#On This Day – The Cuban Missile Crisis

Monday, June 29th, 2020


May 1191 proved to be a busy month for Richard I, otherwise known as Richard the Lionheart. On his way to join the Third Crusade in north west Israel, Richard heard news that some of his ships. including the one carrying Berengaria, eldest daughter of Sancho VI of Navarre and Richard’s betrothed, had ran aground at Cyprus on its way to meet Richard in the Holy Land. The survivors of these ships were taken prisoner, including Berengaria of Navarre. Richard made his way to the island and arrived with his fleet at the start of May, landing at Limassol, and demanded the release of his men and his bride. This was rather colourfully refused by Issac Komnenos, the Byzantine Emperor. So, Richard stormed the beach and engaged in hand to hand combat, driving off the Cypriot army and chasing them from the beach and through the city streets. There Richard challenged Issac to single combat, but Issac fled. Limassol was firmly under English control and Crusaders sacked the city. By the end of May all of Cyprus was Richards, Issac was in shackles (silver ones according to legend as Richard had promised not to put him in iron shackles), and England also had a new queen. Busy Richard had overthrown an Emperor, taken the island and rescued and wed his bride – by June 8 he had landed in Acre and aided in its capture, that’s the abbreviated story anyway!

To find out what the Crusades have to do with playing chicken, Henry VIII’s Great Matter, WWI appeasement, and the Cuban missile crisis listen to our podcast here!


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