John of Brienne, King of Jerusalem, Lays Siege to Damietta

John of Brienne, King of Jerusalem, Lays Siege to Damietta

Capturing Damietta
Source: Wikipedia

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Crusaders under the command of John of Brienne, King of Jerusalem, lay siege to the city of Damietta with the aid of a Frisian fleet. Even after they are reinforced and their numbers reach 35,000, they are outnumbered by 70,000 Muslims.

In an interesting twist, the Crusaders form an alliance with Kay Kaus I, Seljuk Sultan of Rum in Anatolia. Kaus attacks the Ayyubids in Syria so that the Crusaders won't have to fight on two fronts.

The Crusaders will besiege Damietta for the next several months and conquer it on November 5, 1219. Muslim leaders will offer the Crusaders control of Jerusalem in exchange for leaving Egypt, but they refuse. The papal legate Pelagius is determined to see Egypt under Christian control. Instead, the Crusaders will be trapped at al-Mansurah on the Nile in 1221 and be forced to surrender.

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