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D-FOX Developing Information

The Medieval Warriors Who Rode to Join WWI

In his book, “Seven League Boots”, published in 1935, Richard Halliburton described a curious event that occurred in Tbilisi in 1915.

On page 162, in the chapter ‘The Last of the Crusaders’ Halliburton wrote:

“In the spring of 1915, some months after Russia’s declaration of war against Turkey, a band of twelfth-century Crusaders, covered from head to foot in rusty chain armour and carrying shields and broad-swords came riding on horseback down the main avenue of Tiflis [Tbilisi]. People’s eyes almost popped out of their heads. Obviously this was no cinema company going on location. These were Crusaders – or their ghosts.

The incredible troop clanked up to the governor’s palace. ‘Where’s the war?’ They asked. ‘We hear there’s a war’.

They had heard in April 1915 that there was a war. It had been declared in September 1914. The news took seven months to reach the last of the Crusaders…”

The warriors were Khevsurs from the historical Khevsureti region (Georgian: ხევსურეთი) of north east Georgia. Legend tells that they are descended from Crusaders who left France 800 years ago and became detached from the main army, marched through Turkey and Armenia and settled in the Greater Caucasus mountains in Georgia.


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