The life of a Moors general

The first battle

1080

The Moors… a proud people, hardened and eager to fight for our God.

I am a general situated at Cordoba, I always longed to help my country in any way I can. And now I know I was wrong, we all fight for ourselves. I was a promising general, I just wished to help my country. For better or worse…

My first test of skill was an army from the Portuguese, I had to cut them off from their path, apparently they were on their way from Lisbon to reinforce Pamplona and help take Zaragoza, something my Sultan did not want. I was sent there with a 1000 man against a force from somewhere around 2500 men.

I had about 250 men on horse all lightly armored, 250 archers ,trained, but with no fighting experience and further I had 500 spearman. A light skirmish force at best.

They had about 1500 spearmen, 500 archers and 500 heavy horsemen.

I had the odds against me.

Around the east of the Toledo region I found there encampment, I decided not to attack, to wait until they were on the move and harass them. I went forward and found flat ground, a perfect battlefield.

I rested my men and prepared them for the upcoming battle.

The next morning was one of the worst moments of my life, but not because of any decision I made, my decisions were the cause of the death of many…

Our enemy had a traditional setting of 3 rows of spearman, archers behind and the horsemen flanked and the general behind that.

I had 5 groups of about a 100 men each, my horses flanked and the archers in between the spearman so they formed one long line.

My archers were within striking distance, so they fired as soon as they could. The enemy general sent his spearman to the front and forwarded his horses as to flank mine.

In response I sent 2 groups of spearman each to one flank were the horses were.

I ordered my horsemen to retreat behind my archers. My 3 groups of spearman I ordered to form a line in front of the archers, my horseman went around the spearman and the 2 groups of horsemen engaged from behind, by walking a wide circle, the enemy cavalry.

The battle went well on the flanks but in the middle, my spearman were losing the battle, because of the difference in numbers and the enemy archers who were concentrating on the spearman.

I decided to take my own bodyguards and attack the archers, while I did this the enemy horsemen had routed and I ordered the remaining spearman to attack the enemy spearman from the side. While they did this I ordered the remaining horseman to attack the archers as well.

We quickly overwhelmed the archers but the general had come for my horsemen so I ordered 1 group to attack the enemy spearmen from the back while the other group helped me at defeating the enemy general.

While I was fighting the general, 2 of my spearman units routed and the rest was wavering I had even sent in my archers to help even the odds. My horsemen came just in time.

At the end of the day, the spearman were completely obliterated and the enemy general slain by the spear of one of the men from the light horsemen.

The enemy had been defeated, but at what cost…?

I had lost about 800 men, along with 5 elite bodyguards of my own.

The enemy had lost about 2000 men, 200 archers managed to escape as well as 300 horsemen.

I had won, but I couldn't help myself thinking: Was it worth it?

A long battle

1100

I got many rewards from my Sultan, I was a hero for the Moors, why then did I feel like a monster and not a hero?

I was assigned the position of Defender of Cordoba. It was now my duty to concentrate on Cordoba, an easy job and even easier life, or so I thought…

The year 1105

The Sultan wanted to speak to me personally, what he told me made my hart go cold. The Spaniards, Portuguese and the Papal States had combined forces in a massive army of about 100.000 men.

I was the one to stop them, I got an army of about 35.000 men.

I ordered my men in separate groups, I kept about 10.000 men with me. I ordered my men to make sure the armies of Spain, Portugal and the Papal States don't combine and make lighting raids.

About 50 to 100 kills was enough. Every week a planned raid by thousands of different groups and different directions while I kept their armies walking after me.

The year 1110

How long have I wandered, the Sultan is angry with me but does not dare to call on me cause then there would be no general, all other generals were situated in the different cities and castles, to stop the armies. My plan proved to be effective but costly. 5 Years of fighting does not go well with the economy. The Sultan would rather have I fought a all out battle.

But in these 5 years I have reduced the armies of our enemies to about 40.000 men.

Every week for 5 years a raid on a camp, burning a tent in the middle of the night.

And our casualties: 500 men.

The numbers speak for themselves,

but the profits speak for others…

The year 1115

We defeated them…

The Sultan, angry with my long-term victories over my instant victories left me with about 10.000 men, and told me to engage the enemy who had about 10.000 men left. Hungry, sick and demoralized.

But then they heard I was the general leading the attack…

When we battled they attacked with a rage and ferociousness unlike anything I had ever seen, we won that day…

We lost about 9000 men.

None of our enemies survived.

Is this my destiny? To win battles but see men die in front of my eyes.

I marched my men to Cordoba…

I presented the survivors to the Sultan then I told him I would retire…

I remember the Sultan his sword, it was beautiful.

1 Graceful arc… and I never found out if dying hurts…