Glad to be back with the loss of my computer phobia and near terminal writers' block.
Medieval Knights and Samurai are very often compared, and it is a relatively fair comparison.
The only force(s) of "Mounted Knights" that remained cohesive and unified fighting units, an alien new concept to Medieval Europeans, were perhaps the Knights Templars (oh yeah, here we go) and the Knights of St. John Of the Hospital (aka the 'Hospitalers').
In "Outremer" these were the only two standing forces of mounted chivalry available to the "Kings" (sort of Dukes really) of Jerusalem. Every other force could be counted on to have no committment of a lasting nature to Jerusalem, or the Kings of Jerusalem.
Much like the pent up force of the "Reqonquista" in Spain directed powerful and greedy forces led led by famous caballeros such as Pizarro and other to perhaps be discussed lated, into the "New World" and gained inconceivable if temporary wealth of a country who, well really, was without its "Flotas" and Cabalerros kind of poor, or so it would seem.
The force "pent up" in this fashion was that of the , at base, Norman Knights of France and other nations. The Pent up force seemed so likely to turn on itself and the Fldgling Kings of the nascent Nation States.
This was done when a Pope, a spiritual leader, succeded in directing this "force" against a common enemy. Hmmmm-how did the soldiers if Ilsam in the 11th Century suddenly become a point of attack for So many armed men to travel 2000 miles, through a Christian but distrusted Empire, tackle the formidable light and medium cavalry forces of the Seljuks (well-the "Crusaders" called all Moslem warrior "Saracens". And I will look up the reason why for you.
I will decribe the men of the First and, perhaps the only really successful "Crusade" .
the Pope, of course, was Urban II " a man of blameless Life and habit then prevailing in Rome" according to Fulcher the Chronicler".
Chivalry was new to Europe and the very notion of a piece of God's world that could be called "Christendom" and which further could be harnessed sufficiently that the Saudis, for example, still used the power of their oil to change the name of America's (and Europe's) "Crusade" into Afghanistan to "Enduring Freedom".
Christendom one day was a dream, a fiction, a non entity and the next day "it" would propel the best fighting men the West has ever produced to a foreign adventure.
I will not discuss the truly insane mind of "Peter the Hermit" who managed to arrange a true slaughter of innocents in advance of Tancred the Great, Godrey de Boullioun, Eustace of Boulougne would I think, may actually have been relatively pure in motive, and, perhaps, relatively unwashed.
Discussing this "unwashed adventure" will be an adventure.
The tale of the Norman French Knight who lost a hand at Dorylaeum and simply turner around and rode first to Constantinople, and then home, apperently hearty is the glory, the unwashed peasant mob that forged itself (apparently) into the anvil for men such as this Norman Chevalier, is a bit of a miracle, but not free of sullied folk.
So have at me!!!
"All Enlightenment Gratefully Accepted"