THE ASSAULT, CAPTURE, AND PLUNDER OF THE CITY.
THE preparations which the leaders had been pushing on during several weeks were completed by the 8th of April, and that day was chosen for an assault upon the city. A noteworthy change of plan had been made from that which had been acted upon nine months before. Instead of attacking simultaneously a portion of the harbour walls and a portion of the landward walls, Venetians and Crusaders alike directed their efforts against the defences on the side of the harbour. The horses were embarked once more in the huissiers. The line of battle was drawn up; the huissiers and galleys in front, the transports a little behind, and alternating between the huissiers and the galleys. The whole length of the line of battle was upwards of half a league,1 and stretched from the Blachern to beyond the Petrion.2 The Emperor's vermilion tent had been pitched on the hill just beyond the district of the Petrion, where he could see the ships when they came immediately under the walls. Before him was the
Preparations for the attack.