Charlemagne Vs. Salah ad-Din

January 11, 2011

We have two historical leaders who will fight each other till the dead.


Against him will fight Salah ad-Din, better known as Saladin. Fought of crusaders and was one of the most succesful muslim warriors during the crusades. Not only a fierce leader, he was a gentlemen and was kind to both friend and foe.

 Charlemagne                                                                                                     This Frankish king was a brutal warlord and had formed his own elite horsemen, the twelve paladins. He had met saracen warriors on the battlefield before, in Spain. 

He will fight with four of his paladins on horseback. The weapons he will be using are the longsword, one-handed spear, bow and arrow and the Francisca throwing axe. The armour he is wearing, is a deformed form of the roman armour. It is just chest scale armour, a helmet and a wooden shield.


Salah ad-Din                                                                                                     I will call him either Salah ad-Din or Saladin in this match up. Saladin was not only a great warrior, but also a real gentlemen. Liked by friend and foe he was able to beat the crusaders and was one of the most succesful saracen commanders during the crusades. when richard Lionheart became sick, Saladan made shure he got the best doctors that Saladin had. He was also famous for his horse warriors and especially the archery.

He will ride into battle with four fellow soldiers, also on horseback. His weapons will be the sabre, spear, composite bow and turkisch axe. Armour is chainmail over the torso and arms. Steel helmets with chainmail protecting the neck and a round wooden shield with boss.


The Edges

Longsword Vs. Sabre                                                                                            Both swords are great at cutting and thrusting. Both swords will be used single-handed and are great from horseback. I dont see one of the two getting a egde over the other.                                                                                                          Edge: Even


One-handed spear Vs. Spear                                                                                Yeah, both are spears, only the spear of Charlemagne is shorter. Both spears are useful from horseback and groundcombat. The way i see it, is the one-handed spear slightly better because it is one-handed. the longer spear can also be used with one hand but it is not meant to do that and harder to pull back. With the shorter one-handed spear it is easier and in ground combat it works good in combination with shield.                                                                                                              Edge: Charlemagne


Bow and arrow Vs. Composite bow                                                                        The bow and arrow is a good and solid combination. Used in warefare all around the world, it is a trusted killing tool. I did not find anyhting special about the bow of the Frankish so i will assume that it is an ordinary bow. On a side not, the bow cannot be used on horse back and the warrior needs to get off the horse. The composite bow is smaller, has less range, but more power then normal composite bows and it can be used from horseback. Altough the normal bow has a longer range, the composite bow is just better in use.                                                                                      Edge: Salah ad-Din


Francisca Vs. Turkisch axe                                                                                    The francisca is a small throwing axe. Usually carried with 3 or 4 of these axes, they were thrown into battle before engament. Two sharp egdes and a short handle made shure that a hit would always be destructive. They were meant to destroy armour and shields. I have no doubt they can destroy the chainmail of Saladin. I have found some recounts of this weapon being used in hand to hand combat, with in every hand an axe. The turkisch axe on the other hand is also a very good and beatiful weapon. It can destroy armour too and is much larger but cannot be thrown. After considering carefully, i give a slight edge to the francisca due to the fact that it can be thrown, and u could use them to block the attack of the turkisch axe.  Also the francisca can be used from horseback, the turkisch axe not.                              Edge: Charlemagne


Armour                                                                                                              Both warriors have very good armour but i did not find any evidence that the horses had armour. The scale armour protects the torso very will, but will not protect the arms of the Frankish. The chainmail does cover the arms. Both warriors wear a helmet but Saladin has neckprotection in the form of chainmail. The last line of defence is the shield. Saladin has a smaller shield but very useful on horse while the larger shield of the Charlemagne will be more usefull on the ground. The warrior with more armour gets the egde.                                                                                 Edge: Salah ad-Din

The Fight


The hooves of the horses left prints in the sand as the five horses raced towards the mountain. Up in front was the great king Charlemagne himself. Behind him were four of his best warriors. Roland was riding behind him with sword and spear. Ganelon had his bow strapped to his horse and arrows in a quiver on his back, Renaud was there with three francisca's and a sword and finally Huon with two francisca's and a spear. These men were handpicked from the twelve paladins for an important mission. Kill the muslim warriors who invaded a spanish town earlier. Normally Charlemagne would send his soldiers to take care of this sort of situation but he heard that the opponent was a very powerful man and Charlemagne missed the action. 

Somewhere a bit further up the mountain a man on a horse raced towards a little town. The streets were deserted and the only form of life were the horses which waited in front of a building. The man in chainmail jumped off his horse and walked inside the building. It was a tavern and inside were four other men. All of them armed and armoured. 'My lord' the man spoke. 'Warriors are heading this way.' The man who was spoken to, Salah ad-Din asked his soldier how much men were coming, after which the soldier said it were five men. Saladin stood for a second thinking. 'okay men, grab your weapons and horses. We are going to fight' His four men cheered and got outside. Saladin checked his sabre and shield and headed off. Akmur was close behind with his spear in hand and sabre on his side. next to Akmur rode his brother Abrum. He had his trusted turkisch axe with him. Ranid followed with his spear and finally Sarin with sabre and shield. all of them carried their famous composite bows.                                                                                                 Charlemagne: 5  Salah ad-Din: 5

As the two groups of soldiers raced towards each other, they met on top of the mountain, filled with grass. Saladin yelled and shot an arrow, after which his men followed and fired their arrows. Charlemagne and Roland succesfully dogded the arrows and Ganelon took his bow and jumped of his horse. The other two were not that lucky. Huon got hit in the shoulder and fell off his horse while Renaud got an arrow in the troat.                                                                                               Charlemagne and Roland tried to counterattack but the quick arabian horses were soon out of range.                                                                                             Charlemagne: 4  Salah ad-Din: 5

A few seconds later, Saladin and his men returned, aiming to shoot more arrows. Charlemagne reacted quickly and charged towards his opponents with Roland following close behind. Clashing swords with each other, the two leaders had no idea of the rest of the battlefield, only having eye for each other. Roland succesfully pierced Sarin with his spear as Ganelon took his bow and and fired a arrow. The horse of Akmur got hit in the chest and it threw its rider on the ground. Akmur hit is head against a rock and slowly felt the blood dripping out of his ears and skull. Before Ganelon could enjoy his victory, he felt a spear enter the side of his head and he fell dead on the ground. Ranid had killed him with the spear. Abrum halted his horse, jumped off and took his axe with him as he charged towards Huon who quickly took his two francisca's and threw one. The axe hit Abrum on the helmet, who got confused and never saw the other axe coming, hitting the face. Abrum fell dead on the ground as Ranid jumped at Huon and both men fell on the ground on top of each other.                                                                                                         Charlemagne: 3  Salah ad-Din: 2

Huon and Ranid crawled on the ground both looking for a weapon. Ranid found the turkisch axe as Huon grabbed a francisca from the ground. Before Huon could throw it, Ranid swung his axe and hit Huon just above the shoulder, in the neck. Ranid turned and saw another opponent coming on a horse. je leaped to the side and was barely able to dogde the spear of the man. Roland turned his horse and rode again. Ranid climbed on his feet and swung his axe again as the horse came to him. Horse and man clashed and as Ranid got trampled under the hooves of the horse, the axe hit the legs of the horse. The horse fell on the ground, with Roland with him, breaking both his legs under the horse. As Roland lay there immobile, he saw the two leaders fighting on foot, both warriors wielding a sword and shield.                     Charlemagne: 2  Salah ad-Din: 1

Neither commander was prepared to give space as the swords hit the shields and each other. Charlemagne slashed with his longsword at an open space in the defence of Saladin, but the chainmail deflected the attack and Saladin countered by hitting the swordarm of Charlemagne with his shield and slashed the wrist of the Frankish leader with his sabre. The king dropped his sword as he yelled in agony and was just able to block another strike with his shield. Saladin dropped his own shield and after another attack, grabbed the shield of his opponent with his hand and forced the Frankish king on the ground. He then took his sabre and pierced the neck of Charlemagne. Saladin turned him around and closed the eyes of the dead man. Saladin made a short prayer for his dead opponent and walked towards his horse. 'Heeey' someone yelled and as Saladin had reached his horse. Saladin turned around and saw Roland on the ground with his legs crushed under the horse. Saladin walked towards Roland and quickly ended the life of the paladin.                              Charlemagne: 0   Salah ad-Din: 1

Winner: Salah ad-Din



Charlemagne: 42.5

Longsword: 8.5

One-handed spear: 8.5

Bow and arrow: 9

Francisca: 8.5

Armour: 8



Salah ad-Din: 43

Sabre: 8.5

Spear: 8

Composite bow: 9.5

Turkisch axe: 8

Armour: 9


In a harsh battle, Saladin proved to be better with the better bow and armour. But it was really close.

While reading my own match up i noticed something. This match up sucked. Sorry people, i hope to do better next time.