The Battle of Crécy, 1346
With additional contributions from Françoise Autrand, Christophe Piel, Michael Prestwich, and Bertrand Schnerb. On the evening of 26 August 1346, the greatest military power in Christendom, the French royal army with Philip VI at its head, was defeated by an expeditionary force from England under the command of Edward III. A momentous event that sent shock waves across Europe, the battle of Crécy marked a turning point in the English king's struggle with his Valois adversary. While the French suffered humiliation and crippling casualties, compounded by the consequential loss of Calais a year later, the self-confidence and military reputation of the English - from their king down to the lowliest of archers - soared. Well over half a century before Agincourt, the English had emerged as the most respected fighting force in Europe. This book assesses the significance of Crécy, and offers new interpretations of both the battle itself and the campaign that preceded it. It includes the latest research on the composition and organisation of the English and French armies, a penetrating analysis of the narrative sources and a revealing re-appraisal of the battlefield. It concludes with a fresh look at the role of the archer in Edward III's victory. Dr ANDREW AYTON is senior lecturer in history at the University of Hull; Sir PHILIP PRESTON is an independent scholar, and founding secretary of the Battle of Crécy Trust.