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When Richard the Lionheart set out for the third Crusade (1190), he considered capturing Egypt in order to break Muslim power before trying to retake Jerusalem. By the time of the fifth Crusade (1217), this became official strategy. King Andrew departed from Hungary and set out for Egypt at the head of a coalition which included French, German, and Italian Crusaders. They landed at the city of Domyat (Damietta), and faced a Muslim force that was so weak that, according to Ibn Kathir, “they at times even offered to return Jerusalem to the Crusaders, as well as all of the coastal cities that Salah ad-Din had taken back, in exchange for their withdrawal from Domyat. The Crusaders refused to do this.

Allah then Willed for their supplies to run out. Supply ships were sent to replenish them, but these ships were overtaken by the forces of the water (i.e. the Nile’s floods), which then flooded Domyat from every side. The Crusaders lost control of their own forces, and the Muslims laid siege to them until they squeezed them to the tightest parts of the city. At that point, crusaders were inclined to unconditionally surrender.” Had they agreed to the initial offer, the Crusaders might have gotten Jerusalem. But in the end, they were kicked out of Egypt and returned to Europe with nothing

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