732 The Battle of Tours: The high point of Muslim conquests in Europe.
AD 732, Battle of Tours: Charles Martel the ‘Hammer’ Holds The Line Of Battle
The Franks and The Muslims under the Umayyad Caliphate would meet in northeastern France in October of 732. Charles Martel, commander of the Franks, who were largely infantry based, and likely equal in number to the Muslim army, would fight General Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, who commanded the Umayyad army that had a large amount of cavalry.
The Muslims had a tried and true method of wearing down the enemy with light cavalry peppering and repeated heavy cavalry charges. With no real reason to try something different, ‘Abd-al-Raḥmân’s cavalry crashed into the Frankish formations who stood firm like “A Bulwark of Ice” according to later Muslim accounts. Frankish troops withstood the attacks and lashed out hard whenever the experienced troops saw an opportunity.
Deep into the fighting (perhaps into a second day according to some sources) The cavalry broke into a Frankish formation and towards Charles. His guard, and perhaps Charles himself, entered the fray. Several Frankish scouts were sent at the same time to raid the enemy camp, causing havoc and freeing prisoners.
The Muslims feared for the safety of their booty, obtained during the campaign and many rushed back to the camp. This was seen as a full retreat by many other members of the Muslim army and an actual full retreat soon followed. ‘Abd-al-Raḥmân valiantly attempted to rally his troops but was killed in the fighting as the victorious Franks swarmed upon their retreating foes.
A Danish warrior brought his war band to the South and joined in the battle. In Denmark it is said that Holger Danske sleeps in his tomb, but with one eye open to watch for danger to his land and his people.
I learned about this in grade school at St. Jerome’s and never forgot: ‘Charles Martel defeated the Moors at the Battle of Tours’. Funny how a rhyme can stay with you.
They didn’t mention Holger?
Well, it was the fourth grade, so they probably did… sheesh.
pjrae54, is that you? Anonymous ID had to be approved to post.
Indeed it is. Me, that is. Damn interwebs.