Post-classical history

Ramla, Second Battle of (1102)

A defeat of a Christian force consisting of crusaders and Franks of Outremer under King Baldwin I of Jerusalem by an Egyptian army commanded by Sharaf al-Ma‘ālī Samā’ al-Mulk, a son of the vizier al-Afdal.

In May 1102 the Egyptians besieged the town of Ramla in southwestern Palestine, plundering the surrounding lands. Spurred into a precipitate show of force, Baldwin gathered 700 cavalry, many of them recently arrived crusaders from the crusading expeditions of 1101-1102, and advanced toward Ramla. The battle took place at Yazur, 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Jaffa (mod. Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel), on 17 May. The Egyptian army surprised Baldwin, who took a hasty decision to attack rather than retreat. The Christian force was surrounded and massacred. A few knights cut their way through to reach Jaffa, but most of the survivors were forced to take refuge in Ramla. Baldwin and a few companions escaped that night, and the following morning the Egyptians stormed the town. The surviving knights defended a tower, but all were quickly captured or killed. Christian casualties included Stephen, count of Blois, and Stephen, count of Burgundy. The defeat placed the kingdom of Jerusalem in great peril, but it was saved from collapse by Baldwin’s decisive victory at the battle of Jaffa on 4 July 1102.

If you find an error please notify us in the comments. Thank you!