A Brutal and Transformative Conflict: Exploring the Battles & Sieges of the Hundred Years’ War

The Hundred Years’ War was a series of conflicts fought between England and France from 1337 to 1453. The primary cause of the war was a dispute over the succession to the French throne!

Battle of Crecy 100 year war

The conflict began when Edward III of England, who had a claim to the French throne through his mother, invaded France in an attempt to assert his claim. The war continued for over a century, with both sides winning and losing battles, and many treaties being signed and broken.

“The Hundred Years’ War was one of the most significant and complex conflicts in medieval Europe, with lasting implications for the political and social structures of the continent.”

Jonathan Sumption, British historian and author of “The Hundred Years War: Trial by Battle”
king edward iii Battle of Crecy
Edward III of England

The war also had economic and territorial motivations, as both countries sought to expand their territories and control trade routes. In addition, the war was marked by intense nationalism and patriotism on both sides, with each country viewing itself as the rightful owner of certain territories and the protector of its people.

Medieval France Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc

The war ended with the victory of the French, who were able to push the English out of France and consolidate their power. The war had a significant impact on both countries, leading to political, social, and economic changes that lasted for many years.

“The Hundred Years’ War was a long and drawn-out struggle, punctuated by moments of intense violence and bloodshed, that fundamentally reshaped the balance of power in Europe.”

Kelly DeVries, American historian and author of “The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Warfare”
Battle of Castillon
The Battle of Castillon was an important battle in the 100 years war between England and France

Significant Sieges of the Hundred Years’ War

Siege of Calais (1346-1347)
After the Battle of Crécy, the English army besieged the French port city of Calais for almost a year before it finally surrendered.

Siege of Harfleur (1415)
Prior to the Battle of Agincourt, the English army besieged and captured the French town of Harfleur after a five-week siege.

Siege of Orléans (1428-1429)
One of the most famous sieges of the Hundred Years’ War, the English army laid siege to the city of Orléans for several months before a French army under Joan of Arc arrived and lifted the siege.

Siege of Rouen (1418-1419):
After the death of Henry V, the English army besieged and captured the city of Rouen, which had been an important stronghold of the French.

Siege of Paris (1429-1436)
After the lifting of the siege of Orléans, the French army under Charles VII gradually retook many of the territories that had been lost to the English. One of the most important sieges during this period was the siege of Paris, which lasted for several years before the city finally surrendered to the French.

Siege of Bordeaux (1451-1452)
The English-held city of Bordeaux was one of the last strongholds in Gascony. The French army laid siege to the city for several months before it finally surrendered, effectively ending the Hundred Years’ War.

Note that there were many other sieges during the Hundred Years’ War, both large and small. The ones listed above are some of the most significant sieges that helped shape the course of the conflict.

Battle of Sluys
Battle of Sluys

“The Hundred Years’ War marked the transition from the medieval to the early modern period, with advances in military technology, changes in tactics, and the emergence of powerful nation-states.”

Anne Curry, British historian and author of “Agincourt: A New History”
Medieval Warfare Battle of Crecy Froissart
Medieval crossbowmen help to defeat the French at the battle of Crécy

Battle of Poitiers
The Battle of Poitiers was one of the more significant battles during the 116 years – 100 years war!

Tudor Weapons
Battle of Agincourt