Edward the Black Prince, son of King Edward III of England, wins the Battle of Poitiers 1356. The French King, John II, is captured and ransomed, while civil war erupts in his kingdom
The Battle of Crecy was the first major land battle of the Hundred Years War – an important victory for the English and a landmark moment in European military history
One of the greatest naval battles of the European Middle Ages, the English victory at The Battle of Sluys, fought at the coast of Flanders, was crucial to starting The Hundred Years War
Background to The Hundred Years War (1337-1453)
In the late thirteenth century and early fourteenth century the economy and population of France flourishes. The Kings of England try and hold on to the Duchy of Acquitaine from the Kings of France. The Papacy moved to Avignon.
In the year 1204, Philip Augustus of France wrested control of the duchy of Normandy from King John of England. The long Capetian-Plantagenet struggle for power, however, was not yet over and would reach another decisive point a decade later at the Battle of Bouvines, 1214. This time the leaders of the other main power of the western Europe, Germany, would be brought into the conflict, and so also have important consequences for central Europe and Italy. And so for this episode I will get us up to date with the political situation in Germany.
A recent guest episode for the History of England podcast on the End of the Hundred Years War, in brief the years after Agincourt 1415, but focusing on the last four years from 1449-1453 and the Battles of Formigny and Castillon. In England the victories at Agincourt, Crecy and Poitiers are well known, but less so, the events around the end of the war, and how the French eventually drove the English from all the continent, except for Calais.
Maps courtesy of http://xenophongroup.com
King John of England in his first year or two of rule achieved some successes, but his lack of tact and diplomacy, plus poor decision-making lost him many allies in France. The focus of the escalating conflict between the Plantagenets and Capetians became Chateau Gaillard, a magnificent fortress in the key borderlands between Normandy and the French royal demesne around Paris.
The Inner Bailey today of Chateau Gaillard
Location of Chateau Gaillard in France
Reconstruction of how the castle looked