01 Battle of Crécy-en-Ponthieu: 26 August 1346
A ‘Virtual Battlefield Tour’ from Fields of War: Fifty Key Battlefields in France and Belgium
Summary: King Edward III of England landed an army of 15,000 men at St-Vaast-la-Hougue on the Cotentin peninsula in Normandy. His objective was to claim the crown of France as his own. Edward was prevented from attacking Paris by maneuver of the much larger army of the French king, Philip VI. Now trapped and without ability for resupply, Edward attempted to join forces with his Flemish allies to the north. Philip's vanguard, led by Jean de Luxembourg fought to deny Edward bridges over the Somme River, essentially assuring his destruction. At Crécy, Edward positioned his dismounted men-at-arms and his archers so as to take maximum advantage of the longbow's superior firepower. The French army, the largest in Europe, fielded thousands of mounted, armored knights. Although greatly outnumbered, Edward's army, led on the field by his son the Prince of Wales (The Black Prince), produced a stunning victory over the French aristocracy.