The Hundred Years War of 1337-1453

After the death of Philip IV, three of his sons died one after the other under mysterious circumstances. The grandees proclaimed King Philip VI Long – a representative of the genus Valois. He wrote in 1328 the royal dynasty of Valois, which existed in France until 1589.

However, the new dynasty was not lucky. Philip IV the Beautiful has a daughter – an English queen, whose son, Edward III, ascended the English throne. He stated that he had more rights to the French crown than any of Valois. To discourage annoying Edward III, sophisticated French lawyers came up with a way how to make it impossible to transfer the crown through the women’s line. It turned out that the mother of Edward III could not give the son the right to the French throne, since she herself did not have it. Edward III stood his ground. It’s time to resort to the “last argument of kings” – weapons.

The question of who will own the French throne was just an excuse

for war, as it has long been brewing. The apple of discord between France and England was the rich Flanders, which was only considered a vassal of France. The cities of Flanders were more attracted to England, with which they shared common economic interests.

The terrible war between France and England, which was called Centennial, broke out in 1337 and continued intermittently until 1453. It began with sea battles. In 1340, the British sank the French fleet and then mockingly mocked: “If the fish spoke, then certainly in French, so full of her fill the French.” Since 1341 military operations have already been conducted on the territory of France.

The French put up their pride against the British – knighted cavalry cavalry and Genoese mercenaries, the British against the French – deft infantry archers, firing quickly and accurately. The archers fought together, the commanders obeyed, the knights were an uncontrollable crowd, everyone was fighting on their own.

The advantages of the infantry were especially evident in the Battle of Crecy, when the British quietly and confidently

destroyed the color of the French troops. In this battle, 1,500 French knights were killed, while the English ones – only three.

XIV century. French poet and historian Froissart about the Battle of Crecy in 1346.

… English archers… advanced a little forward and began with great skill to release their arrows to the Genoese, which fell and pierced as thickly as snow… When these countries, piercing their hands, feet and heads, felt, they were hour are broken…

Next to them and the English were knights in dense rows, riding on richly dressed horses and perfectly dressed… The British still fired violently into the thick of the crowd, and not a single shot was lost for nothing, for the arrows pierced and fell, or among still-holding knights, or among those who stumbled and fell helplessly – and they could be lifted from the earth only with the help of people…

For France came the dark days. The English won the victory. In the south of France robbed the son of Edward III – also Edward, Prince of Wales. In 1356 a six thousandth detachment of the Black Prince overtook Poitiers near the town of the 25,000-strong army of the new French King John II of Good. The French had a wonderful opportunity to get even for the defeat at Crecy. But the English warriors, too, acted cohesively, energetically and managed to sow panic among the French. Many French knights shamefully fled without even having entered the battle. He gave them the example of Dauphin Carl, the eldest son and heir of the king, the future Charles V Wise. Abandoned to the mercy of fate, the French king and his son Philip were captured. France still did not know such dishonor.

Dauphin is the title of heir to the French throne.

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The Hundred Years War of 1337-1453