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Edward Woodstock, Lanuedoc and Poitiers campaigns.

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Introduction

Introduction The shocking Languedoc and highly successful Poitiers campaigns seem to stand out militarily as Edward of Woodstock, the 'Black Prince's' most prominent achievements. The Languedoc campaign managed to cripple the economy of the South West part of France for years later and delivered a "...shattering blow to French self-confidence."1 Coming almost ten years after the murderously successful battle of Crecy, where it seemed that half of France's nobility (and many from her Allies) was hacked to death by the English archers, or Hellequin?, as they were known. It would seem logical for the French therefore to have adapted by then to the English style of warfare. Yet they did not and the Battle of Poitiers resulted not only in English superiority for at least the next ten years of the war, but also the ultimate prize-the capture of John 'le bon', king of France. Why he was there and the significance of this The Black Prince is a name used for Edward of Woodstock, son of Edward III and Prince of Wales. It is thought to be a 15th century term invented by the French in reference to his wearing of a black suit of armour at the battle of Crecy. ...read more.

Middle

Edward III was not very successful in Picardy that autumn either, and Woodstock was left effectively isolated in the South West of France. This did not unduly disrupt the campaign, as a chevauch�e was an easy tactic to employ. The campaign was devastatingly successful, and fulfilled the aim of the campaign insomuch as it totally demoralised the enemy and wrecked the economy of the Languedoc region-Sumption estimates that at least 400,000 �cus of tax was lost that year alone. But how could one person be responsible directly for destruction on such a scale? The answer is they could not. This campaign, with its atrocities, was conducted in his name, and so he was ultimately responsible for the actions of his men. A chevauch�e was a savagely brutal, continuous raid into enemy territory during which "...the English killed every human being they could catch"8. Plunder was an important incentive for troops and they obtained plenty of it. This foray was never seriously meant to draw the French out into battle, but to cripple their ability to put an army in the field. This assertion however is a mainly retrospective view by historians, with primary sources often emphasising the wish for a joined battle. ...read more.

Conclusion

Modern equivalent is Harlequin, which is a late 16th century word. Via obsolete French from Hellequin, legendary leader of night-raiding demon horsemen. * As he shall henceforth be referred to as 2 Christopher Allmand-The Hundred Years War: England and France at War c. 1300-1450 revised edition (pub 2001) ch.3 subsection on leadership, p.70 3 Jonathan Sumption-Trial by Fire ? Said by both Sumption and Harvey 4 Froissart, Chronicles 5 H.D. Sedgwick- p ix The life of the Black Prince 6 Who's who in late medieval England 7 J Sumption-Trial by Fire ? See Appendix 1 for map 8 p85 Desmond Seward - Hundred Years War 9 p.60 Richard Barber - Life and campaigns of the Black Prince 10 Chronicle of Geoffrey le Baker, translated in Richard Barber - Life and campaigns of the Black Prince (p68) ? See Appendix B 11 Chronicle of Geoffrey le Baker, translated in Richard Barber - Life and campaigns of the Black Prince (p63) 12 see Chronicle of Geoffrey le Baker, translated in Richard Barber - Life and campaigns of the Black Prince ? The two languages- 'Langue d'oc' (Provencal) and 'langue d'oil' (much like today's standard French) 13 A point highlighted by both Sumption and Allmand respectively 14 Sumption, p222 To what extent was the Black Prince responsible for the successes of the Languedoc (1355) and Poitiers (1356) campaigns? ...read more.

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