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why did the french win the 100 years war?

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  Quote Guess Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: why did the french win the 100 years war?
    Posted: 02-Apr-2008 at 20:41
What did the french do differently after their early defeats to the Brittish? Or was it more brittish failures?
How were the french able to over come the Brittish Long bow?
If the Brittish had been more aggressive in the early stages of the war, could they have basically conquered france or destroyed the French monarchy and left some smaller petty states?
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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2008 at 21:05
The french started the war with an obsolete fighting force, the heavy knight. The English were very aggressive when you realise the odds they were attacking t.
 
The by the end the English ran out of resources, by the latter stages the occupation had bankrupt the country, no more troops sent and Bedford left to hold the country with what was there. The French meanwhile adopted musketeer based tactics that were very effective.
 
 


Edited by Paul - 02-Apr-2008 at 21:09
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  Quote snowybeagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2008 at 02:28
The Hundred Years War was not really a single war.
The English kings were not trying to conquer and rule France either, but to maintain control over their feudal domains on the continent - the dynasty of William I were dukes of Normandy before gaining the English crown.
 
Hence, terming it as an occupation was not correct - it was the French kings who were trying to seize the fiefs of the Plantagenets, beginning with Philip IV of France eyeing Gascony.
 
Eventually, what won out in the long run was the French kings being able to secure more neighbouring allies than the English kings who lived across the Channel.  Earlier Plantagenet kings and their vassals of Norman origins lived at least half, if not more, of the time on their continental holdings and had stronger ties with their neighbours such as duchy of Brittany.
 
But over time, their influence waned as they became more identified with their English kingdoms.  In the long run, it was the continental nobles like the Burgundians who had to live and come to terms with the French kings. Thus, after a series of stronger English kings versus weaker French kings, all it took was a strong French king to turn the tide and the English found themselves without a viable foothold on the continent, making a return very difficult.
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  Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2008 at 02:53
Well, in fact, it's very outstanding that English were able to dominate the war for such a long time. The resources and population of France far exceeded those of England. As soon as France was able to effectively mobilize its resources the fate of the war was sealed. Though, the British performance deserves much respect Clap
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2008 at 10:30
I like snowybeagle's analysis.
 
You could maybe sum it up by saying the English lost as soon as it became a war between the French and the English - i.e. when the two sides actually began to see themselves in those terms, rather than as lieges of a feudal lord.
 
Something rather similar happened when the Russians began to see themselves as fighting for Russia rather than the Soviet Union.
 
 
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  Quote Brian J Checco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2008 at 18:45
England began to lose the "war" under a series of weak kings; Richard II, Henry IV, Henry VI come to mind.
There were of course resumed 'successes' under Henry V, but they were more symbolic than anything, and did little to secure England's position upon the Continent. Agincourt, for all the mythology surrounding it, was not a terribly important battle.

France's great Marshal, le Guiscard, also had much to do with France's successes.

Be wary of giving the longbow too much credit; while it was a powerful weapon of war, it was more often the English tactics, usage of terrain, and French misunderstanding of the changing nature of warfare that contributed to England's resounding early successes, not to mention the fact that at that point, "France" as we know it was not actually "France," but a serious of separate, largely autonomous dukedoms and duchies and provinces under the nominal leadership of a "French" king. For example, while the English could count on and recruit soldiers from Kent all the way up to York and the Tyne, "French"soldiers were seldom recruited from Provence, Gascony, Aquitaine, Burgundy, etc. They were largely from the Royal Demesne and surrounding regions; i.e. mostly northern territories, as the south of France was not truly under control of the King of France. Why would men from l'Occitane feel the need to die for the sufferings of peasants (at the hands of the the English chevauchee) around the Seine and Calais? *At least in the early period
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2008 at 11:36
You leave out that the 'English' could recruit soldiers not just from England (and Wales) but also from several 'French' provinces, especially at the beginning. Which only strengthens the point of course.
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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2008 at 13:47
Also as France unified, England began to fall apart. The Black Death, Peasant's Revolt, Lollards, Usurpers and so on.
 
 
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  Quote Illirac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2008 at 20:30
As well thanks the fabian tactic allowed the French to capture most of what they lost earlier
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  Quote Chookie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Apr-2008 at 21:54
The Hundred Years War was not a war between "Britain" and France, but between England and France.  Thanks to the Auld Alliance, great many Scots fought for France in this war and a majority of the forces led by Joan of Arc were Scottish.


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  Quote Patch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2008 at 22:02
Originally posted by Chookie

The Hundred Years War was not a war between "Britain" and France, but between England and France.  Thanks to the Auld Alliance, great many Scots fought for France in this war and a majority of the forces led by Joan of Arc were Scottish.


 
I don't think there were that many Scots with Joan d'Arc, the Scottish army in France was largely destroyed at the Battle of Herrings two years before Joan of Arc appreared.
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  Quote Chookie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Apr-2008 at 21:56
Originally posted by Patch

I don't think there were that many Scots with Joan d'Arc, the Scottish army in France was largely destroyed at the Battle of Herrings two years before Joan of Arc appreared.


In fact only between 400 and 600 (admittedly, mostly Scots) of the Franco-Scottish force were casualties in this battle.

The French account, from

http://www.franco-ecossaise.asso.fr/vahistoire.html

says:-

C'est en 1419 que 150 hommes d'armes et 300 archers cossais dbarquent La Rochelle afin de soutenir le roi Charles VI domin par les Anglo-Bourguignons. Ils furent suivis, entre 1421 et 1425, de renforts considrables (de 15 17000 hommes). Ce sont ces guerriers qui, en 1421, remportrent sur le duc de Clarence la bataille de Baug. Succs phmre, puisqu'ils furent crass Verneuil, puis la bataille dite " des Harengs " au cours du sige d'Orlans. Ce sont eux aussi qui ont form le noyau de la " Garde Ecossaise " autour du Dauphin, futur Charles VII, et l'accompagnrent, avec Jeanne d'Arc, jusqu' Reims, pour y tre sacr, en 1429.

Which I translate as:-

It was in 1419 that 150 men in arms and archers 300 Scots arrived in La Rochelle to support King Charles VI adainst the dominant the Anglo-Burgundians. . They were followed between 1421 and 1425, by considerable reinforcements (15,000 to 17'000 men). These are the warriors who, in 1421, cost the Duke of Clarence the Battle of Baug. Success was ephemeral, as they were crushed in Verneuil.These are they who have also formed the nucleus of the "Scottish Guard" around the Dauphin, the future Charles VII, and accompanied him, with Joan of Arc, to Reims, to her martyrdom, in 1429.



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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Apr-2008 at 11:21
Originally posted by Chookie


The French account, from

http://www.franco-ecossaise.asso.fr/vahistoire.html

says:-

C'est en 1419 que 150 hommes d'armes et 300 archers cossais dbarquent La Rochelle afin de soutenir le roi Charles VI domin par les Anglo-Bourguignons. Ils furent suivis, entre 1421 et 1425, de renforts considrables (de 15 17000 hommes). Ce sont ces guerriers qui, en 1421, remportrent sur le duc de Clarence la bataille de Baug. Succs phmre, puisqu'ils furent crass Verneuil, puis la bataille dite " des Harengs " au cours du sige d'Orlans. Ce sont eux aussi qui ont form le noyau de la " Garde Ecossaise " autour du Dauphin, futur Charles VII, et l'accompagnrent, avec Jeanne d'Arc, jusqu' Reims, pour y tre sacr, en 1429.

Which I translate as:-

It was in 1419 that 150 men in arms and archers 300 Scots arrived in La Rochelle to support King Charles VI adainst the dominant the Anglo-Burgundians. . They were followed between 1421 and 1425, by considerable reinforcements (15,000 to 17'000 men). These are the warriors who, in 1421, cost the Duke of Clarence the Battle of Baug. Success was ephemeral, as they were crushed in Verneuil.These are they who have also formed the nucleus of the "Scottish Guard" around the Dauphin, the future Charles VII, and accompanied him, with Joan of Arc, to Reims, to her martyrdom, in 1429.

Close, but the last sentence should be '...accompanied him, with Joan of Arc, to Reims for his coronation in 1429.' Otherwise 'sacr' would be 'sacre' and anyway Joan was martyred in 1431 in Rouen.
 
A nice example of how to post a foreign-language quotation though.


Edited by gcle2003 - 17-Apr-2008 at 11:22
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  Quote Chookie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Apr-2008 at 20:30
Close, but the last sentence should be '...accompanied him, with Joan of Arc, to Reims for his coronation in 1429.' Otherwise 'sacr' would be 'sacre' and anyway Joan was martyred in 1431 in Rouen.


Cry I must admit French was not my best subject..............

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  Quote Sergeant113 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Apr-2008 at 19:42
The English outmatched the French at first because:
1. The English invented a practice called scutage, which meant that a feuldal lord could rid himself of his military obligations for a year by paying a fix amount of money. This gave England the fund to support her own 'standing army' so to speak, paid by the king, thus obey the kings' orders( i'm talking of discipline here). The French, on the other hand were of feudal levies; masses of reservists with little traing or discipline, some were even filled with chivalrous nonsense.
2. The English , having fought many wars with the neighboring Irish, Welsh, and Scots, learnt that their combination army of long range-armour piercing-bow, and dismounted men-at-arms made great defensive force, and that the French aristocrats' overly aggressiveness and love for honor would lead them right into English hails of arrows.
3. There seemed to never learn from their defeats, kept charging headlong into the English stakes and wolf-pits and phalanxes, despite their humiliations at Crecy, Poitiers, Agincourt and so on.
Later in the war, while the English remained pretty much unchanged The French fixed all their problems:
They had their own standing army: the Compagnies de l'Ordonnance, probably the finest of its time.
1.In their last Battle of the 100 years war, at Formigny, the French successfully utilised their canons to provoke the English to abandon their defenses for a rash attack, which permitted 2.French cavalry to wipe them off.
3.France herself, tranformed from a petty collection of Feudal lands into a nation.
Those are why the French prevailed.
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  Quote Sergeant113 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Apr-2008 at 19:46
http://www.hyw.com/ If you should want to know more about the 100 years war, check the website out, its archive contains quite much to learn.Thumbs%20Up
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Apr-2008 at 19:30
I wouldn't say the French never learnt anything from their defeats. In fact even after Crecy, John II did all he could to reform the French forces and to lead them in a best way possible. It was unfortunate that he chose to dismount his men at Poitiers, and that he was unable to break through the social-related fighting order.
 
After Poitiers, the French basically were beginning to win, and there was a chance that Charles V could have repelled the English had he managed to live a little longer. However again, this repulsion would have been incomplete and not so effective as that of his descendant Charles VII.
 
Personally the reasons for the English loss can be divided into a different ones:
 
Military:
-English persistance on their establish tactics, lack of tactical flexibility and adapting to current military trends.
-Depletion of manpower(shown in growing ratio of longbowmen to men-at-arms)
-Depletion of local(continetal) manpower. Notably the loss of Gascon support.
-Lack of heavier infantry caused by the growth of large English magnates(Mentioned before the decreasing number of men-at-arms).
-English reliance of Chevauchees, which initially aimed at destroying the fragile unity between the Southern French subjects and the French King, greatly helped in unification of France, as the Souther French began fighting for France(but still not for the French king).
 
Political:
-The tremendous growth of the Plantagenet dynasty, and the political unstability caused by this growth(too many pretendents to the throne).
-First 'usurpations' which lead to a accepted practice(as with Roman Emperors).
-Growth of english landed magnates and their supremacy vs smaller landowners.
-Loss of support of continental subjects.
 
Economical:
-Despite acquiring large swathes of land during the war, the English exhausted the regions they acquired and were nota able to use them to full extent. Further IIRC the English King could call upon 6 tonnes of silver? Whereas the French King 20 something tonnes?
 
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  Quote Efraz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Apr-2008 at 22:24
Originally posted by Sergeant113

3.France herself, tranformed from a petty collection of Feudal lands into a nation.
Those are why the French prevailed.

Did too. Such great defeats gives great lessons if you survive to study them.

Agincourt is a huge step... The massacre of the nobles made the process easier I think. Ofcourse there were many more reasons. I think the whole humiliation is a step to get together as a nation. To suffer together...

We the happy few... we band of brothers.

But those said for English. An English writer of a demi-god made a whole 5 play cycle about this war that we never have enough Cheers
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  Quote snowybeagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Apr-2008 at 02:57
Perhaps we can turn the question around: what could the English kings have done to better secure their holdings in France?
 
Option #1 : take over the French crown.  Not that it was not considered, but it would have been difficult.
 
The French crown did not command a great prestige by itself, not enough to cow the powerful noble houses in France to simply genuflect to the Crown.  Instead, it might have led to more contentions and make the English kings a bigger target for ambitious nobles.
 
 
Option #2 : create rival kingdoms within France by encouraging powerful and ambitious French nobles.
 
Option #3 : create rival kingdoms within France by importing "mercenaries", like how the Normans got Normandy.
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Apr-2008 at 11:25
Originally posted by snowybeagle

Perhaps we can turn the question around: what could the English kings have done to better secure their holdings in France?
 
Option #1 : take over the French crown.  Not that it was not considered, but it would have been difficult.
They in fact did it. Henry VI of England was crowned King of France in Paris (Notre Dame) in 1431. Arguably he had a better claim than anyone else in sight, though it depended on how far the Salic Law applied to France.
 
The French crown did not command a great prestige by itself, not enough to cow the powerful noble houses in France to simply genuflect to the Crown.  Instead, it might have led to more contentions and make the English kings a bigger target for ambitious nobles.
 
 
Option #2 : create rival kingdoms within France by encouraging powerful and ambitious French nobles.
They did that too, at least by encouraging the independence of Burgundy.
 
Option #3 : create rival kingdoms within France by importing "mercenaries", like how the Normans got Normandy.
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