During the initial years of the War England won a series of stunning and major battles. English armies repeatedly defeated the French forces at battle of Crecy in 1346, Battle of Poitiers in 1355and Battle of Agincourt in 1415, despite being heavily outnumbered, sometimes to the order of 1 to 10. The French suffered severe setbacks and at the Battle of Poitiers even their King was captured by the famous ‘Black Prince (Findling and Thakerey, 2004).
The English army, under Edward, the ‘Black Prince’ completely routed their adversaries, devastating the French countryside, causing its noblemen and knights to flee and forcing the France to request for Peace in 1360 (Neillands, 1990). By the time Edward, the Black Prince, died in 1377, he was commanding over one third of French territory. However, the next 20 years saw gradual French recovery through reclamation of most of their lost territory and English decline under reign of Richard III who proved to be a very ineffective ruler.
The English fortunes revived once again after ascendancy of Henry V on the throne. Henry V, a brilliant ruler and military strategist, restarted the military conflict against France. In 1415, Henry led an army of 6000 men to crush almost 4 times large French forces at the famous battle of Agincourt, a victory that nearly established English hegemony over France (Findling and Thakerey, 2004). England once again captured large sweeps of French land and in 1420 Henry was accepted as Regent of France by a distraught and broken French regality.
But English advancements had reached their culmination with victory of Henry V. The French moral was irrepressibly revived by the spirited leadership of the peasant girl- Joan of Arc. Joan led French army to repel English invasion of Orleans in 1429 and she had stirred the masses as well as nobility to finally rise against the English misdemeanors. Meanwhile, England was herself caught in the complex web of internal politics, feuds and rising debt that forced to it pull out of the hundred years of warfare, the war culminating in 1453.
The Hundred Years War had great military implications, in formulating new strategies of warfare and military campaigns. It saw the end of siege warfare, underlined the significance of light-mobile infantry and long bowmen in inflicting crushing defeat on the enemy. The English translated the same strategy after invention of rifles to win further major battles against superior forces.
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