The Final Assault….On a hill just outside Valletta 1273
The arrows fell like hail as the armoured horses and their riders charged headlong into the ragtag line of bowmen. This heavy horse charge was no drill but the final act in a long, long campaign against the foe, with time not on their side. The slings and arrows of time had worn the already battle weary troops into a ragged band of brothers, bound only now by their once clean and now blood streaked white and red surcoats.
The battle for the Church on Malta was albeit over, the crusading army on one final push to rid the once green and rich land of the enemy that besieged their home. In Valletta harbour the ships of the enemy were burning like kindling on a fire; the hot and dry conditions drying the already stretched timbers and one spark was all it took to beset a blaze of such huge proportions that the firs could be seen not only on the Holy Isle of Gozo but the Isle of Sicily over 29 nautical leagues away. Not since the 1169 eruption had flames been seen of this magnitude. Some even said the flames could be seen on the Mount of Olives 1,200 miles away, the scene of the great victory.
Foam fell from the horses bits as the ground fell away, dust masking the onslaught as the parched ground rose and fell under the pounding of heavy shod hooves. The deafening roar of man and beast striking fear into the enemy, who turned and ran, straight into the ranks of their light horse bowmen and spearmen heading towards the Templar Knights. Arrows useless against heavy horse but defiantly penetrative against the foot sluggers in their light leather surcoats and chain armour. The only saving grace being the mounted riders before them and the lighter mounted infantry behind them, although in later years they would be the cannon-fodder; ill-trained and expendable.
© The Midnight Messenger