The Fourth Crusade, as I’ve occasionally hinted at, is for me, in many ways, the Crusadiest of all the Crusades. Sure, the First Crusade actually achieved its goal, which you can’t really say about any of the others in any serious sense, and other Crusades produced quintessential Crusading figures like Richard the Lionheart and Saint Louis. But the Crusades were, to my admittedly cynical, agnostic eye, an enterprise that was marked more by petty infighting, poor planning, and a tendency to shoot (or stab) oneself in the foot than by dashing heroes or the triumphant “recovery” of the Holy Land for Christ. And the Fourth Crusade has more of that first list of stuff than any of the others. Any major military campaign that targets Muslims and instead brings down the longest-lived Christian kingdom in the world is worth special consideration in my book.