters who impeded the advancement of aid to the vanguard. The first detachment led by Godfroy de Bouillon. The knights attacked from the valley from the west, leaving the Turks in the left flank. At that moment, the latter were still fighting with the vanguard knights at the southern tip of the crusader camp. Inadequately protected, and sometimes completely unsupported, the Seljuk cavalry found itself between two forces of knights-crusaders, reliably protected by armor.

Subsequent reinforcements of the crusaders from the main body of troops under the command of Count Raymond passed through a line of drumlins (long ridges of hills and mountains — the effects of glacier creeping) scattered along the western edge of the plain. Such a natural cover allowed the crusaders to move unnoticed, and helped to enter the rear of the Turkish army.

The appearance of the enemy on this side turned out to be quite unexpected for the Turks, who had already suffered serious losses. Their army fled in panic. The battle ended, the persecution began, during which the crusaders plundered the enemy's camp. However, the losses on both sides were about equal: 4000 people from the Crusaders and about 3000 people from the Turks.

The scheme of battle.

The results ...

Dorile became a landmark place for the Crusaders. Yes, they were in danger due to the lack of a single command, allowing the enemy to attack himself already on the march. However, the Crusaders still had the ability to act cohesively, with a single force, which resulted in the first battle in the field.

The thought-out strategy of the battle was the result of the high leadership qualities of the princes of the Crusaders, able to respond quickly to new and unusual circumstances and serve as an authority for the soldiers. The battle of Dorilee opened the way for the Byzantines to liberate Anatolia, and the Crusaders allowed them to continue their march into Syria.

And a bit of a digit ...
Forces of the opposing sides
CROSSONS (approximately)
Knights: 7000
Infantry: more than 43 000
Total: more than 50 000
TURKS - SELDZHUKI (approximately)
Cavalry: 10 000
Total: 10 000
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 3 March 2016 07: 34
    Crusades ... the most tragic in their history, these were children's crusades ..
    1. Chiropractor
      Chiropractor 3 March 2016 13: 13
      In the first picture of D'Hernol Bernard le Trezot - on a campaign of the 11th century, people are polls in salads, which appeared in the 15th century (source - VO, article last week smile ), crossbows, bends, guns (!), but can be explained by the fact that the 15c artist painted such knights whom he had seen in his time ...

      On the second - the Siege of Constantinople by Christians in 1204 - an event of the 13th century. Obviously not on the stated topic of the 11th campaign.

      Further - J. Dassie - in the background the hero waves a two-sided ax - fantasy over the edge. The fallen Seljuk has a shield from the time of Darius - the counterpart of Alexander the Great. For more than a thousand years, they fought with the same shield? Or again, the artist painted as seen by his contemporaries. 19th century, by the way, the picture ....

      We read: "The last - at the end of April 1097 - Boemon of Taranta reached the goal ..."
      After 2 paragraphs: "It is May 6, 1067."
      Instead of 9, 6 jumped out? It happens...

      According to the text: "Meanwhile, Kylych-Arslan regrouped his forces and united with the Danishmend Turks, entering into an alliance with them. This gave his army an increase of 10 horsemen." It seems all the rules.
      But at the end: "TURKI - SELDZHUKI (approximately) Cavalry: 10 Total: 000."
      Ie Kylych-Arslan regrouped himself and joined the Tumen of other Turks. Well, or some Danishmends fought, and the troops of Kılıç-Arslan sat in the stands and supported the home club, waving flags and singing songs?

      "A well-thought-out battle strategy was the result of ..." Shta ????
      "In doing so, he played into the hands of the enemy ....", "... part of the Turkish cavalry attacked the Christian camp and broke into it ...", "... the crusaders gradually began to fizzle out. Fortunately ..." Luckily Karl! A happy accident, his mother!
      The incident allowed 50 to brush aside the five times smaller enemy, while suffering commensurate losses. Macedonian once again sprinkles his head with what is at hand, looking at the achievements of Western civilization ...

      Even good prepared material can be ruined by internal contradictions, understatements and others, which undermines confidence in the material.
      1. Artem Popov
        Artem Popov 26 October 2018 03: 46
        the problem of sources, up to the creation of mercenary and recruit armies, where the consumption of materials and means was kept in a tendency to overstatement.
        70 thousand is the number of the crowd, there were several thousand real professional military people there. There was no "50 thousand against 70 thousand" battle. There was just a gallery with spectators and actors, and the audience often got it.
    2. Megatron
      Megatron 4 March 2016 01: 56
      Where are the current crusaders? Have you lost your temper and got tired?
      It is a pity that these glorious times have long passed.
  2. bober1982
    bober1982 3 March 2016 08: 41
    It is unlikely that faith played the main role for the participants in the crusades, rather religious psychosis. It was a time of the split of Christianity, the struggle of Urban II himself with the anti-dad. It was necessary to somehow let off steam. The so-called popular crusaders are a real rabble, which even the Byzantines were afraid of. Slogans Of course they were beautiful.
    1. bazilio
      bazilio 3 March 2016 10: 10
      Quote: bober1982
      It is unlikely that faith played a major role for the participants in the Crusades, rather religious psychosis

      Psychosis helped in many ways to capture Jerusalem. Having burst into the city, the crusaders staged a massacre, killing almost all the townspeople.
      1. bober1982
        bober1982 3 March 2016 10: 22
        Pogroms and massacres were organized among Christians; the Byzantine emperor did not know how to get rid of such allies.
  3. Pomeranian
    Pomeranian 3 March 2016 09: 06
    Solid article. How cleverly the Pope played on religious feelings, freeing Europe from landless peasants and younger noble families!
    1. Aleksander
      Aleksander 3 March 2016 09: 43
      Quote: Pomoryanin
      Solid article. How cleverly the Pope played on religious feelings, freeing Europe from landless peasants and younger noble families!

      Just about, there were a lot of people, there was nothing to eat, the wealth of the nobility was not enough. And to clothe it in a beautiful verbal husk is the task of the "spiritual fathers".
  4. qwert
    qwert 3 March 2016 11: 27
    Well, the Turks had to be patted. They are still. Now Europe shook, then Russia. Restless Turks. It would not be easy to cultivate and develop crafts; they liked to rob more
  5. Kenneth
    Kenneth 3 March 2016 12: 28
    The article is non-critical. 10 thousand light cavalry with simple bows marked the vanguard of the crusaders from 20 thousand (according to the text), broke into the camp, made a rustle there and barely managed to drive them out with reinforcements. Maybe the crusaders were idiots who didn’t know which side the sword should hold or opponents all rambos. In the camp, I suppose I had to wave sabers against knights with swords and chain mail. Something like this. IMHO or the Turks were much more, or much less Christians.
  6. Termit1309
    Termit1309 3 March 2016 12: 44
    CROSSONS (approximately)
    Knights: 7000
    Infantry: more than 43 000
    Total: more than 50 000
    TURKS - SELDZHUKI (approximately)
    Cavalry: 10 000
    Total: 10 000

    50 thousand in the 11th century? How many ships do you need to transport such an army? What about supply problems? They, like locusts, would simply eat all of Syria and Palestine.
    1. Kenneth
      Kenneth 3 March 2016 12: 52
      They wrote there - approximately.
      1. Chiropractor
        Chiropractor 3 March 2016 13: 52
        50 thousand approximately - it means maybe 40 and 60 ...
        With any trip, when the conservation of food products was not yet invented, any decent party brought a lot of food to others and to oneself. The rider - 2 liters of water per day, his horse - a bucket. In the heat - more. This is without washing, well, dirty Europeans, they are not used to it.
        You also need to eat a kilogram and a half food per day per person. At least jerky and corned beef. Yes, salt is the main preservative at the time. So I want to drink even more.
        In a cubic meter of 1000 liters, it means that only 50 people a day need 000 cubic meters of water. Any sailor on the machine will say not 100 cubes, but 100 tons.

        How much does the cart hold? From the horse care guide:
        "On a more or less solid (not washed out by rains!) Dirt road, you can load a cart about two horse masses. That is, if your horse weighs 400 kg, then your cart can weigh up to 800 kg (of course, together with the weight of the cart itself). On loose or mountainous non-horizontal roads, the cart should not be overloaded with a mass greater than the weight of the horse itself. "
        Those. if the cart weighs a centner, then the payload remains 700 kg. The offensive was on the Nicene road. By the way, who built it? Total one and a half hundred carts only under water. Only to people. Only on 1 day.
        Carts still have food. Armor, because in the heat in armor you will not prank. Weapons Tents. Trench Tool Carts Brothels.

        Therefore, they moved along the rivers with drinking water and even several columns until the middle of the 19th century. And the appeared commissary service received a salary for good reason. It is on foreign territory in a raid that you can rob food and fodder, and even then, not everywhere, but for now you are moving to the starting one - eat what you took with you.

        And all the campaigns of that time are dances around the string of carts - a train. What brings us back to the recently raised question of chariots - whose bearings were in the axles of the carts before the production of cast iron in the early 19th century?
        1. Kenneth
          Kenneth 3 March 2016 14: 03
          Delbrook's method in action. Here I am about the same thing. How much you need to dig to tightly drink a well .... Or go round the middle oasis. Not more than a few thousand.
        2. The comment was deleted.
        3. Mikhail Matyugin
          Mikhail Matyugin 18 October 2018 22: 36
          Quote: Kostoprav
          Therefore, they moved along the rivers with drinking water and even several columns until the middle of the 19 century. And the appeared commissary service received a salary for good reason

          Yes, that’s exactly it.
    2. The comment was deleted.
  7. PSih2097
    PSih2097 3 March 2016 20: 01
    There is a very good cycle of films called "BBC: A History of the Crusades" ...
    Crusades (1096-1270) historians call military - religious expeditions organized by the Western European feudal lords and the Catholic Church, under the banner of the struggle against the "infidels" (Muslims), the liberation of the Holy Sepulcher and the Holy Land (Palestine). Thus, more than 900 years ago, Europe and the Middle East were embroiled in a long war that changed the world. The times of the Crusaders gave birth to heroes such as Salah ad-Din and Richard the Lionheart. It was then that hundreds of legends about the warriors of the East and West appeared, the first seeds of discord were laid, which are still giving their bitter shoots to this day.

    What were the true economic, political and religious motives that spurred the greatest powers of that time to organize campaigns across Europe. How much has that conflict affected the modern world? Middle Ages researcher Terry Jones, a member of the famous Monty Python groups, will try to give answers to these questions.

    1. DimanC
      DimanC 4 March 2016 09: 41
      Yeah, while we're talking about continental Europeans. How did it come to the British - the creators
  8. Warrior2015
    Warrior2015 4 March 2016 17: 00
    Quote: anodonta
    Traditional Russian writing - Mark Licinius Crassus, seems to me more elegant.
    The problem is that in ancient Rome it was called that way ... It's just that what we are "closer" does not mean more autochthonous and closer to the original ...

    Quote: bober1982
    Pogroms and massacres were organized among Christians; the Byzantine emperor did not know how to get rid of such allies.
    Comrade, you are wrong. The emperor of Byzantium during the 1 Crusade was very pleased to have such allies, for otherwise Byzantium would have fallen to 400 years earlier. Another thing is that the Crusaders from Europe did not play with pawns in his game and, instead of raking in the heat with someone else’s hands, and even for free!

    Quote: Pomoryanin
    How cleverly the popes played on religious feelings, freeing Europe from landless peasants and younger noble families!
    Which only partly perished, and most of them returned after the completion of the crusading vows. Kamarad, you should not believe in stereotypes in everything. In Jerusalem, after the withdrawal of the main forces back to Europe, fewer 300 knights remained and about 1000 infantry. Godfroy simply did not know with whom to defend just the borders, not to mention the expansion of conquests ...

    Quote: Termit1309
    50 thousand in 11 century? How many ships do you need to transport such an army? And problems with supply?
    They went by land, and through the Bosphorus the shuttle method of transportation. Problems with supplies, especially in areas where Muslims began to produce "scorched earth tactics" are noted by all participants in the 1st Campaign.

    Quote: anodonta
    Where did you get such information that the infantrymen, at least, with a shield, in a helmet and chain mail?
    Of course, not everyone had chain mail even at the end of the 11th century, but if we consider that the majority of the infantry of the "March of the Nobility" are professionals, then it is quite possible. By the way, there were many professional crossbowmen (in good protective equipment) and slightly fewer and less professional archers. Everyone knew perfectly well how the "March of the Poor People" ended, where there were almost no professional soldiers ... And the same thing - how the Rearguard campaign ended, in which there were again many non-professional soldiers ...
  9. Warrior2015
    Warrior2015 24 March 2016 12: 15
    Quote: Kostoprav
    Those. if the cart weighs a centner, then the payload remains 700 kg. The offensive was on the Nicene road. By the way, who built it? Total one and a half hundred carts only under water. Only to people. Only on 1 day.
    Carts still have food. Armor, because in the heat in armor you will not prank. Weapons Tents. Trench Tool Carts Brothels.

    By the way, the Nicene road is from Rome, all of Asia Minor was with a good network of roads.

    The Crusaders did not practice water carts in the 11 century; in the 12 century they began to use it, but NZ water was brought to them with the addition of vinegar or wine (so as not to fade) in case of unforeseen circumstances.

    By the way, apparently, they decided to leave the water carts in the battle of Hattin, hoping to reach Lake Galilee, but ... it didn’t. And under Arsuf, everything turned out very well, but there was Richard the Lionheart - a great tactician, not King Guido.

    In general, in the climate of the Middle East, the issue of water supply to the army is a priority, more than the issue of food.

    By the way, weapons and armor were usually carried by simple infantrymen, which did not add maneuverability; only knightly equipment was carried on carts.

    There were no brothels in the armies of the crusaders of the First Campaign era. So to speak, it was a somewhat unusual war.