By William E. Welsh The advance of long ranks of scimitar-wielding Nubian and robed Bedouin archers on foot signaled a dramatic change in Ayyubid Muslim tactics against the Frankish army marching south along the Palestinian coast from Acre towards Jaffa. Behind the auxiliary foot soldiers came swarms of Muslim horse archers crowded together on the plain south of the Forrest of Arsuf. Frankish crossbowmen fired bolts as fast as they could into the advancing Muslim skirmishers, while the spearmen formed a protective wall in a valiant effort to hold the approaching hordes of Muslim warriors at bay. Behind the crusader infantry, mail-clad knights donned their helmets and took up their lances. The bright summer sky soon darkened as clouds of arrows arced towards the Frankish troops who stood with their backs to the Mediterranean Sea. The epic clash that would pit the cream of Sultan Salah al Din (Saladin) Yusuf ibn Ayyub's army against English King Richard I’s crusader army had just begun at mid-morning on September 7, 1191. Desperate to crush the Frankish host before it could secure the port of Jaffa for a drive on Muslim-held Jerusalem, Saladin had dispensed with the harassing tactics of the past two weeks in an attempt to destroy once and for all the multinational crusader army of the Third Crusade in a pitched battle. Saladin was 49-years-old when he won a decisive victory over the Frankish army of the Kingdom of Jerusalem at the Horns of Hattin four years earlier on Jul


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