A new look at the crusaders, which shows how they pursued long-term plans and clear strategic goals
Medieval states, and particularly crusader societies, often have been considered brutish and culturally isolated. It seems unlikely that they could develop “strategy” in any meaningful sense. However, the crusaders were actually highly organized in their thinking and their decision making was rarely random.
In this lively account, Steve Tibble draws on a rich array of primary sources to reassess events on the ground and patterns of behavior over time. He shows how, from aggressive castle building to implementing a series of invasions of Egypt, crusader leaders tenaciously pursued long-term plans and devoted single-minded attention to clear strategic goals. Crusader states were permanently on the brink of destruction; resources were scarce and the penalties for failure severe. Intuitive strategic thinking, Tibble argues, was a necessity, not a luxury.
Steve Tibble graduated from Cambridge and London Universities and is honorary research associate at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Monarchy and Lordships in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1099–1291 and The Crusader Armies, 1099–1187.