By SHAWN STEEL, CA National Committeeman, RNC
October 12, 2016 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org – The Battle of Tours [October 10, 732] was fought near Poitiers in north-central France [then called Gaul]. At the time, the Islamic forces [often referred to cryptically as “the Moors,” cloaking the nature of their mission] were on a tear, having stormed out Arabia, they conquered all of Northern Africa and - working up the Iberian Peninsula - the entirety of Spain in the hundred year period following the death of Mohammed, whose bequest remains a murderous legacy that continues to this day.
In the opinion of many, Tours was the most important military engagement - from a civilizational standpoint - to take place in Europe until the Siege of Vienna in 1683 [which finally ended the relentless Ottoman expansion] almost a millennia later, as the Islamists had fought to subjugate the Continent for 1,300 years.
This battle pitted Frankish forces [15,000 +/-] under Charles Martel against the much larger [approximately 40,000] and very battle hardened army of the Umayyad Caliphate led by the notoriously barbaric, Abd-ar-Rahman - still widely respected and mourned by contemporary jihadists.
The explanation for Martel’s lop-sided victory lay in his keen understanding of tactics and applied weaponry. His men were also motivated by necessity, having witnessed the insane brutality of the Muslim forces - they knew what awaited the losing side in such confrontations.
Very briefly, Martel’s army consisted of infantry against which Allah’s “holy warriors” were using light cavalry to great effect. Noting the relative vulnerability of a horse-led fighting force in close quarter combat - little room or opportunity to maneuver - Martel changed tactics and supplied his troops with very long iron-tipped pikes, many of which were dug into the ground, tip facing forward.
The effect was devastating as thousands of Arab horses and riders were slaughtered and maimed by the murderous wall of death, keeping the rest at bay and thus thwarting the advance. Seeking the advantage, Frankish forces then attacked the center of the enemy army where they succeeded in killing Caliph Abd-ar-Rahman, whereupon the remainder of his troops fled in terror.
The once over-confident Muslim force panicked and disintegrated so rapidly that left behind in its wake were thousands of Christian women who had been turned into sex-slaves…sound familiar? The duty of freeing southern France from the Islamists fell to Martel's heir Charlemagne.
Takeaway: Think long term when combating Islamists, this is an enemy with a keen sense of history.
Historian Victor Davis Hanson wrote a classic description of this battle in his monumental Carnage and Culture, an excellent read.
©2016 Shawn Steel. Mr. Steel is the Republican National Committeeman from California. He is a past Chairman of the California Republican Party and the Founding Director of the California chapter of the influential pro-taxpayer group, the Club for Growth. He maintains a web presence at SteelZone.org. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.