Battle of Toulouse (721)

Battle Of Toulouse (721)

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Battle of Toulouse (721)

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The Battle of Toulouse (721) was a victory of an Aquitanian army led by Duke Odo of Aquitaine over an Umayyad army besieging the city of Toulouse, and led by the governor of Al-Andalus, Al-Samh ibn Malik al-Khawlani. The victory hindered the spread of Umayyad control westward from Narbonne into Aquitaine.

The battle

Al-Samh ibn Malik al-Khawlani, the wali (governor) of Al-Andalus, built up a strong army from Umayyad territories to conquer Aquitaine, a large duchy in the southwest of modern-day France, formally under Frankish sovereignty, but in practice almost independent in the hands of the dukes of Aquitaine. He besieged the city of Toulouse, then Aquitaine's most important city, and Duke Odo of Aquitaine, also known as Eudes, immediately left to find help. He returned three months later—just before the city was about to surrender—and attacked the Muslim invaders on June 9.

The victory was essentially the result of a classic enveloping movement by Eudes. After Eudes originally fled, the Muslims became overconfident, and instead of maintaining strong outer defenses around their siege camp, and continuously scouting, did neither. Thus, when Eudes returned, he was able to launch an almost totally surprise attack on the siege force, scattering it at the first attack, and slaughtering units which were resting, or fled without weapons or armour. Al-Samh ibn Malik al-Khawlani managed to get away with a fraction of his forces, but died shortly thereafter, leaving Anbasa......
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