Almohad Caliphate

Battle of Huete
Battle of Huete ©Angus McBride
1172 Jan 1

Battle of Huete

Huete, Spain

Yusuf I transported twenty thousand soldiers across the Strait of Gibraltar, aiming to firm up his hold on the Muslim territories. Within the year, he had whipped most of the Muslim cities into line. In 1172, he made his first foray against the Christian position. He laid siege to the city of Huete—and failed.

There were multiple reasons for the failure. At least one eyewitness suggests that Yusuf I . . . Wasn’t particularly engaged in the siege; . . . When the news went around the Almohad camp that Alfonso VIII of Castile (now eighteen and ruling in his own name) was approaching to lift the siege, the Almohads gave up their position and retreated. It was an embarrassing defeat for Yusuf I, although not fatal; he would soon regather himself and relaunch the war.

But Huete was a turning point for the Christian kingdoms, which now began to readjust their attitudes towards each other. By 1177, all five of the Christian kings had sworn out treaties or created marriage alliances. The political unity of Alfonso the Battler had become a unity of purpose; and the latticework of allegiances woven by the Christian enemy would prove almost impossible for the Almohads to penetrate.

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Last Updated: : Sun Sep 25 2022