Friday, June 10, 2005

European Military in Pre-Crusades

The feudal structure created a military system centered around independent knights who had sworn allegiance to a lord. The lord would pay for the equipment and supplies, in return the knights had to follow the orders of the lord. Younger sons of a noble did not get much of a share in inheritances, with little money they used their rank to get a lord to recruit them. Basically, these soldiers were not really part of a al army. A king would tell his nobles to gather their troops, these soldiers would then follow their lords and together form a motley mix of troops. They were supported by some squires, non-knight horsemen, foot soldiers called sergeants. and archers. Still though, the knights were considered to be the cream of the crop.
The Arab armies were what would be called professional armies. The Mamluks were slave warriors who had been bought by the monarchs when they were children. These were then brought up to be warriors of Islam, and they were good ones at that. The Mamluks were personally owned by the monarch. Even though they were still considered slaves, they had high social statuses. The Mamluks were the standing army of the Muslims, always ready to fight.

These two armies would meet in the crusades, they were almost completely different, in how they fought, how they were structured, and what they fought for. They had completely different ideas of the world, and these would meet in the Holy Land.

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