Around the year 1120 nine knights who were also monks set out on a mission of protecting Christians who were traveling to the Holy Land; many of these Christians were being killed by Muslim raids.
The Knights had a code that they’d never retreat no matter how many they had to fight. Word spread they were taking on large groups of attackers and winning. Come to find out the combination of Monk and Knight made for a motivated fighter because they thought God was on their side.
The Knights continued to hone their military skills in the equipment they used and their strategies and tactics. Even their horses were heavily armed which helped them charge into enemy lines and not have to worry about their horses getting cut down.
The Muslims had a much feared and respected military commander by the name of Saladin. His army of 26,000 was marching to fight a Christian force that only had 420 soldiers although he didn’t know it at the time. On the way his scout saw around 80 men traveling through the desert but Saladin upon hearing this decided they weren’t worth his time so he kept his troops marching. The Knights of the Templar had grown to 80 fighters and if Saladin would’ve known who they were he would’ve attacked them because this group had been destroying his soldiers.
Figuring out what Saladin was doing they rushed to the Christian force and told them what they saw. Many of the soldiers wanted to flee because they were at a 5 to 1 disadvantage but when they found out the Templars were going to fight with them, they were willing to fight. Think about how great the Knights’ reputations must have been for these soldiers to think that 80 of them would make up for 26,000 warriors. We’ve heard of stories like this back in the Old Testament but this much of a miss-match wasn’t really known since that time.
Saladin was very pleased when he finally saw the opposing army and decided to only send his infantry in to wipe the Christian army out. As the Muslim army got closer to the Christians they saw the Knights of the Templar out front with silver armor glistening in the sun. Their reputation by far preceded them so even though the Muslims knew they had the numbers fear settled in.
Then the Crusaders took their horses to a sprint and when they reached the enemy line they went single file and rushed straight into the soldiers. When they did this the Muslim soldiers jumped out of the way while the Crusaders were killing them easily as they galloped through the ranks.
Fear really started setting in when they found themselves with the Knights behind them and the Christian army in front of them. Whoops. The attack began and Saladin’s infantry fell. This time he wasn’t going to make the same mistake and sent his huge army in to destroy the small Christian army. At the end of the fight the Muslim army was destroyed. Only 2,600 were alive out of the 26,000…but Saladin escaped and ended up capturing the Holy Land years later. One of the major reasons the Christian army pulled off this miracle is faith. The Christian army had faith that God was with them and they had faith in the miraculous Knights Templar to lead them to victory.
The Knights of the Templar were around for approximately 200 years and were very instrumental in the Christian Crusades. As usual their decline was due to political reasons. They had their own small army by then and they had sworn no loyalties to England or France but instead to God. If either kingdom was causing harm to their people the Knights would jump in to save those being hurt. The King of France went after them while the Knights were spread out across various countries and began killing and capturing some of them. He trumped up charges that they had done terrible things against the church and dismantled their order. Just goes to show that for thousands of years if you don’t pick sides you’re eventually an enemy of both sides.
The Templars dealt with a lot of atrocities and questioning at times was all of this killing really God’s will or the will of someone else’s desire for more power and money. I think the real story here is how amazing they were as Knights. Their ability to fight and never retreat mindset was phenomenal. Charging into 26,000 warriors and winning the battle is one of the most extraordinary feats ever accomplished.