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Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab - Expansion of Islam and Military Campaigns

Battle Of Yermuk - Third And Fourth Days

On the third day, the Byzantines again launched the attack. The initial attacks were repulsed by the corps of Amr and Shurahbil. But when the Byzantines increased their pressure, the Muslims fell back. The Byzantines broke through in several places, and the Muslims fell back to their camp. The corps of Shurahbil was similarly pushed back to the camp. The Muslim women in the camp once again came into action with sharp tongues and tent poles. The Muslim warriors felt that it was easier to face the enemy than their women. That made the Muslim warriors return to the battle. Khalid again came to the rescue of these corps. The Byzantine opposition to the Muslim counter attack was very stiff but by dusk the Byzantines had been pushed back to the original position.

On the third day also the battle remained undecisive. The losses of the Byzantines outnumbered those of the Muslims. The Byzantine attacks had been beaten back by the Muslims. The Muslims were satisfied with their performance, but in the Byzantine camp, Mahan the Commander-in-chief was not satisfied with the performance of the Byzantines.

On the fourth day the Byzantines again started the battle with an attack on the corps of Amr bin Al Aas and Shurahbil. The corps of Amr was pushed back, but there they held up with drawn swords. In the sector of Shurahbil the Byzantines broke through and pushed the Muslims to their camp. Seeing the predicament of Shurahbil, Khalid came to his assistance with his reserve. At the same time Abu Ubaida and Yazeed launched a frontal attack in their sector to prevent the increase of further pressure in the sector of Shurahbil. As the Byzantines advanced in the sector of Shurahbil, by a counter flank movement. Khalid attacked the Byzantines from two sides. The Byzantines broke under the blows of the Muslim cavalry and fell back to their original position, losing heavily in the process. The Byzantine archers now let loose a rain of arrows on the Muslim forces. Over 700 Muslims were hit in their eyes.

The fourth day's battle because of these arrows came to be known as "The Day of Lost Eyes". That was the worst day of the battle for the Muslims. Seeing the consternation in the Muslim ranks the Byzantines increased their pressure. Even the corps of Abu Ubaida and Yazeed were pushed back. At this critical hour, Ikramah and his contingent refused to retreat. They took the oath of death, and fell upon the Byzantines with the fury and violence of desperate men. Under their blows the Byzantines pulled back. Of the four hundred dedicated men who took the oath of death almost all including Ikramah died, but they saved the day for the Muslims. Seeing the plight of the Muslims the Muslim women rushed forward with tent poles to fight against the Byzantines. That inspired the Muslims to heroic effort, and when the day's action was over, both the armies stood once again on their original lines.

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