A history of the 1119 Battle of the Field of Blood, which decisively halted the momentum gained during the First Crusade and decided the fate of the Crusader states During the First Crusade, Frankish armies swept across the Middle East, capturing major cities and setting up the Crusader States in the Levant. A sustained Western conquest of the region appeared utterly inevitable. Why, then, did the crusades ultimately fail? To answer this question, historian Nicholas Morton focuses on a period of bitter conflict between the Franks and their Turkish enemies, when both factions were locked in a struggle for supremacy over the city of Aleppo. For the Franks, Aleppo was key to securing dominance over the entire region. For the Turks, this was nothing less than a battle for survival--without Aleppo they would have little hope of ever repelling the European invaders. This conflict came to a head at the Battle of the Field of Blood in 1199, and the face of the Middle East was forever changed.