• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The main reason for the failure of the second crusade was the lack of a clear and unified command structure. How far do you agree with this statement?

Extracts from this document...


The main reason for the failure of the second crusade was the lack of a clear and unified command structure. How far do you agree with this statement? It is without question that the Second Crusade suffered from a lack of a clear and unified command structure as the two main leaders, Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, were unable to cooperate in a cohesive manner. However, it was not the only reason for the failure of the crusade as there were a myriad of other factors such as the lack of clear aims and the problems associated with the method of travel chosen by the crusaders. Arguably, the lack of a clear and unified command structure was inevitable from the inception of the crusade as Bernard of Clairvaux's success in Germany meant that there were to be two separate armies marching on the Holy Land- a situation which is both logistically demanding and likely to breed a lack of focus. An important element in the success of the First Crusade was the fact that there were no monarchs involved-the vast majority of the crusaders were humble people fuelled by religious fervour and the promise of the afterlife. ...read more.


Both theatres of conflict haemorrhaged resources such as food, men and transport which could have been used more effectively on the second crusade and enabled the crusaders to further establish a foothold in the Holy Land- rather than greedily pillage and loot Eastern Europe and Portugal. It is undoubtedly true that the primary reasons for crusader involvement in these conflicts was the promise of riches and the opportunity to march on the enemies of God in an area closer to home- a cause which was significantly less important than the defence of the Crusader states, and indicative of the lack of focus displayed by the crusaders during this period. In particular, the resources wasted in the Reconquista would have been massively useful in the Second Crusade as a fleet of 150-200 English vessels involved in the Reconquista could have been used to aid the crusaders on their journey to the Holy Land- providing supplies, carrying the wounded, and even transporting some of the fighting forces themselves. Though it is true that the decision to assist in the Reconquista rather than the Second Crusade was the decision of the particular crusaders who travelled there, had there been a clear command ...read more.


There were in fact no redeeming features of the decision to travel by land as it did nothing but weaken an already disorganised and bloated army which had a distinct lack of focus. Had the crusaders decided to travel by sea they would have been in a far stronger position from which to take back Edessa and repel the Muslim forces in the East. However, the decision to travel by land was merely a symptom of more fundamental flaws in the preparation for the second crusade and that single factor cannot be held solely responsible for the ultimate failure of the crusade. Had the crusaders been organised in a cohesive way with a clear and unified command structure it is almost certain that the Second Crusade would have been a more focussed endeavour with a clear set of aims and a strong sense of purpose. Overall, it is clear that the Second Crusade failed due to the combination of a myriad of circumstances; however, the lack of a clear and unified command structure was the main contributor to a significant amount of these issues and thus one can draw the conclusion that it was the main reason for the ultimate failure of the crusade. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Historical Periods essays

  1. To what extent was strong leadership the main reason for the success of the ...

    dissolved and would have most likely have turned against each other and their Eastern allies.

  2. Cities were the main driving force of the Reformation in Germany(TM) " explain whether ...

    However not all those who were willing to conform to Lutheranism were willingly accepted. The Imperial Knights offered to raise arms in Luther's name against the Emperor and some German Princes e.g. Ulrich von Hutten, a humanist who recognised national appear of Luther.

  1. Why did the Second Crusade Fail?

    Although this crusade was called in 1145 they had failed to reach the Middle East until 1147, (in which) some crusaders were ambushed by the Muslims. The crusaders then fought their way across Anatolia and onwards to Antioch. They had taken a massive blow of attacks and suffered a shortage

  2. How important was the discovery of the Holy Lance in the Crusader success in ...

    battles; Bohemond's excellent military tactics, Kerbogha's poor decision to attack the whole Crusader army at once, and the desertion of Kerbogha's Emirs were all major contributing factors to the victory in the battle of Antioch and the subsequent complete control of the city.

  1. Lenins Economic Policies lacked consistency in the period 1918-1924. How far would you ...

    This is the second economic policy that Lenin introduced. Basically this policy saw the Bolsheviks attempt to bring everything under the control of the government, which the people did not want, they still wanted to have a certain amount of freedom.

  2. To what extent did the lack of Muslim unity assist the Crusaders in winning ...

    Then the stronger rulers remained as passive observers, such as that of the situation in which the Fatimids had advanced into Palestine, so the Sunn'i Muslims, as a direct result of Muslim diffractions, did not attack the crusaders so that they would meet with the Shi'ia Muslims in battle, hopefully bringing about their defeat.

  1. In the context of India in the 1840s to 1947, how far can independence ...

    feeling that British respect might be rewarded, but he only recruited one hundred men, as thousands hid away from him and he lost much support. They questioned the sincerity of his belief in non-violence, even Gandhi?s friend Andrews admitted that, ?personally I have never been able to reconcile this with

  2. To what extent could the Crusades be described as failure within the years 1095-1195?

    The loss of Edessa caused anger and frustration in Europe, because there were fears that Muslim states would now perform a broad counter attack against the invaders. At the request of Jerusalem's King, Pope Eugene III called for a crusade.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work