"A disastrous defeat for the People's Crusade", a 15th-century manuscript illustration. #CrusadesEpisodes
Back at the main crusaders' camp, two Turkish spies had spread rumor that the Germans who had taken Xerigordos city had also taken Nicaea, which caused excitement to get there as soon as possible. Their leader Peter had gone back to Constantinople to arrange for supplies and was due back soon, and most of the leaders argued to wait for him to return (which he never did). However, Geoffrey Burel, who had popular support among the masses, argued that it would be cowardly to wait, and they should move against the Turks right away.
His will prevailed and, on the morning of 21 October, the entire army of 20,000 marched out toward Nicaea, leaving women, children, the old and the sick behind at the camp. Just 3 miles from the camp, the Turkish army was waiting to ambush. When approaching the valley, the crusaders marched noisily and were immediately subjected to a hail of arrows. Panic set in immediately and within minutes, the army was in full rout back to the camp. Most of the crusaders were slaughtered; however, women, children, and those who surrendered were spared.
Three thousand, including Geoffrey Burel, were able to obtain refuge in an abandoned castle. These few thousand, the only survivors of the People's Crusade, fortunately were able to return to Constantinople. #End