Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by kasumigenx, Mar 29, 2010.
What are the consequences?
a. When is this done
b. Shouldn't it be invade, then sack
c. who leads this invasion
d. where is it launched from
e. what entails this "sacking"
The crusades can't even stray far away from the Mediterranean
How are they going to reach Mecca?
Wait, did the Europeans even know of a Mecca? (To lazy to research )
Whether or not they did isn't important because I doubt they could reach it.
In the earlier crusades maybe they can reach Mecca.
If it does happen, Muslims will hate Christians even more, leading to more modern day violence.
Or, Muslims believe that Allah does not believe in them and they all convert back to Christianity.
There’s a problem there with motivation.
The Crusades were conducted to liberate the Holy Land and Jerusalem. There were no further offensives east and south because their objective was access to Jerusalem.
Raynald of Chatillion went for a cruise in the Red Sea mainly for piracy but to also threaten Mecca and Medina.
Agree with Cook
And even if they reached Arabia, they'll just get lost, no water, and died right off
So there would "only" be hatred
If they can stray off their little pond
Once the crusaders took Alexandria. But I admit, there's still some way to Mecca. And even the most fanatical crusaders should be aware that the sack of Mecca would have repercussions (understatement).
I'd say they'd need to secure upper Egypt, Sinai and Akaba, to have a secure access to the red sea, as I can imagine an attack to Mecca only by landing as close as possible by sea. After all, there should be some harbours for the pilgrims.
Well, true. But whereas these repercussions should stop rational crusaders, fanatical crusaders won't. In fact, it's rather typical for fanatics to try to destroy the enemies holy places.
Well if Reynaud I'm-A-Prick-Even-By-Crusader-Standards of Chatillon has more success with his attempted raid on Mecca, I imagine that one of the immediate consequences will be a huge shakeup in Salah-al-Din's court.
He consciously cultivated the image of himself as a pious Jihadi, but proceeded largely at his own pace. That kind of provocation would force his hand, lest he be deposed by more radical elements- or at least by people who claim to be more devout.
There will be far fewer Franks in Jerusalem within decades than there are in our timeline. I'd be very surprised if they're still there in time for Baybars to have his second great claim to fame.
What else... the Mongols will be remembered differently by Western Europe due to less direct diplomatic contact in the Near East. The Mamluks might have a different rise to power in Egypt. The third crusade will happen, but will likely be far less successful; I doubt the Fourth Crusade will occur at all which means no 1204 sack of Constantinople.
That means different course of Venetian art and culture, meaning the visual landscape of the coming centuries will be very different. If he becomes pope, Innocent III will also be remembered differently.
But why? The whole purpose of the Crusades is to drive the Muslims off the Holy Land (well, the Christian Holy Land), and that's not anywhere near Mecca. I mean, if it's hundreds of miles away.
Oh the mind's of the western-centric. (sigh)
Yes I know it doesn't make sense- but my point is at least one Crusader tried to set events in motion that would allow him to raid Mecca.
I realize it's monumentally stupid, but let's face it: the Crusaders weren't exactly known for strategic genius, were they? *cough* Second Crusade *cough.*
And not to mention easily distracted *cough* Fourth Crusade *cough*
Actually, it does make sense from a certain perspective. The crusader states' society was warlike and extremely competitive, and for a nobleman to claim thatfeather in his cap would be an enormoius prestigegain. Of course it contraenes the original stated intent, but they did that all the time, and the incidences of porrly thought-out acts with negatiove consequences ifor the cruisaders is too long to list. Much like Saracen pirates invested Rome in the 9th century, Latin ships might make a move for Mca in the twelfth. Success would be an extremely long shot, but again, there's precedent. Even poorly organised armies, if properly motivated, could achieve impressivbe results in the face of relatively poor defenses through most of the Western world at the time.
As to consequences - it's not going to be too nice, but it's also likely to be transient. Mecca got sacked, as did Rome, but it didn't result in centuries of blood hatred.
It would need to be post-conquest of Egypt and the Levant as part of a greater attack against enemies threatening their territory.
So pretty much after the muslims are already rather beaten.
A Crusader sack of Mecca and/or Medina could set in motion long-term (I'm thinking centuries, even) efforts at retribution, an Islamic Crusade to sack Rome, for example. Mecca especially carries such heavy religious significance that some sort of revenge, even if it took 100 years or more, would be considered a duty.
I think there would be a lot of internal confusion with Islam as well. I'm assuming that any sack of Mecca would involve the desolation of the Kabba and the robbing of the 'black stone' or something of the like. Wherever that stone goes, I can see the focus of some kind of Islamic crusade. Mecca being the focal point because of the kabba and the stone allows for Islam to have a very important unifying element. Without the kabba and stone in a specific point and acting as some kind of holy core; could we see a much more split and denominational Islamic faith?
Nevertheless, there were plenty of crusaders to whom free access to Jerusalem was not sufficient, but who wanted to beat/destroy the heathens. That is religious fanatism can provide incentives for pretty much any dumb plan.
Another point would be looting: what could you actually loot in Mecca? And more important: what did the crusaders back then think they could carry away from Mecca?
And finally: We can be damn sure that we'd know up to today the names of those who raided Mecca. We probably won't be that fond of them, but anyway, we'd still know their names...
This is 'what if', remember? Let's see what happens...
Getting into the Red Sea with an army is tough enough - Pharaoh Necho's old canal was, I understand, blocked even by the end of the Roman era. You would need to portage ships across from Port Said to Suez and get them and a well-armed force down the Red Sea to Jeddah (the port for Mecca). Assume a relatively-unopposed landing, your force would then have to cross about 70 miles of desert and semi-desert before besieging or taking Mecca. Hostile terrain in physical terma as well as in the face of pilgrims ready to die to reach the virgin houris in Paradise.
Lots of assumptions piling up here already!
Ok, so you have breached the walls, fought through to the Great Mosque and reached the Ka'aba. That will probably mean literally hewing a way through hundreds of human beings. The priests might try to remove the Black Stone, but you foresaw that and now have seized it.
The stone may be a meteorite, but whatever it is, what will you do to it? Burning or smashing it may not be much good (if it's an iron or stony-iron meteorite, a tough nut to crack). So you take it and any wealth you can lay your hands on, get back to Jeddah and get back on your ships, probably with fewer men (assuming that the pilgrims haven't managed to storm the ships before you return).
What to do with the Sacred Stone? You've managed to thoroughly anger every Muslim from Iberia to Indonesia and from Zanzibar north to Syria. Take it to Rome? No, the Holy Father would regard it as pollution. Take it to Jerusalem? Forget that, Temple Mount is holy enough as it is. Dump it anywhere on land? Again, too much risk of recovery. You dump it either in the Red Sea or halfway between Alexandria and Crete, out of reach of the hordes of Islam. The plunder has to be melted down (the arabic inscriptions make it too clear what it is, otherwise) and split up. So must your army, returning to where they came from in secret, lest the priests of the Ka'aba find them all and kill them.
An unlikely enterprise, therefore, and of little profit. As indicated, it might lead to a Jihad against Rome.
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