The Hundred Years’ War: Key Moments and Decisive Battles

The Hundred Years’ War, spanning from 1337 to 1453, was a protracted conflict that pitted the Kingdom of England against the Kingdom of France and their respective allies.

Despite its name, this war endured for over a century, featuring a series of pivotal moments and battles that reshaped the course of European history.

In this article, we will explore some of the key moments and decisive battles that defined the Hundred Years’ War.

1. Outbreak of War (1337)

The conflict began when King Edward III of England claimed the French throne, which he believed was rightfully his through his mother, Isabella, the daughter of the previous French king. This led to the initial hostilities and the beginning of the Hundred Years’ War.

Battle of Crecy 100 year war

2. Battle of Crécy (1346)

One of the first major battles of the war, Crécy was a significant English victory. It showcased the effectiveness of the English longbow, which inflicted heavy casualties on the French. This battle set the stage for the English conquest of France.

Medieval Warfare Battle of Crecy Froissart

3. Black Death and Truce (1347-1355)

The Black Death ravaged both England and France, leading to a temporary truce. The pause allowed both sides to recover and replenish their forces.

4. Battle of Poitiers (1356)

In this battle, the English, led by Edward, the Black Prince, defeated the French forces and captured King John II of France. This battle further weakened the French monarchy’s position.

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

5. Treaty of Bretigny-Calais (1360)

This treaty ended the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War, with substantial territorial concessions by France to England. Edward III renounced his claim to the French throne in return for control over significant French territories.

6. Re-emergence of Hostilities (1369)

Conflict resumed in the late 1360s due to disputes over the terms of the Treaty of Bretigny-Calais and the French desire to regain territory.

7. Siege of Orléans (1428-1429)

The siege of Orléans marked a turning point in the war. The French forces, inspired by Joan of Arc, successfully lifted the siege and began a series of French victories.


8. Battle of Patay (1429)

At Patay, the French army, led by Joan of Arc, routed the English forces. This battle is often considered the beginning of the end for English dominance in the war.

9. Treaty of Arras (1435)

This treaty saw Burgundy switching sides to support the French, further weakening the English position. The war now transformed into a struggle for the last remaining English possessions in France.

10. Battle of Castillon (1453)

The Hundred Years’ War concluded with the Battle of Castillon. The French, using cannon and artillery effectively, defeated the English forces, effectively ending English territorial ambitions in France.

Battle of Castillon
The Battle of Castillon was an important battle in the 100 years war between England and France

The Hundred Years’ War was a complex and lengthy conflict with numerous significant moments and battles. It ultimately reshaped the map of Europe, marked the end of feudal warfare, and had profound consequences for both England and France.

The war’s legacy continues to be felt in the annals of history and remains a testament to the enduring human spirit during times of prolonged conflict.