Battle of Crécy (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The Battle of Crécy not only establishes England as an important military power but also demonstrates that mounted knights and the age of chivalry are doomed.
Summary of Event
The Anglo-Norman kings of England were so impressed with the powerful longbow they encountered in their military expeditions against Wales that they adopted it and ordered the inhabitants of every English village to practice its use on a regular basis. Thus the “Welsh” longbow had become the “English” longbow by 1346, when the Battle of Crécy occurred.
Longbows varied in length from slightly more than five and one-half feet to slightly less than six and one-half feet. The advantage of the longbow over its shorter cousins came from the increased leverage that resulted from drawing back its longer “arms.” Knowledge of the principle involved was certainly no secret, but the longbow had significant disadvantages that limited its popularity. Its unwieldy length meant that the archer could carry few if any other weapons. He certainly could not put it over his back and use a sword in offensive operations. This limitation meant that it was unsuitable for any situations other than defensive battle. Perhaps more important, it was difficult to master without extensive practice, hence the royal order for regular training and practice.
Yew was the favored wood for longbow construction. Like the American...
(The entire section is 1510 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
Battle of Crécy (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Type of action: Ground battle in the Hundred Years’ War. Result: English longbows devastate French mounted knights.
In 1346, England’s King Edward III invaded northern France with an army of about 12,000. His intention was to distract King Philip VI of France from his invasion of English-held Guienne in southwestern France. Landing unopposed in Normandy, Edward moved east, threatening Paris and claiming the French crown, while Philip gathered a large army. Edward crossed to the north bank of the Seine by rebuilding the bridge at Poissy and then marched north to join his Flemish allies and renew contact with his fleet, perhaps for a return to England. King Philip pursued, and on the morning of August 26, after spending the night in the forest of Crécy, the English army prepared a defensive battlefield, with trenches, hedges, potholes, and barricades of carts and wagons deployed along the Crécy-Wadicourt road. King Edward exercised command himself, posting reserves near a windmill with a general view of the fields and close behind his right wing. This section was nominally commanded by his sixteen-year-old son, whose dark-colored armor gave him the name of the Black Prince. By noon on August 26, the English preparations were complete, and the soldiers had time for a leisurely lunch.
At about 4:00 p.m., the first of the French troops began to arrive. The army had marched hard over many roads and was...
(The entire section is 621 words.)