The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 35: Al-Yarmuk

 Part III: The Invasion of Iraq


Page: 15

In the late afternoon of this sixth day of battle, began the last phase of the Muslim attack. (See Map 27 below) Only a third of the Roman army remained in this crowded corner of the Plain of Yarmuk; against it the Muslims were arranged in a neat semi-circle, with the infantry on the east and the cavalry on the north. The Muslim strength here was less than 30,000 men. The time for generalship and manoeuvre was over. The skill of the general had placed the troops in the ideal situation for combat, and it was up to the soldiers to fight and win. The generals drew their swords and became warriors like the rest, as the lions of the desert moved in for the final kill.

map 7 chapter 35

The attackers struck with sword and spear at the confused, seething mass in front of them. At places the Romans were too closely packed for elbow-room to use their weapons; but their front rank fought with heroic, if futile, courage to stem the tide. Soon it was struck down, and the next rank and the next, as the Muslims advanced-cutting, slashing, stabbing, thrusting. In the dust and confusion the Romans ran into each other, and those not agile enough fell and suffered a painful death under the trampling feet of their own comrades.

The Muslim cavalry, rejoined by Dhiraar's detachment, pressed the Romans farther into the corner where they lost all freedom of action. Khalid's horsemen now began to use the knees and hooves of their horses to knock down the exhausted defenders. The screams of the Romans mingled with the shouts of the Muslims as the last resistance collapsed, and the battle turned into a butchery and a nightmare of horrors. For the last time the Romans broke and fled in disorder. Those who still retained a desire to fight were carried away by their panic-stricken comrades, especially in the army of chains in which groups of 10 fought, moved and fell together.

Moving like stampeding cattle, the Roman rabble reached the edge of the ravine. The view to the bottom was terrifying, but so was the last wild charge of the Muslims. Those coming in the rear pressed blindly against those on the edge of the ravine, and rank after rank, the Roman army began to fall down the precipice. The blood-curdling screams of some continued until they hit the bottom, while the screams of others were cut short as their bodies crashed against jutting rocks and then continued their descent as shapeless, bloody lumps.