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The Ninth Crusade, also referred as The Grand Army of the Reconquista, is a group of fanatics assembled under Catholic banner and a major antagonistic faction in both manga and anime of Hellsing.
The Ninth Crusade was an entire Catholic army regiment in the use of the Vatican. They gathered under the command of Archbishop Enrico Maxwell to partake in purging England of Millennium's forces, consisting of about 3,172 members. Their robes and hoods they wear resemble a simple Ku Klux Klan outfit, though their dresses were capirotes, a traditional Catholic custom still in use, most notably in Spain.
Their mission was to aid Hellsing and Alucard in destroying the Letztes Battalion; but, Maxwell, drunk on power and fanaticism, turned on Hellsing and ordered the Knights to attack and destroy everyone, soldiers and civilians alike, to kill all the Protestants in England and force a sizeable Catholic conversion. During their battle with Millennium, yet, they manage to cripple the Major's Zeppelin with their gunships and inflict severe casualties on the vampire army up to the point only 572 remained.
Despite sporting weapons meant to be effective against unholy monsters as well as massive gunship support, they were overrun and destroyed by Alucard's enormous army of familiars.
30 years into the future, their numbers still were low enough for them to seriously force them to wait for centuries before even considering the possibility of a Tenth Crusade.
There are four branches of the Papal Knights that participated in the ninth crusade.
- The Knights of the Sagely Brethren represent the Knight Order of the Sword of Courland. They consist of 340 members total, all of which attended the battle of London.
- The Knights of the Order of Calatrava La Nueva consist of 118 members total and is the smallest of orders. All of its members attended the battle of London.
- The Knights of the Military Order of Santo Stefano di Toscana (St. Stephen of Tuscany) consist of 257 members. They all attended the battle of London.
- The Knights of the Order of Malta consist of 2,457 members and had the most members to spare. They all attended the battle of London.
- It is unknown if the Pope knew of the 9th Crusade's the war crimes under Enrico Maxwell's leadership. They might have planned out to wipe out all Protestants from England and Europe.
- There was the 9th Crusade in real life. Technically, Maxwell's Crusade should be referred to (disregarding the Alexandrian Crusade) as the 10th Crusade. It is unknown if Kouta Hirano knew of this or not, as the total number of Crusades from the years 1091 AD to 1291 AD was nine.
- By some historical accounts, the Fifth and Sixth Crusades of Frederick II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, were considered to be one crusade, which would mean there were only eight Crusades during this timespan. If this version of history was the one used by Hirano then it would make sense for the invasion of London to named The Ninth Crusade.