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The Third Crusade (The Crusades)

Forty years after the failure of the Second Crusade, Richard I of England, Philip II of France and Barbarossa all ended their conflicts to assist the Third Crusade (1189-1192).

Saladin, who captured Jerusalem in 1187, had unified Syria and Egypt in the past, making him a very powerful adversary and an excellent military leader. Losing the Holy Land was too shameful for Christendom, so with the Pope's blessing, dozens of thousands of men marched toward Jerusalem under the three great kings.

Barbarossa responded instantly to the Crusade and recruited 15,000 men. His army was so huge that he couldn't cross through the Mediterranean Sea, so he had to march by Land crossing through the Bosporus into Asia Minor. The German army had great success, even capturing Iconium, the Sultanate of Rum's capital. Unfortunately, Barbarrosa himself was thrown from his horse and drowned due to his heavy armor. Most of his army went home, except for a small portion which, commanded by Barbarrosa's son, marched to Antioch only to be further reduced by fever.

In 1190, Richard and Philip marched jointly from France to Sicily where they were going to sail to the Holy Land. Philip joined the Siege of Acre shortly after reaching Sicily, but Richard didn't sail until the next year. King Guy, who had been released by Saladin the previous year, was besieging Acre. Even with the French reinforcements, they weren't able to defeat Saladin who was now besieging the besiegers. It wasn't until Richard arrived the following year that Acre finally fell to the Crusaders.

Philip left the Holy Land leaving behind a large army. Richard marched to Jaffa where he planned to launch an attack against Jerusalem, but Saladin attacked his army. Nevertheless, the English proved superior thanks to the Knights Templar and the Hospitallers. Richard won the battle.

On September 2, 1192 Richard and Saladin signed a treaty where Jerusalem would remain under Muslim control, but also allowed unarmed Christian pilgrims to enter the city. The failure to conquer the Holy Land would lead to the Fourth Crusade six years later in 1192.

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