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===The Cumans and the Crusaders===
Kaloyan wasted no time embarking on his campaign against the crusaders. At the vanguard of his army were the Cumans, whom he used to help relieve the crusader siege of Adrianople in 1205. The Greeks of Adrianople were desperate, as they had been besieged for over a month, when Kaloyan and the Cumans arrived and engaged the crusaders in battle from April 12-14, 1205. The crusaders initially had the upper hand with the advantage of their heavy arms and armor in close-quarters combat, but the Cumans eventually won the battle when they did their famous feigned retreat.
“Before long the Comans and Wallachians had overrun the land as far as the gates of Constantinople, where the regent, with as many men as he had at his command, was then residing. He was feeling very sad and extremely worried at not being able to get enough men to defend his land. Because of this the Comans were seizing all the cattle in the countryside, carrying off men, women, and children wherever they found them, destroying castles and cities as they passed, everywhere causing such ruin and desolation that no one has ever heard tell of anything to surpass it.” <ref> Joinville and Villehardouin, XVIII, p. 137</ref>
The Cumans then returned to Cumania and did not again take part in the Fourth Crusade. The Greeks of Adrianople actually went over to the crusaders due to the Cumans’ brutality, forcing Kaloyan to give up his own crusade and returned to Bulgaria. <ref> Joinville and Villehardouin, XX, p. 153</ref> The Cumans, though, would have one last bit of impact on the Fourth Crusade. Not long after he returned to Bulgaria, Kaloyan was murdered, probably by his Cuman bodyguards. <ref> Vásáry, p. 53</ref>