Battle of Cravant - History

Battle of Cravant - History

In 1422 England resumed its war with France. In August 1423 French and Scottish forces were decisively defeated by the forces of England under the command of John Plantagent who was acting as regent for the infant Henry VI.

Background

After the Treaty of Troyes in 1420, the English king was permitted to occupy all the country north of the Loire. In 1422, with Henry V suddenly dead and an infant King Henry VI of England, hostilities recommenced. [1]

In the early summer of 1423, the French Dauphin Charles assembled an army at Bourges intending to invade Burgundian territory. This French army contained a large number of Scots under John Stewart of Darnley, who was commanding the entire mixed force, as well as Spanish and Lombard mercenaries. This army besieged the town of Cravant. The garrison of Cravant requested help from the Dowager Duchess of Burgundy, who raised troops and in turn sought support from Burgundy's English allies, which was forthcoming. The two allied armies, one English, one Burgundian, rendezvoused at Auxerre on 29 July. [2]


Middle Ages Battles

The Middle Ages was a particularly violent and bloody period in English history. The Middle Ages is a period that is full of warfare and violence, and in this article we will look at some of the most notable wars.

Notable Middle Ages Battles

  • The Battle of Hastings
  • The Crusades
  • The Barons War
  • The Hundred Years War
  • The Wars of the Roses

These battles, although bloody, led to key developments in technology, weaponry well as advancements in both defensive and offensive structures and weaponry, changes to law and much more.

The Battle of Hastings

The Battle of Hastings is generally accepted as the earliest big battle of the Middle Ages. On Saturday 14th October 1066 the general of the invading French forces, Duke William of Normandy (Also known as William the Conqueror) and King Harold Godwinson battled on the green pastures of Hastings. Harold had acquired his title as King following the death of Edward the Confessor earlier that year.

Edward had named Harold as his successor in his will. However, William felt that that the task of ruling England was rightfully his (following a promise from Edward) and he decided to head to England to claim what he felt was his.

Both men are said to have commanded armies that day of around 7,000 men each. However, William’s Norman army managed to defeat Harold’s Saxon defenders. The reign of Saxon England was over, and a new Norman chapter was about to begin.

England then engaged in battles that made up the Crusades although these battles took place on lands to the east, rather than in England itself.

In the years immediately after the Battle of Hastings a number of important historical events occurred, including the construction of a number of Normal castles in England (including the Tower of London in 1073.) In 1086 William the Conqueror commissioned the creation of what was later to be known as the Domesday Book, which was the biggest and most detailed survey of the ownership of land and livestock in not just England, but all of Europe.

The Barons War

The next big Middle Ages battle of note was the Baron’s War. The war ran between the years 1263–67 and the war was between King Henry VIII and his barons.

In 1261, King Henry III renounced the Provisions of Oxford(1258) and the Provisions of Westminster (1259), which gave a council of barons a considerable amount of power. By revoking these laws, Henry also reasserted his right to appoint his own councillors.

This act led to an uprising of the barons, and in 1263 they took to taking arms against their king. Led by Simon de Montfort, who was the earl of Leicester, the barons managed to get Henry to reinstate the Provisions that he had renounced.

However, in 1264 a decision made by Louis IX of France as arbitrator favoured the King rather than the barons, and this created a renewed anger and another uprising which led to war, but Simon de Montfort defeated Henry’ men.

Battles and the threat of invasions continued until 1267. This time an uprising against Montfort of led to his defeat and his death.

The Hundred Years War

It’s almost impossible to imagine the scope, scale and sheer bloodiness of a war that lasted over a century, but the Hundred Years War is not an over exaggerated title given to an otherwise uneventful war. A series of bloody battles took place over a total period of 116 years.

The battles were between the French and the English and they were as numerous as they were bloody.

  • The Battle of Cadsand (1337)
  • Naval Battle of Sluys (1340)
  • Battle of Auberoche (1345)
  • Siege of Calais (1346)
  • Battle of Crecy (1346)
  • Battle of Saint-Pol-de-Leon (1346)
  • Battle of La Roche-Derrien (1347)
  • Battle of Saintes (1351)
  • Battle of Ardres (1351)
  • Battle of Mauron (1352)
  • Battle of Poitiers (1356)
  • Battle of Auray (1364)
  • Battle of Navarrette (1367)
  • Battle of Montiel (1369)
  • Battle of Chiset (1373)
  • Siege of Harfleur (1415)
  • Battle of Agincourt (1415)
  • Siege of Rouen (1418-1419)
  • Battle of Bauge (1421)
  • Battle of Cravant (1423)
  • Battle of Verneuil (1423)
  • Battle of St.James (1426)
  • Battle of Jargeau (1429)
  • Battle of Beaugency (1429)
  • Siege of Orleans (1428 – 1429)
  • Battle of Patay (1429)
  • Siege of Compiegne (1430)
  • Battle of Gerberoy (1435)
  • Battle of Formigny (1450)
  • Battle of Castillon (1453)

Many of these battles proved to be critical in the shaping of the war and the countries fighting them. During this time a number of key historical events took place, including the rise of the Black Death and the birth of Leonardo Da Vinci.

Two years after the end of the Hundred Years War the Wars of the Roses began.

The Wars of the Roses

The Wars of the Roses was the name given to a series of civil wars that were fought between the House of Lancaster and the House of York between 1455 and 1485. The name ‘Wars of the Roses’ was given because of the badges used by the two opposing groups. The Lancastrians brandished a red rose while the Yorkists were represented by a white rose.

The civil conflict came just two years after the Hundred Years War however the civil wars were the product of a number of negative scenarios which led to a boiling pot situation in England, where numerous parties fought for the contention of the throne.

  • St.Albans (1455)
  • Blore Heath (1459)
  • Ludford Bridge (1459)
  • Northampton (1460)
  • Wakefield (1460)
  • Mortimer’s Cross (1461)
  • St Alban’s (1461)
  • Ferrybridge (1461)
  • Towton (1461)
  • Hedgeley Moor (1464)
  • Hexham (1464)
  • Edgecote Moor (1469)
  • Losecoat Field (1470)
  • Barnet (1471)
  • Tewkesbury (1471)
  • Bosworth (1485)

The end of the Wars of the Roses came with the Battle of Bosworth, which gave rise to the start of the Tudor period, which is yet another controversial and dark period of English history.


Cravant 1423 Refought

" For three hours the forces watched each other, neither willing to attempt an opposed river crossing. Eventually, the Scots archers began shooting into the allied ranks. The allied artillery replied, supported by their own archers and crossbowmen. Seeing the Dauphinists were suffering casualties and becoming disordered, Salisbury took the initiative and his army began to cross the waist-high river. "

The battle of Cravant was fought on the 31 July, 1423 south of Auxerre between an Anglo-Burgundian force under Sir Thomas Montacute, numbering around 4000 men, and a largely Scottish French army under Sir John Stewart of around twice its size.

Although details of the battle are brief, the location can actually be reasonably well identified, and enough was recorded of the forces on the day to make reasonable estimations as to their numbers and disposition.

And so, a couple of Sundays ago, myself, Phil, Martin and Richard got together for a refight of the battle.

The terrain above reflects the battlefield as best it could be identified. At the small town of Cravant to the south of Auxerre, there remains one Medieval bridge, at a point just outside the town where the rive is around 50m wide. This seemed to fit the bill entirely, and so I modelled the course of the river and disposition of some woodland on the plain, on present satellite maps of the spot.

The English were comprised as follows. The Burgundians under Lord Willoughby had one unit of Mounted Men At Arms, one unit on foot, one unit of crossbowmen and a group of 'pioneers' manning the English Cannon. The English under CinC Montacute had four units of longbowmen and a unit of foot men at arms. Each unit represented approximately 500 men. The Mounted troops may have been on foot in fact, but as Richard had recently finished some of the Perry mounted knights I was loath not to let him field them:

For the Franco-Scottish force, Sir John Stewart led a vanguard of foot men at arms, 3 large units of pike and two units of Scottish bowmen. The Comte De Vendome brought two units of mounted knights, 2 of crossbowmen, 2 of spearmen and one unit of local light troops.

The Scots were rated as slightly poorer troops than the English and Burgundians, but were brave, stubborn fighters, as befit the historical accounts. The French were, aside from their knights, rubbish troops.

Nevertheless, the French, under my command, began the advance to the river, as to meet the history.

The English line on the other hand held its position, and was prepared to use its artillery and bowmen to thin out the French lines.

With Martin controlling the Burgundians and Richard the English, the first few turns were mainly just an exchange of fire.

One that the French were loath to maintain. Some of their crossbowmen quickly quit the field, whilst the rest retired and the French light troops ran into the forest on their left.

Fortunately the English didn't yet realise how vulnerable the French were, and were hoping to grind down the Scots around the Bridge. For our part, we recognised we needed to draw the Burgundians into an attack, as we would lose the grinding match of a shooting exchange. So Phil began a slow advance of the Scots on the right of the field, whilst the French tried to redress their lines.

This worked, and once the Burgundians and English were drawn into advancing, I got daring with the incompetant commander of the French forces, and once his line was in order, he led his knights on a long flank march to encircle the English:

Poo-poohing the idea that this represented a realistic threat, Richard crossed the river in force to engage the french light infantry who had being bedevilling him with harassing fire from amongst the trees. It was a short sharp battle, but one the English were only capable of winning at swordpoint.

The French soon routed, but finding the trees too dense for their formations, the English decided instead to return back across the river!

At the other end of the field Martin and Phil clashed.

The Scots came off much the worse, losing both units beyond the bridge. It would now fall to their pikemen to try to save the situation.

However fortune smiled on the French, for the Comte arrived at the rear of the English lines with his cavalry, and managed to charge into their lines.

Initial French success was enough to worry the English, and so they recalled their Burgundian cavalry to deal with the threat. Which gave Phil the opportunity to bring pike units over the bridge.

The French cavalry in the event were smashed by a counter attack from the English men at arms, and the Comte slunk beck to his lines in shame. Relieved of pressure the Burgundians turned on the Scots en masse, whilst the English returned to line the river bank and pepper the French lines with arrows.

The sheer size of the Scottish pike units, and their determination meant that the Burgundians were unexpectedly knocked back. The Comte had by now returned to his lines, and led the second unit of knights into the fray, doing what French nobility apparently does best shafting their enemies from the rear!

Now a huge gap opened up in the English army, as the Burgundian horse fell or quit the field. The Scottish pike resumed their advance and Richard could only look on and ponder how he could save the situation.

The Pike cleared the rest of the Burgundian infantry from the field, and their remaining pioneers began to withdraw the guns. The arrows of the English bowmen ground down the French spearmen, and thy began to withdraw. But the Comte's knights were able to deliver one further charge, and broke a unit of bowmen, sealing the fate of the English.

And thus history was rewritten, what had been a slaughter of the French and Scottish instead became a slaughter of Burgundians forcing the English into an unseemly retreat.

All agreed it was a great, and close game. The forces were quite unbalanced in terms of size, as they were historically, the French were some 8000 strong on the day. But the quality gap meant that the English were closer to the French and Scottish than it may seem. I think for the English their initial plan to out shoot the French was sound, but we responded in the only sensible way we could by throwing our best forces at him to force an attack. What the English did not seem to realise was just how weak some of our forces really were, the French crossbows and spearmen and the Scottish bows were very weak indeed, but largely unengaged.

I think if Richard's infantry attack had crossed the river rather than retiring the battle would've been theirs. But that is why I play these games, the chance to rewrite history.

As it was, glory once again, went to the French. Not forgetting the flower of Scotland!


Ludford Bridge, battle of

Ludford Bridge, battle of, 1459. After Salisbury's victory at Blore Heath, he marched to Ludlow to join his allies Warwick and York. They were confronted by a large Lancastrian force led by Henry VI himself. After a skirmish on 12 October near the bridge over the Teme, the Yorkist leaders fled, leaving their troops to surrender.

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Battles Timeline of the One Hundred Years War

The Battles Timeline of the One Hundred Years War
Interesting information and important facts about the history and the Battles Timeline of the One Hundred Years War.

The Battles Timeline of the One Hundred Years War

Name of the Battle - Date of the Battle - Result of the Battle

Battle of Cadsand - 1337 - English victory

Naval Battle of Sluys - 24 June 1340 - English victory

Battle of Auberoche - 1345 - English victory

Siege of Calais - 1346 - English victory

Battle of Crecy - 26 August 1346 - English victory

Battle of Saint-Pol-de-Leon - 1346 - English victory

Battle of La Roche-Derrien - 1347 - English victory

Battle of Saintes - 1351 - English victory

Battle of Ardres - 1351 - French victory

Battle of Mauron - 1352 - Anglo-Breton victory

Battle of Poitiers - September 19, 1356 - English victory

Battle of Auray - September 29, 1364 - English victory

Battle of Montiel - 1369 - French victory

Battle of Chiset (Chizai) - 1373 - French victory

Siege of Harfleur - 18 August - 22 Sept 1415 - English victory

Battle of Agincourt - 25 October 1415 - English victory

Siege of Rouen - July 1418 - January 1419 - English victory

Battle of Bauge - March 21, 1421 - Franco-Scots victory

Battle of Cravant - July 31, 1423 - English victory

Battle of Verneuil (Vernuil) - 17 August 1423 - English victory

Battle of St. James - March 6, 1426 - English victory

Battle of Jargeau - June 11 - 12, 1429 - English victory

Battle of Beaugency - 16 - 17 June, 1429 - French victory

Siege of Orleans - 1428 - 1429 - French victory

Battle of Patay - 18 June 1429 - French victory

Siege of Compiegne - 1430 - French victory

Battle of Gerbevoy - 1435 - French victory

Battle of Formigny - April 15, 1450 - French victory

Battle of Castillon - July 17, 1453 - French victory

The Battles Timeline of the One Hundred Years War

Battles Timeline of the One Hundred Years War
Each section of this Middle Ages website addresses all topics and provides interesting facts and information about these great people and events in bygone Medieval times including the Battles Timeline of the One Hundred Years War. The Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts provided about the fascinating subject of the Middle Ages!

Battles Timeline of the One Hundred Years War

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The Scots who stood beside Joan of Arc

Uncover the story of the Scots who marched with Joan of Arc into battle against the English.

12 February 1429 is the anniversary of the Battle of the Herrings. French and Scottish forces launched an unsuccessful ambush on an English convoy taking supplies to their army, which was blockading the city of Orléans. Why is this failed attack so important in the story of Joan of Arc? Read on to find out.

A city under seige

Between October 1428 and May 1429, the prosperous city of Orléans was under siege by the English. The city, which lies 70 miles south-west of Paris, held strategic and symbolic significance for both sides in the Hundred Years War – a long-running conflict for control of the French crown.

An anonymous citizen recorded that they ‘fired stones that weighed 824 pounds and did much ill and damage to the city and many houses and fine buildings thereof’.

Once, a stone crashed through the roof of a house and on to the table of a man who was dining at it. On 30 January 1429 the townspeople were enraged to see that English soldiers had removed the poles supporting the vines of nearby vineyards to use as firewood. The people of Orléans retaliated by making an outward attack and taking fourteen prisoners.

The defenders of Orléans already included a number Scottish soldiers.
During the late medieval period, many Scots travelled to France as professional soldiers. It was possible to make a good living in this way, as well as to aid Scotland’s ally against England.

We know the French military commander, Étienne de Vignolles (known as La Hire) had Scots serving under him. Another Scot, John Carmichael, was the bishop of Orléans during the siege, having been appointed in 1426.

The Battle of the Herrings

In February 1429, just over two months ahead of Joan’s arrival, Scottish reinforcements made their way to Orléans. These troops were led by Sir John Stewart of Darnley. Stewart was an experienced Scottish knight who had been the constable of the Scottish army in France from 1420. His service was rewarded with various titles and lands in France. In 1423 he had lost an eye in the battle of Cravant and would ultimately lose his life in Orléans.

Sir John Stewart of Darnley.
Andrew Birrell (fl.1794-1805), an engraver, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The timing of the Scottish arrival at Orléans was fortunate. The defenders had heard that a convoy of weapons and food supplies was making its way from English-held Paris to the besieging army. It had three hundred wagons carrying crossbows, cannons, cannonballs, and barrels of herring. The period of Lent was approaching in which medieval Christians substituted meat for fish. These precious supplies were escorted by 1,500 troops.

On 12 February 1429, Stewart and the count of Clermont left Orléans with their troops to intercept this supply train at Rouvray. The English stopped the convoy, turned it into ‘a park of wagons in the fashion of barriers’, and planted sharpened spikes all around. The count of Clermont forbade any attack before his own reinforcements arrived, but Stewart did not wait and led a charge of around 400 men towards the wagons. The English soldiers ‘rushed forth hastily from their park and struck the French, who were mostly on foot, and put them to flight in disarray.’

The aftermath

The French fled and Clermont survived, but others weren’t so lucky. Among the dead were Stewart and his brother William. Their bodies, and those of the French commanders who had died, were taken into Orléans and buried in the cathedral.

Tomb of John Stewart of Darnley in Saint-Croix Cathedral, Orléans.
Alanobrien, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Eight years earlier Stewart had paid for daily masses to be sung in the church that would become his resting place. His wife Elizabeth is buried beside him. She had followed him to France and died just 10 months after her husband.

The defeat caused many leaders on the French side – including the Scottish bishop John Carmichael – to flee the town.

Joan of Arc has a vision of defeat

You may be asking why this unsuccessful attack is of note. Well, it provided a pivotal moment in the story of the French hero, Joan of Arc.

The young peasant woman became a leading figure in the Hundred Years War after she came to the attention of the Charles VII. Known as the Dauphin, Charles was crowned king in the summer of 1429, in part thanks to Joan. The teenager had claimed that she received visions of angels and saints. They instructed her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination.

The story goes that as the Battle of the Herrings was taking place, Joan was nearly 200 miles away in a town called Vaucoleurs. She was ardently trying to convince the military captain Robert de Baudricort that she was channelling messages from God.

He was apparently sceptical. But legend has it that Joan told him of a terrible defeat near Orléans. She proclaimed: “The Dauphin’s arms had that day suffered a great reverse near Orléans”. Days later, when a messenger arrived with news from the Battle of the Herrings, Baudricort was convinced to take Joan seriously. He arranged for her to meet with the king.

Château de Chinon. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Joan was escorted to the Royal Court in Chinon, a journey of over 270 miles. At the court, she petitioned the king for permission to travel with the army and wear protective armour. The king deliberated for a while, but in the end accepted her request. By the end of April 1429 Joan joined the French and Scottish troops at Orléans.

Whether you believe these divine prophesies were genuine, they were useful to the king and made Joan an iconic figure in the ongoing Hundred Years War. And ultimately a martyr for the cause.

An army led by a prophet

Joan of Arc arrived at Orléans as part of a relief force. She was accompanied by 100 men-at-arms and 400 Scottish archers. Legend has it that she marched into the city to the sound of Scottish bagpipes playing “Hey Tuttie Tatie” (you might recognise it as the tune to “Scots Wha Hae”). We strongly suspect this detail of the story is a romantic embellishment of events, but if it adds colour to the way you picture the scene, then carry on!

Joan of Arc by Ann Alexander © Private Collector, c/o Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum. www.scran.ac.uk.

One by one the French captured the forts that the English had set up around the town. By 8 May the English gave up. They raised the siege and ‘set out to save themselves so swiftly that they left behind their bombards, cannons, and artillery and the greater part of their food supplies and baggage.’

The following day, Bishop Carmichael walked alongside Joan in a thanksgiving procession through Orléans. Joan’s victory ushered in a period of military success for the French, and Charles VII was crowned king of France two months later. As late as 1443 wounded Scottish veterans were still receiving charity from the city of Orléans, which remembered their contribution to the French victory. John Stewart was remembered, too, in a fifteenth century play as ‘the most valliant on earth, […] so brave and hardy’.

Banner image credit: © Estate of John Duncan. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk.

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Battle of Cravant - History

Had a great day yesterday at Salute at the ExCel centre in east London. I haven't been to Salute for about five years and I thought it was about time to go and have a look.

I was a regular attender from the early 80s when it was at Kensington Town Hall, then when it moved up the road to Olympia. In those days being on the west side of London it was just that bit easier to get to. The move to the east of London in the former docklands site which is now home to the Excel and the Millenium Dome now renamed the O2 centre, has added another forty odd minutes to the journey. This together with the travel and venue costs had put me off going for the last few years. However given that it is the premier show in Europe, and as all that is great in wargaming is produced in the UK (only joking), I thought it was about time to soak up some inspiration that a major show like Salute can supply.

The journey up to London from sunny Devon is a round trip of just over 500 miles, which entails about four and a half hours in the car up and back. In previous times I have split this journey up by staying overnight with friends and family but yesterday I decided to drive it in one day. Fortunately I was joined by three mates from the club, Vince, Ian and Steve H.and my eldest son Tom so we enjoyed plenty of good chat on the way up and back. We also met at the show one of the Devon Wargames Groups extended members John M who has lived for a number of years up near John O Groats in Scotland. John has recently been surpassed as our furthest away club member by Gus who has moved to Cyprus, but will be maintaining his membership for home visits.

The day started at 6am and concluded at 8.30pm when we got home. A day like this takes careful planning, so on arrival at the show, about 11am, we sorted out meet up times and Tom and I set off around the venue picking up pre-orders I had with various manufacturers and photographing games we had planned to see. Excel is a big arena and we decided to work our way up and down the rows of traders and games ticking off our list of people to see.

So to what in my humble opinion were some of the best games of the show. The games I have pictured are what I would be happy to present to the non wargaming public as our hobby of historical wargaming at its best.

First up is, what I believe won, best game of the show. A stunning 20mm Normandy encounter from the Nantwich Gamers "When Chaos Reigns - A detailed company level game using the Kampfgruppe Normandy rules. Grenadier Guards and King's Shropshire Light Infantry with armour support assault over the River Orne into a large French town defended by experienced German infantry and armour"

The attention to detail had to be seen to be believed, with shoulder patches included on the British infantry. My dad who served with Guards Armoured Division in Normandy would have been impressed with this game. Very well done.

A rare sight in Normandy
I'm afraid I don't get the American Civil War. The advance to rifled muskets and artillery for me take away the beauty of the three arms working together that Napoleonics offers in buckets. That being said I can appreciate the colour and pageantry of the blue and the grey.
Having walked the Gettysburg battlefield I was immediately caught by this beautiful rendition of the attack on the Little Big Top by Wargames Illustrated to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the battle.

Next up was a 15mm Stalingrad encounter by Arbuthnot's Terra Firma League of Gentlemen.
I love to see how people manage to model city battle landscapes and this modular terrain style seem to capture the look quite well. I certainly came away with ideas form my own collection.

In addition to the great terrain and figures, check out the arms and heads of the less fortunate souls crossing the river, that Tom pointed out to me.

Back to my current theme, the Peninsular War, I managed to get a few pictures of the Victrix "Iberian Glory - Fast and Furious 54mm Napoleonic participation game with prizes". I love the detail 54mm scale has to offer. This had me wanting to get straight back to the painting desk.

Now I come to, for me and the unofficial Devon Wargames Group Salute Committee, what was the "Best Game of Show" but which actually received second best. The number of pictures of this game really gives a clue to my thoughts. Not only was it massive, but the standard of terrain, figure painting and overall presentation, just put it, for us, in first place.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present from the Essex Gamesters "Waterloo - A full size 28mm Waterloo display game. The team were in Napoleonic re-enactor uniforms giving a detailed talk about the battle".

To see this game was a real treat. The guys from Essex had set up the whole of the Waterloo field from Genappe to Hougomont. I was able to stand with Tom, who is not as familiar with the events of the battle as myself, and give him a blow by blow description of the battle by simply pointing out those events captured in this wonderful display game. Check out the pictures below and let me have your thoughts.

The French cavalry under Ney assault the Allied Squares

Bruswick Uhlans to the rescue

Belgian infantry resisting furiously


I love Carabineers

The Guards will hold fast

Watch out there trying to get in through the back!

The irresistible force meets the immovable object

The Nassau hold the gardens

Here comes his Britannic Majesty's Life Guards

The 42nd Black Watch line the sunken road

"Scotland the Brave"

La Haye Saint held by the KGL with the 95th Rifles in the sandpit

Hogoumont - the model, as the game was being put away

The Guard in reserve

More Guard and the Grand Battery facing the allies across the valley

"His hat was worth 40,000 men on any battlefield"

The Red "Dutch" Lancers of the Guard look on
I gather from the Essex lads that this game took three hours to put up. A massive thanks to them for a fantastic game.

So that was another Salute for another year captured in the memory. I had a brilliant day with lots of laughs with good friends. I managed to pick up some figures for my Napoleonic collection, some terrain including my bell tower as discussed previously, and some other stuff which I will talk about in future posts. I also want to offer my apologies to my fellow bloggers who I had hoped to meet at the show. I'm sorry guys but I didn't realise how much we had to do in so little time before hitting the road back to Devon. I hope we might meet up in future.


Contents

Sharing the Army of the Loire at Orléans Edit

The Army of the Loire had been split subsequent to the retreat of General Aurelle after the Battle of Loigny. French political leader Gambetta 'retired' Aurelle and appointed two generals to lead the now split armies. General Antoine Chanzy commanded the two corps north of the Loire (XVI and XVII) while General Bourbaki commanded south of the river (XV, XVIII and XX corps).

Beaugency until 8 December Edit

From his headquarters at Chateau de Talcy Chazny grouped three divisions in defensive positions at Beaugency to make a stand with the Loire river on his right flank and his left in the forest of Marchenoir. Continual rain and snow coupled with flagging morale and disorganization he could do little else.

During the 8th and 9th fierce fighting occurred between the Germans and French. Both sides fought for the key positions of the walled villages of Cravant and Beumont. The French had superiority of numbers (

100,000) and effective artillery fire forced the Germans (Mecklenburg) to break contact. Cold, exhaustion and deprivations plagued the Germans as well as the French during this time.

Moltke ordered Mecklenburg reinforced by Prince Freiderich Karl to destroy the French forces under Chanzy. Chanzy's only hope was assistance from Bourbaki's 150,000 troops south of the Loire. Bourbaki attempted to order his dispirited troops into action, but they refused his order. After visiting Bourbaki Gambetta stated that it "was the saddest sight he had ever seen," the army was "in veritable dissolution."

10 December Edit

Chazny had to break contact and retreat from the Loire toward Le Mans once German reinforcements arrived.


Historical Events on July 31

    [Philip] begins and ends his reign as Catholic Pope The oldest recorded eruption of Mt. Fuji (Traditional Japanese date: July 6, 781) Egyptian Mamelukken occupies Akko, crusaders driven out of Palestine Hundred Years' War: Battle of Cravant - the French army is defeated by the English on the banks of the river Yonne in Burgundy Jacques Cœur is arrested by order of Charles VII of France

Historic Discovery

1498 Christopher Columbus discovers the island of Trinidad on his third voyage

    Pilgrim Fathers depart Leiden, Netherlands for England on their way to America Fronde-leaders surrender in Bordeaux Russo-Polish War (1654-1667): the Russian army enters the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Vilnius, which it holds for six years Aurangzeb appoints himself Mongol emperor Pierre Corneille's "Othon" premieres in Paris Peace of Breda: 2nd English war-Suriname vs New-Netherlands ends

Event of Interest

1703 Daniel Defoe is placed in a pillory for the crime of seditious libel after publishing a politically satirical pamphlet, but is pelted with flowers

Event of Interest

1777 Marquis de Lafayette, 19, made major-general of Continental Army

Historic Publication

1786 "Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish dialect" by Robert Burns is published by John Wilson in Kilmarnock, Scotland

    1st US patent granted, to Samuel Hopkins for a potash process Cornerstone laid for 1st US government building: US Mint in Philadelphia All Jacobijnse clubs together in Haarlem 1st practical US railroad track (wooden, for horse-drawn cars), Philadelphia British invade Plattsburgh, NY Benjamin Chambers patents breech loading cannon Hottest July in Netherlands since at least 1783 (68.4°F (20.2°C) avg) Hottest July in Stockholm since at least 1756 (21.4°C avg) Christchurch, New Zealand, is chartered as a city. 9,300 mm rainfall in July in Cherrapunji, Assam: then world record

Event of Interest

1864 Ulysses S. Grant is named General of Volunteers

    The first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world opens at Grandchester, Australia Patrick Francis Healy, SJ, inaugurated as President of Georgetown U US Coast Guard officers' training school established (New Bedford Massachusetts) Second Russian assault on Plevna, Turkey fails, during Russo-Turkish War, 7,300 Russian casualties

Event of Interest

1914 German Emperor Wilhelm II threatens war, orders Russia to demobilize

    Oil discovered in Lake of Maracaibo World War I: Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres) begins, goes on to cause approximately 500,000 casualties The Weimar Constitution establishing the German Republic is adopted 18-year-old Ralph Samuelson rides world's 1st water skis (Minnesota) General strike in Italy against fascist violence Belgian Chamber discusses bilinguality at Ghent University Last allied occupying troops leave Ruhrgebied Unemployment Insurance Act passed in Britain

Event of Interest

1929 Aristide Briand becomes premier of France for the 6th time

Event of Interest

1930 NY Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig drives in 8 runs with a grand slam and 2 doubles in a 14-13 win over the rival Boston Red Sox

    International Lawn Tennis Challenge, Paris, France: Home team wins 6th straight title as Jean Borotra beats American Wilmer Allison 1-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 for unassailable 3-1 lead ends 3-2 Cleveland Indians christen their new home, Municipal Stadium before more than 76,000 fans lose opener, 1-0 to the Philadelphia A's German Election (NSDAP gets 37.3%) 26th Tour de France: French cyclist André Leducq wins after tallying 6 stage victories his second Tour triumph (1930) International Lawn Tennis Challenge, Wimbledon: Fred Perry beats American Frank Shields 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 15-13 to give Great Britain unassailable 3-1 lead to retain title ends 4-1 3rd Dutch government of Colijn sworn in IOC awards Tokyo, Japan 1940 Summer Olympic Games (later cancelled, Second Sino-Japanese War)

Event of Interest

1938 MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis suspends New York Yankees outfielder Jake Powell after he said on Chicago radio he kept in shape by "cracking" African Americans over the head with his nightstick

    Archaeologists discover engraved gold and silver plates from King Darius in Persepolis. 32nd Tour de France: Italian cyclist Gino Bartali wins both general and mountain classifications Riechskommissar Seyss-Inquart bans homosexuals U-boats sink and damage 21 allied ships this month (80,521 tons) German SS gases 1,000 Jews in Minsk, Belorussia Transport #58 departs with French Jews to Nazi Germany

Event of Interest

1944 Last deportation train out Mechelen departs to Auschwitz

Victory in Battle

1945 Pierre Laval, fugitive former leader of Vichy France, surrenders to Allied soldiers in Austria

    "Brigadoon" closes at Ziegfeld Theater NYC after 581 performances US President Harry Truman dedicates Idlewild Field (now Kennedy Airport), NY American swimmer Wally Ris wins the coveted 100m freestyle gold medal at the London Olympics beating teammate Alan Ford by 0.4 seconds American sprinter Harrison Dillard runs an Olympic record 10.3s to beat countryman Barney Ewell for the 100m gold medal at the London Olympics Japan Airlines is established Milwaukee first baseman Joe Adcock becomes only the 3rd player in 20th century to hit 4 HRs in 9-inning game (Lou Gehrig & Gil Hodges) in 15-7 Braves' win over Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field MLB record 18 total bases First ascent of K2, by an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio KRNT (now KCCI) TV channel 8 in Des Moines, Iowa (CBS) 1st broadcast WHIS (now WVVA) TV channel 6 in Bluefield, West Virginia (NBC) 1st broadcast England cricket spin bowler Jim Laker takes 10-53 in Australia's 2nd innings match figures 19-90 in 4th Test at Old Trafford England win by innings & 170 runs Anti-Chinese uprising in Tibet 1st exhibit of bongos at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo opens (Cleveland, Ohio)

Event of Interest

1959 Cliff Richard and the Shadows have their 1st British No. 1 single with "Living' Doll" (biggest British single of 1959)


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