|1305||Battle of Apros (Aprus)||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||Defeat of the Byzantine army by the Catalan Company||July 1305|
|War & Enemy:||
Wars of the Catalan Company
|The Battlefield|| Location:
Near the ancient city of Apros in the European part of Turkey. The exact location is not known. Maybe it was Raidestos, a port at the Sea of Marmara
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Michael IX Palaiologos)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||Emperor Michael IX Palaiologos||Without a leader|
|Forces:||Unknown||206 horsemen, 1,256 foot soldiers|
|Background story:||In 1303, the Byzantine Emperor Michael IX Palaiologos hired a force of Catalan mercenaries under Roger de Flor to campaign against the Turks. The Catalan Company consisted of 5,500 men: 1500 knights and 4000 Almogavars (lightly-clad foot-soldiers from the Crown of Aragon). In the course of their operations in the East, they recruited 3000 Turk horsemen.
Their costly service came with success, driving back the Turks in parts of Asia Minor. At Philadelphia, 20,000 Turks were killed by the Catalans. The campaign was one of Byzantium's few decisive victories in a awfully-managed war.
However, the Byzantines got more than what they bargained for; the mercenaries were difficult to control and soon became a serious problem, engaging in widespread violence and looting of the Byzantine inhabitants.
The successes had inflated the already arrogant De Flor, leading him to entertain plans of a setting up his own dominion in Anatolia. Needless to say, this put him at odds with the Byzantine Emperor, and eventually led to De Flor's assassination: On 30 April 1305, he was slain along with 300 cavalry and 1,000 infantry by the Alans, another group of mercenaries at the service of the Emperor. Roger had been in Adrianople (modern Edirne) attending a banquet offered by Emperor Michael.
The murder of the leader did not dissolve the Catalane Company. They continued to fight and over the next years they unleashed what it became known in the Balkans as "the Catalan Revenge".
The emperor later attacked Gallipoli attempting to conquer the city from the remnants of the Company under the command of Berenguer d' Entença who had arrived there with 9 Catalan galleys. The attack was unsuccessful, but it largely decimated the Company. Berenguer d' Entença was captured by the Genoese shortly after, and later liberated. The Company had only 206 horsemen, 1,256 foot soldiers left and no clear leader when Emperor Michael attacked, trusting in his numerical superiority, only to be defeated in Apros in July 1305.The main reason of the defeat was the desertion of the Alan mercenaries, who were afraid of the l of Catalan wrath at the loss of de Flor.
Catalan foot soldier
|Aftermath:||The Catalans went on to ravage Thrace for 2 years, before they invaded Latin-held South Greece and won at Cephisus in 1311 to seize control of Athens.|