Battle of Ain Jalut

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Battle of Ain Jalut
ConflictMongol invasions
DateSeptember 3, 1260
ResultMameluk victory
Mameluks Mongols
Saif ad-Din Qutuz
About 20 000 About 20 000
Unknown Unknown

The Battle of Ain Jalut (or Ayn Jalut, the "Spring of Goliath") took place on September 3, 1260 between the Mameluks and the Mongols in Palestine. This battle is considered by many historians to be of great macrohistorical importance, as it marked the highwater of Mongol conquests, and the first time they had been decisively defeated. (where they had previously been defeated, they had always returned and avenged the loss -- this marked the first occasion they were unable to do so) Hulagu Khan never was able to advance into Egypt, and the IlKhanate he established in Persia was never able to defeat the Mamelukes.

The Mongols under Hulagu Khan had captured and destroyed Baghdad in 1258. In 1260 he sent envoys to Saif ad-Din Qutuz in Cairo demanding his surrender; Qutuz responded by killing the envoys and displaying their heads on the gates of the city. As Qutuz prepared for a Mongol invasion, Hulagu returned home to attempt to seize power when his brother the Great Khan Mongke died. Qutuz allied with a fellow Mameluk, Baibars, who had fled Syria after the Mongols captured Damascus. The Mongols attempted to ally with the remnant of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, now centred on Acre, but Pope Alexander IV forbade this. The Christians remained neutral.

Both Mameluk and Mongol armies encamped in Palestine in July of 1260. They finally met at Ain Jalut on September 3, with both sides numbering about 20 000 men (the Mongol force was originally much larger, but Hulegu took most of it when he returned home). The Mameluks drew out the Mongol cavalry with a feigned retreat, and were almost unable to withstand the assault. Qutuz rallied his troops for a successful counterattack, along with cavalry reserves hidden in the nearby valleys. The Mongols were forced to retreat, and Hulagu's deputy Kitbuqa was captured and executed. Mameluke heavy cavalrymen were able to clearly beat the Mongols in close combat, something which no one had previously done.

On the way back to Cairo, Baibars killed Qutuz and became sultan himself. His successors would go on to capture the last of the Crusader states in Palestine by 1291. The Mameluke Sultanate would rule the Middle East for 250 years until Selim the Grim and the Ottoman Empire put an end to their von Ain Djalut fr:Bataille d'Aïn Djalout he:קרב עין ג'אלות


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