Military history tours
Saladin's encounters with the crusaders – from a series of defeats to a decisive victory.
In this unique military history tour, we will follow approximately fifteen years of ongoing military encounters between Saladin’s Muslim army and the Crusader armies. We will begin on the battlefield of Montsigard midway between modern Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv where the Crusaders defeated Saladin and then head North to the castle of Belvoir that withstood repeated attacks by Saladin. We will continue our tour with a visit to the battlefield of the Horns of Hattin –Saladin's most decisive victory – leading to the destruction of the first Crusader kingdom of Jerusalem. Then back South to Arsuf (near modern Herzliya) to learn about how the English king Richard the Lion-heart implemented the lessons of the Horns of Hattin to defeat Saladin. Our last stop will be at Jaffa, to learn about the almost unknown amphibious landing battle commanded by Richard the Lion-heart.
Duration: a full day by car, interspersed with short walks.
From Gideon via Charles Ord Wingate to Meir Har Zion – the Gilboa Hills area is a cradle for special units. The Biblical Israeli leader, Judge Gideon, is famous for the process he employed to choose his soldiers and the astonishing successful attack with a relatively small unit on a huge camp of nomad warriors. This battle took place near the foot of the Gilboa Hills. We will visit the Harod spring where he screened his soldiers and then the battlefield itself. We will discuss the main principles Gideon employed that made him a model for small war leaders. Gideon was a source of inspiration to an energetic British Captain called Charles Ord Wingate, who organized and commanded the first mixed British and Jewish unit to counter Arab terror attacks in the 1930s. We will learn the way that he interpreted Gideon’s model of action and how he developed it into a theory for special units. While Wingate was conducting his battles against the Arab terrorists, a young Israeli boy, Meir Har-Zion, lived near the slopes of the Gilboa. He grew up to become a legendary warrior in the I.D.F. and a master of special unit warfare. We will hear his story and the influences of growing up in this specific area had on his life.
Duration: A full day, includes hiking down the hills to the Harod spring.