Despite minor setbacks, Christian Europe had enjoyed success on previous Crusader campaigns. Pursuing an ambitious but politically flawed strategy against an Islamic state friendly to their Crusader neighbours, the knights of the Second Crusade suffered a crushing defeat at Damascus in 1148. This battle shook the Crusaders' belief in their military supremacy, and revived the Islamic states, marking a crucial turning point in the history of the Crusades.
Born in 1944, David Nicolle worked in the BBC's Arabic service for a number of years before gaining an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and a doctorate from Edinburgh University. He has written numerous books and articles on medieval and Islamic warfare, and has been a prolific author of Osprey titles for many years. The author lives in Leicestershire, UK.