Almogavars Route 2013

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In case of doubts or questions, please contact the operations department
Almogaver army in a painting of the XIII century

The almogavars (almogàver in its original Catalan spelling) are the typical result of the mid-age frontiers. Their origin comes from the Catalan shepherds that, dispossessed of their land due to the Arabian invasion, they were forced to survive by attacking the intruders and serving the Christian nobles as frontiersmen. The name comes from Arabic Al-Mugawir, a raider, devastator, warrior.

 
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We would like to thank Pablo Carbonell (CAT026) for his effort for preparing the real routes, add them to the VRoute database and make them available to all the VATSIM community.

We are also indebted to Mike Sweeney, VATSIM Supervisor, for the revision and improvement of the english version of this page. Without his contribution, part of the content would likely be not understandable.

 
LEGS
LEG 1. FROM THE OLD CATALONIA TO THE NEW CATALONIA

Date: March 9th 2013 - 1600z (17:00 CET)

Departure: Perpinyà airport (LFMP)
Arrival: Alacant airport (LEAL)

Distance: 354 nm


Saint Georges coat of arms

They were foot-soldiers, fast and very effective, not depending of any military logistics for their actions. This fact rapidly made them a formidable army. They wore no armour, dressed in animal skins, were shod with brogues and carried the arms similar to those of Roman legionaries: at most two heavy javelins or assegai (atzagaia in Catalan), a short stabbing sword and a shield. They were not conquerors but they took care of the security and order at the battle fronts, thus advancing along with the regular troops of the King of Catalonia and Aragon while they conquered the territories south of the Llobregat river.

 

LEG 2. SICILY: WHERE THE LEGEND BEGINS

Date: March 23rd 2013 - 1600z (17:00 CET)

Departure: Alacant airport (LEAL)
Arrival:
Palermo airport (LICJ)

Distance: 718 nm


Sicily coat of arms

After the campaigns of Mallorca and València, the almogavar army lost its employment. However, when the King Pere The Great was crowned king of Sicily, the gates of glory and legend opened for the Catalan mercenaries.

We are now in 1282 and the King Pere The Great sends about 2.000 almogavars to combat the French forces threatening Sicily.

The first impression that these soldiers had on the Sicily citizens is the worst possible, as Ramon Muntaner explains in his Cròniques (chronicles): They wore a small bag, were dirty, their clothes broken, without shields nor long weapons, only daggers and darts. This poor aspect, very far from the concept of a disciplined and well prepared army, discourages the Sicilians.

It was not necessary to wait much longer to dissipate this discouragement. At dawn, the almogavars attacked the angevin troops and the victory in front of the French troops was tremendous. They made such a slaughter that was a wonder, explains Ramon Muntaner.

Not yet satisfied with the severe defeat of their enemies, the almogavars chased them all along the south of Italy, winning battle after battle.

 

LEG 3. THE GREAT CATALAN COMPANY

Date: April 6th 2013 - 1500z (17:00 CEST) !!!

Departure: Palermo airport (LICJ)
Arrival: Istanbul airport (LTBA)

Distance: 770 nm


Saint Peter coat of arms

When the Sicily campaign was over, the Catalan mercenaries accepted the proposal to travel to Byzantium to help the emperor Andronicus II to neutralise the Turkish menace.

As a reward for their services, the Almogavars would receive a high salary, and their leader Roger de Flor, the title of Grand Duke of the Eastern Roman Empire and the hand in marriage of Emperor Andronicus' niece, Maria Asanina.

On September 1303, the almogavars triumphantly crossed Constantinople's gate and Andronicus rapidly sent them for a mission at Cape Artaki, where the Turkish troops menacing the empire were resting. Eight days later, at early dawn, the Catalans overcame the Turkish soldiers in a lighting operation. In few hours, the men of Roger de Flor got the control of the enemy camp and no man over 10 year old was left alive.

 

LEG 4. THE CATALAN REVENGE

Date: April 20th 2013 - 1500z (1700 CEST)

Departure: Istanbul airport (LTBA)
Arrival: Athens airport (LGAV)

Distance: 296 nm

The almogavars were already a legend, but Roger de Flor was led by ambition to create his own empire and even pretending to claim for the title of Caesar.

During a dinner, a group of greeks and alanians assassinated the almogavars leader and all his escort. At the same time, Catalan almogavars and traders were attacked by surprise all around the empire. Even a Catalan embassy sent to negotiate the peace was annihilated.

At their winter headquarters at Gallipoli (now Gelibolu), the largest part of the almogavars army overcame the initial siege and, once the position was secured, they left the camp lead by Berenguer d’Entença to satisfy their aims of revenge.

The famous “Catalan Revenge” was about to start: they passed by blood and fire all villages and cities without caring about lives or goods. Again gathered at Gallipoli, and already with Bernat de Rocafort as their new leader, the almogavars decided to face the largest Byzantium army ever seen.

After sinking their own vessels at the harbour to prevent the temptation of running away and to resist the siege they were having, the Catalan troops suddenly attacked the Byzantium army camping outside the city. The conflict was brutal but the almogavars finally triumphed and defeated the Byzantines. The revenge madness of the almogavars spread the terror all around the empire. The place where the Catalan ambassadors where killed was devastated and no man, woman, elderly, child or animal was left alive. The anger fell also over the alans, accomplices in the murder of Roger de Flor, and many of them, conscious of their fate, decided to kill themselves and their own women and children before they fell on Catalan’s hands.

 
ROUTES, CHARTS AND SCENERIES

All legs are available at VRoute.

Real charts are available in the net. We suggest to use the Chart Central of VATSIM Pilot Resource Center or, preferably, EUROCONTROL.You may also use NAVIGRAPH though it is a payware site.

You may find the recommended sceneries in the SCENERY CORNER / ALMOGAVARS ROUTE section.

 
CONDITIONS and DETAILS
  • Different legs may be flown using different aircraft.
  • Pilots flying propeller aircraft may make technical stops during a leg to refuel or recatering.
  • The group departure time of each leg will be at 17 h (continental EU local time). Catalonian Airlines pilots are exceptionally allowed to fly individually but it that case they must do it between 0.00 h UTC and 23.59 h UTC of the same day.
  • We suggest filing a flight plan using the VATSIM flight plan prefile system.
  • In the flight plan REMARKS we suggest to add ALMOGÀVERS ROUTE.
 
In case of doubts or questions, please contact the operations department
 
WE LOOK FORWARD TO YOU JONING US!!

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