All About History


It is a summer’s day in northern France, and on a Picardy hillside tens of thousands of soldiers have assembled to engage in a battle of two kings. One is defending his kingdom while the other has come to claim it. Two other monarchs are also present, but common soldiers dominate this noticeably regal battle.

Genoese crossbowmen are ordered by the French king, Philip VI, to attack the positions of his English rival, Edward III. As they advance a thunderstorm breaks out, and when it clears deadly arrows replace the raindrops. The sun then shines into the crossbowmen’s eyes so that they are now blind as well as beleaguered. The Genoese flee.

This momentous engagement became known as the Battle of Crécy, and it was the first of three major English victories during the Hundred Years’ War. Although Agincourt became the most famous of the three, and Poitiers involved the capture of a French king, Crécy is arguably the most important.


Although the Hundred Years’ War (1337 1453) was a series of intermittent conflicts conducted over a very prolonged period, its root cause remained the same. The war was primarily conducted between the Plantagenet and Valois dynasties over the right to rule the kingdom of France, and it was Edward III who vigorously sparked

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