[3], By July 5, 1192, Richard began his withdrawal from the Holy Land. The sixty-three knights without horses were put among the infantry. Saladin knew it was imperative to take the town quickly before Richard could mount a relief effort. When Saladin seized the key Crusader-held port in the Holy Land, Richard I clawed his way back and forced the sultan to the negotiating table. [7][8][9] The outnumbered battalions, were driven back by the Ottoman defenders, as they recaptured the bridgeheads and restored the tactical situation. “Shame on anyone who holds back now!”. [17] The 157th also secured the northern bank of a ford to assist the crossing. While the fleet, led by his own red-hulled flagship Trenchmere, sailed south to relieve the town, he dispatched the rest of his army on a parallel course by land. HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Historynet LLC, the world's largest publisher of history magazines.

In disbelief the sultan immediately mounted his horse and rode down to the shoreline where he saw for himself the Christian fleet, including the menacing red hull and scarlet sails of Trenchmere.

Artillery was concentrated behind the lines, while the division's Royal Engineers, formed pontoons and canvas coracle boats, that were large enough to accommodate twenty men. However the Ottoman forces forced out of the town were still able to interdict shipping and harass troop movements from their positions on the northern bank of the Yarkon River - the Nahr el Auja as it was called in Arabic.

The remaining men of the garrison had more discipline than their cowardly commander and organized a spirited defense.

Richard saw the move and led his mounted knights back to block the city gates. Both sides were completely exhausted, and Palestine was in a ruinous state. [13] Once across they established a bridgehead on the Ottoman bank of the river. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Showing little concern for the arrows whistling overhead, Richard hurled himself at the enemy, alternately hacking with his heavy blade and firing his crossbow. [2], During the winter months, Richard's men occupied and refortified Ascalon, whose fortifications had earlier been razed by Saladin. The King again showed his personal bravery and martial prowess, leading fifty-four knights, a few hundred infantrymen, and about 2,000 Genoese and Pisan crossbowmen into battle. With the Ottoman forces pushed back, Jaffa and communications between it and Jerusalem were made secure. Seeing that his men would not budge, a despondent Saladin once again withdrew to Yazur. However, when it was evident that the Crusaders were not going to break ranks, they veered away from the spears without coming to blows. google_ad_width = 728; Although the Crusaders did not regain possession of Jerusalem, Christian pilgrims were permitted entry into the city, and the Crusaders were able to retain control of a sizable strip of land stretching from Beirut to Jaffa. The next day, 22 December, the British position was made even more secure when the 54th (East Anglian) Division captured Bald Hill to the right of the 52nd. It was the final armed encounter between the two monarchs before the ratification of the Treaty of Jaffa brought the Crusade to an end. After threatening the shaken man with beheading should he repeat the message to anyone, Richard set out for town with a party of knights and crossbowmen to assess the situation. Richard graciously accepted Saladin’s generous gift, then threw himself once more into the fray. And while the Crusader infantry-men’s spears kept Saladin’s cavalry at bay, the Christian cross-bowmen’s rapid, accurate fire wreaked havoc on the Muslims’ lightly armored mounts. Richard countercharged several times to cut down dismounted Muslims and hasten the retreat of the rest.

However, by 01:30 two other battalions—the 6th Highland Light Infantry and the 5th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders—had crossed the river and secured the high ground overlooking the crossing point by 03:30.

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