Assess the reasons why the Second Crusade failed.


Assess the reasons why the Second Crusade failed

  • Poor leadership & logistical harships of Crusading 
  • Lack of clear aims 
  • Growing Muslim unity
  • Lack of communication with Outremer 
  • Lack of support from Byzantium


Poor leadership & logistical harships of Crusading 

Louis lacked sufficient funding for the Crusade, this caused there to be a lakc of supplies which created a lack of discipline amongst foot soldiers. This culminated in the army being shut outside of Constantinople.

Conrad recieved a near fatal head injury near Dorylaeum so he could not lead his army, as a result many deserted. 

Louis' leadership was undermined at Mt Cadmus when he handed power over to the knights Templar. 

The decision to move to the Eastern side of Damascus where there was no fresh water supply helped with the retreat of the Crusaders. 

Conrad and Louis were two of the most powerful leaders in Europe.

The two key leaders were communicating with one another via letters and representatives.

Louis was religiously motivated- due to ordering a church in Vitry to be burned down in 1143 (this could be seen as a penence/pilgrimage to the Holy Land, as folllowing his defeat Louis went sightseeing).

Conrad divided his army with non-combatants going by a different route- this saved time and supplies.  

Louis' campaign was underfunded.

Conrad especially had a considerable number of peasants in his army.

They left at the start of the harvest

Conrad and Louis travelled sepearately so as to reduce the pressure on the land.

Poor weather and difficut terrain meant that Louis' army spread for 6 miles, this significantly increased its vulnerability.

Dorylaeum was uninhabited, infertile


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