The military religious orders emerged during the Crusades as Christendom's stormtroopers in the savage conflict with Islam. Some of them still exist today, devoted to charitable works. This is the first history of these order to have appeared since the eighteenth century. This book examines the Templars, Hospitallers (later Knights of Malta), the Teutonic Knights, and the Knights of the Spanish and Portuguese orders. The first properly disciplined Western troops since Roman times, they were noblemen vowed to poverty, chastity and obedience, living a monastic life in monasteries which were at the same time barracks as they waged war on the enemies of the Cross. This revised and updated version of the original 1972 work contains material describing events up to 1990.