The Battle of Dorylaeum

  • Wars And Conflict
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

This Battle was part of The First Crusades, and was fought on July 1, 1097. The combined Crusader of Armies of Bohemond of Tranato, Godfrey of Bouillon and  Adhemar of Le Puy clashed with The Seljuk Sultanate of Kilij Arslan and Danishmend Gazi. Although the Crusader Armies numbered some 30,000 Men at Arms, only about 10-12,000 were engaged in the Battle. The Muslim Forces fielded around 8,000 (mostly highly trained and motivated Muslim Horse Archers). The Crusader Forces had just left Nicea in June (unknowingly having just lost the City to Byzantine forces), had to solve the problem of maintaining a steady and safe supply line for their forces in the region. Scouts having told The Crusader Commanders of a Turkish ambush being planned for just outside the ruins of the Town of Dorylaeum. The Crusaders set up their encampments (unopposed). On July 1, the Turkish Army attacked. Mounted Crusader Knights attempted to rush and met the Turks head on, without success. The Turkish Cavalry continued to smash into The Crusader lines set up in front of their camps. Weakening, Bohemond ordered his Knights to dismount and join the Foot Soldiers. He attempted to form them into a defensive line. Closed in and waiting for the Turks to attack directly, they did the opposite. Having free reign of the battlefield, the Turkish Horse Archers would ride directly into the Crusader lines, firing deadly salvo after salvo of arrows into them. Then, just as quickly, - they would pull away, regroup and repeat the attack. The resulting tactic did little to the Armored Knights, as their armor somewhat protected the. Unfortunately, the Foot Soldiers were falling by the dozens. The Crusader Knights would break off into small groups, going forward to try and engage The Turks. Hacking as many as they could, the enemy riders were too fast.


Throughout the day, small reinforcement groups from Godfrey and Adlemar would attempt to get through. Many were hacked to bits before they could reach the main defensive lines. Everytime reinforcements attempted such a move, the Turks would swarm like ants and attack - still maintaining pressure on the main Crusader resistance. The Turks were beginning to see that they were close to achieving a victory. They began to push the main Crusader line backwards, through their camps to a marshy ground directly in front of the nearby river. The slaughter was near, as the Crusaders - having maintained the fight for some 7 hours were tiring. Just as the Turks were preparing for the "final cut", suddenly on their flank rode Raymond of Aguiler's Knights. Burning the Turkish camps and advancing on their rear positions, the Turks panicked. Seeing that they were now fight on 2 fronts, they began to break and run. The Crusaders had a hard fought victory! The Crusaders were able to capture (unopposed) the region from Dorylaeum to Anatolia. Antioch (and it's siege) lay ahead.