The Swedish Army is a branch of the Swedish Armed Forces whose main responsibility is land operations. See Swedish Armed Forces The peace-time organisation of the Swedish Army is divided into a number of regiments for the different branches; the number of active regiments has been reduced since the end of the Cold War. The regiment forms training organizations that train the various battalions of the army and home guard; the Swedish Armed Forces underwent a transformation from conscription-based recruitment to a professional defence organisation. This is part of a larger goal to abandon the mass army from the Cold War and develop an army better suited to modern maneuver warfare and at the same time retain a higher readiness. Since 2014, the Swedish army has had around 50,000 soldiers in either full-time or part-time duty, with eight mechanized infantry battalions available at any time and the full force of 71 battalions ready to be deployed within one week; the regular army consists of 8 mechanised maneuver battalions, 19 support battalions of different kinds including artillery battalions, anti-aircraft battalions, combat engineer battalions, logistics battalions and 4 reserve heavy armoured battalions and 40 territorial defence battalions.
The battalion is the core unit but all units are modular and can be arranged in combat teams from company to brigade level with different units depending on the task. There are a total of 6 permanent staffs under the central command capable of handling large battlegroups, 4 regional staffs and 2 brigade staffs; until 1975 the Swedish monarch was the formal head of the army. In 1937, the staff agency Chief of the Army was created to lead the army in peacetime. Following a larger reorganisation of the Swedish Armed Forces in 1994, CA ceased to exist as an independent agency. Instead, the post Chief of Army Staff was created at the newly instituted Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters. In 1998, the Swedish Armed Forces was again reorganized. Most of the duties of the Chief of Army Staff were transferred to the newly instituted post of "Inspector General of the Army"; the post is similar to that of the "Inspector General of the Swedish Navy" and the "Inspector General of the Swedish Air Force" renamed to "Inspector of the Army".
In 2014, the Chief of Army position was reinstated. Per Sylvan, 1937–1940 Ivar Holmquist, 1940–1944 Archibald Douglas, 1944–1948 Carl August Ehrenswärd, 1948–1957 Thord Bonde, 1957–1963 Curt Göransson, 1963–1969 Carl Eric Almgren, 1969–1976 Nils Sköld, 1976–1984 Erik G. Bengtsson, 1984–1990 Åke Sagrén, 1990–1994 Åke Sagrén, 1994–1996 Mertil Melin, 1996–1998 Paul Degerlund, 1998–2000 Alf Sandqvist, 2000–2003 Alf Sandqvist, 2003–2005 Sverker Göranson, 2005–2007 Berndt Grundevik, 2007–2012 Anders Brännström, 2012–2013 Anders Brännström, 2013–2016 Karl Engelbrektson, 2016–present Swedish Army regiments are tasked with training conscripts and Home Guard troops. Additionally each regiment can mobilise in times of crisis or war operational battalions for the army's rapid reaction organisation; the active regiments and their main peacetime subordinate units are: Life Guards, in Stockholm Stockholm Command Staff Armed Forces International Centre Armed Forces Dog Service Unit Armed Forces Military Music Center Dalregementsgruppen and supports the Home Guard in Dalarna County Dalarna Battalion, in Falun Gävleborgsgruppen and supports the Home Guard in Gävleborg County Gävleborg Battalion, in Gävle Livgardesgruppen and supports the Home Guard in Stockholm County Attundaland Battalion, in Kungsängen Stockholm Battalion, in Kungsängen Taeliehus Battalion, in Kungsängen Järva Battalion, in Kungsängen Göta Engineer Regiment, in Eksjö Engineer Battalion, trains the troops of the 21st and 22nd engineer battalions Field Works School Norra Smålandsgruppen and supports the Home Guard in Jönköping County North Småland Battalion, in Eksjö Life Regiment Hussars, in Karlsborg Training companies, train the troops of the 31st light and 32nd reconnaissance battalions Armed Forces Survival School Örebro-Värmlandsgruppen and supports the Home Guard in Örebro and Värmland counties Värmland Battalion, in Karlstad Sannahed Battalion, in Örebro Skaraborg Regiment, in Skövde Training unit, trains the troops of the 41st and 42nd mechanized battalions, 18th battle group, 1st heavy transport company, 2nd brigade reconnaissance company Skaraborgsgruppen and supports the Home Guard in Västra Götaland County Kinne Battalion, in Skövde Kåkind Battalion, in Skövde Bohusdalgruppen and supports the Home Guard in Bohuslän and Dalsland Bohusläns Battalion, in Skredsvik Air Defence Regiment, in Halmstad Air Defence Battalion, trains the troops of the 61st and 62nd air defence battalions Hallandsgruppen and supports the Home Guard in Halland County Halland Battalion, in Halmstad South Scania Regiment, in Revingehed Training companies, train the troops of the 71st light mechanized and 72nd mechanized battalions Skånska Gruppen and supports the Home Guard in Skåne County South Scania Battalion, in Revingehed Malmöhus Battalion, in Malmö Scania Dragoon Battalion, in Helsingborg North Scania Battalion, in Hässleholm Artillery Regiment, in Boden Artillery
Normandy is one of the 18 regions of France referring to the historical Duchy of Normandy. Normandy is divided into five administrative departments: Calvados, Manche and Seine-Maritime, it covers 30,627 square kilometres, comprising 5% of the territory of metropolitan France. Its population of 3.37 million accounts for around 5% of the population of France. The inhabitants of Normandy are known as Normans, the region is the historic homeland of the Norman language; the historical region of Normandy comprised the present-day region of Normandy, as well as small areas now part of the departments of Mayenne and Sarthe. The Channel Islands are historically part of Normandy. Normandy's name comes from the settlement of the territory by Danish and Norwegian Vikings from the 9th century, confirmed by treaty in the 10th century between King Charles III of France and the Viking jarl Rollo. For a century and a half following the Norman conquest of England in 1066, Normandy and England were linked by Norman and Frankish rulers.
Archaeological finds, such as cave paintings, prove that humans were present in the region in prehistoric times. Celts invaded Normandy in successive waves from the 4th to the 3rd century BC; when Julius Caesar invaded Gaul, there were nine different Celtic tribes living in Normandy. The Romanisation of Normandy was achieved by the usual methods: Roman roads and a policy of urbanisation. Classicists have knowledge of many Gallo-Roman villas in Normandy. In the late 3rd century, barbarian raids devastated Normandy. Coastal settlements were raided by Saxon pirates. Christianity began to enter the area during this period. In 406, Germanic tribes began invading from the east; as early as 487, the area between the River Somme and the River Loire came under the control of the Frankish lord Clovis. Vikings started to raid the Seine valley during the middle of the 9th century; as early as 841, a Viking fleet appeared at the mouth of the Seine, the principal route by which they entered the kingdom. After attacking and destroying monasteries, including one at Jumièges, they took advantage of the power vacuum created by the disintegration of Charlemagne's empire to take northern France.
The fiefdom of Normandy was created for Rollo. Rollo had besieged Paris but in 911 entered vassalage to the king of the West Franks, Charles the Simple, through the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte. In exchange for his homage and fealty, Rollo gained the territory which he and his Viking allies had conquered; the name "Normandy" reflects Rollo's Viking origins. To this day, in Norwegian language the word nordmann denotes a Norwegian person; the descendants of Rollo and his followers adopted the local Gallo-Romance language and intermarried with the area's native Gallo-Roman inhabitants. They became the Normans – a Norman-speaking mixture of Norsemen and indigenous Franks and Romans. Rollo's descendant William became king of England in 1066 after defeating Harold Godwinson, the last of the Anglo-Saxon kings, at the Battle of Hastings, while retaining the fiefdom of Normandy for himself and his descendants. Besides the conquest of England and the subsequent subjugation of Wales and Ireland, the Normans expanded into other areas.
Norman families, such as that of Tancred of Hauteville, Rainulf Drengot and Guimond de Moulins played important parts in the conquest of southern Italy and the Crusades. The Drengot lineage, de Hauteville's sons William Iron Arm and Humphrey, Robert Guiscard and Roger the Great Count progressively claimed territories in southern Italy until founding the Kingdom of Sicily in 1130, they carved out a place for themselves and their descendants in the Crusader states of Asia Minor and the Holy Land. The 14th-century explorer Jean de Béthencourt established a kingdom in the Canary Islands in 1404, he received the title King of the Canary Islands from Pope Innocent VII but recognized Henry III of Castile as his overlord, who had provided him aid during the conquest. In 1204, during the reign of John Lackland, mainland Normandy was taken from England by France under King Philip II. Insular Normandy remained however under English control. In 1259, Henry III of England recognized the legality of French possession of mainland Normandy under the Treaty of Paris.
His successors, however fought to regain control of their ancient fiefdom. The Charte aux Normands granted by Louis X of France in 1315 – like the analogous Magna Carta granted in England in the aftermath of 1204 – guaranteed the liberties and privileges of the province of Normandy. French Normandy was occupied by English forces during the Hundred Years' War in 1345–1360 and again in 1415–1450. Normandy lost three-quarters of its population during the war. Afterward prosperity returned to Normandy until the Wars of Religion; when many Norman towns joined the Protestant Reformation, battles ensued throughout the province. In the Channel Islands, a period of Calvinism following the Reformation was suppressed when Anglicanism was imposed following the English Civil War. Samuel de Champlain founded Acadia. Four years
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, against the French House of Valois, over the right to rule the Kingdom of France. Each side drew many allies into the war, it was one of the most notable conflicts of the Middle Ages, in which five generations of kings from two rival dynasties fought for the throne of the largest kingdom in Western Europe. The war marked both the height of chivalry and its subsequent decline, the development of strong national identities in both countries. Tensions between the crowns of France and England can be traced back to the origins of the English royal family itself, French in origin. For this reason, English monarchs had held not only the English Crown, but titles and lands within France, the possession of which made them vassals to the kings of France; the status of the English King's French fiefs was a major source of conflict between the two monarchies throughout the Middle Ages.
French monarchs systematically sought to check the growth of English power, stripping away lands as the opportunity arose whenever England was at war with Scotland, an ally of France. Over the centuries, English holdings in France had varied in size, at some points dwarfing the French royal domain. In 1316, a principle was established denying women succession to the French throne. In 1328, Charles IV of France died without brothers, his closest male relative was his nephew Edward III of England, whose mother, Isabella of France, was sister of the deceased King. Isabella claimed the throne of France for her son, but the French rejected it, maintaining that Isabella could not transmit a right she did not possess. Furthermore, political sentiment favoured a Frenchman for the crown rather than a foreign prince; the throne passed instead to Philip, Count of Valois, a patrilineal cousin of Charles IV, who would become Philip VI of France, the first king of the House of Valois. The English had not expected their claim to meet with success, did not press the matter when it was denied.
However, disagreements between Philip and Edward induced the former to confiscate the latter's lands in France, in turn prompted Edward III to reassert his claim to the French throne. Several overwhelming English victories in the war—especially at Crécy, Agincourt—raised the prospects of an ultimate English triumph, convinced the English to continue pouring money and manpower into the war over many decades. However, the greater resources of the French monarchy prevented the English kings from completing the conquest of France. Starting in 1429, decisive French victories at Orléans, Patay and Castillon concluded the war in favour of the House of Valois, with England permanently losing most of its possessions on the continent. Historians divide the war into three phases separated by truces: the Edwardian War, the Caroline War, the Lancastrian War. Local conflicts in neighbouring areas, which were contemporarily related to the war, including the War of the Breton Succession, the Castilian Civil War, the War of the Two Peters in Aragon, the 1383–85 crisis in Portugal, were availed by the parties to advance their agendas.
Historians adopted the term "Hundred Years' War" as a historiographical periodisation to encompass all of these events, thus constructing the longest military conflict in European history. The war owes its historical significance to multiple factors. By its end, feudal armies had been replaced by professional troops, aristocratic dominance had yielded to a democratisation of the manpower and weapons of armies. Although a dynastic conflict, the war gave impetus to ideas of French and English nationalism; the wider introduction of weapons and tactics supplanted the feudal armies where heavy cavalry had dominated, artillery became important. The war precipitated the creation of the first standing armies in Western Europe since the time of the Western Roman Empire, thus helping to change their role in warfare. With respect to the belligerents, in France, civil wars, deadly epidemics and bandit free-companies of mercenaries reduced the population drastically. In England, political forces over time came to oppose the costly venture.
The dissatisfaction of English nobles, resulting from the loss of their continental landholdings, as well as the general shock at losing a war in which investment had been so great, became factors leading to the Wars of the Roses. The root causes of the conflict can be found in the demographic and political crises of 14th century Europe; the outbreak of war was motivated by a gradual rise in tension between the kings of France and England about Gascony and Scotland. The dynastic question, which arose due to an interruption of the direct male line of the Capetians, was the official pretext; the question of female succession to the French throne was raised after the death of Louis X in 1316. Louis X left only a daughter, his posthumous son John I lived only a few days. Furthermore, the paternity of his daughter was in question, as her mother, Margaret of Burgundy, had been exposed as an adulterer in the Tour de Nesle affair. Philip, Count of Poitiers, brother of Louis X, positioned himself to take the crown, advancing the stance that women should be ineligible to succeed to the French throne.
Through his political sagacity he won over his adversaries and succeeded to the French throne as Philip V. By the same law that he procured, his daughters were denied the succession, whi
Charles the Bold
Charles the Bold, baptised Charles Martin, was Duke of Burgundy from 1467 to 1477. He was the last Duke of Burgundy from the House of Valois, his early death at the Battle of Nancy at the hands of Swiss mercenaries fighting for René II, Duke of Lorraine, was of great consequence in European history. The Burgundian domains, long wedged between the growing powers of France and the Habsburg Empire, were divided, but the precise disposition of the vast and disparate territorial possessions involved was disputed among the European powers for centuries. Charles the Bold was born in the son of Philip the Good and Isabella of Portugal. Before the death of his father in 1467, he bore the title of Count of Charolais, he was made a Knight of the Golden Fleece just twenty days after his birth, invested by Charles I, Count of Nevers, the seigneur de Croÿ. Charles was brought up under the direction of Jean d'Auxy and early showed great application alike to academic studies and warlike exercises, his father's court was the most extravagant in Europe at the time, a centre for the arts and commerce.
While he was growing up, Charles witnessed his father's efforts to unite his far-flung and ethnically diverse dominions into a single state, his own efforts centered on continuing and securing his father's successes in this endeavor. In 1440, at the age of seven, Charles was married to Catherine, daughter of King Charles VII of France and sister of the Dauphin, she was five years older than her husband, she died in 1446 at the age of 18. They had no children. In 1454, at the age of 21, Charles married a second time, he wanted to marry a daughter of his distant cousin Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, but under terms of the Treaty of Arras of 1435, he was required to marry a French princess. His father chose Isabella of Bourbon, three years younger than he was. Isabella was the daughter of Philip the Good's sister Agnes and a distant cousin of Charles VII of France. Isabella died in 1465, their daughter Mary of Burgundy was Charles' only surviving child. Charles was on friendly terms with his brother-in-law Louis, the Dauphin of France, a refugee at the court of Burgundy from 1456 until he succeeded his father as king of France in 1461.
But Louis began to pursue some of the same policies as his father, for example Louis's repurchase of the towns on the Somme River that Louis's father had ceded in 1435 to Charles's father in the Treaty of Arras, which Charles viewed with chagrin. When his father's failing health enabled him to assume the reins of government, he initiated a policy of hostility toward Louis XI that led to the Burgundian Wars, he became one of the principal leaders of the League of the Public Weal, an alliance of west European nobles opposed to policies of Louis XI that sought to centralize the royal authority within France. For his third wife, Charles was offered the hand of Louis XI's daughter Anne; the wife he chose, was his second cousin Margaret of York. Upon the death of his father in 1467, Charles was no longer bound by the terms of the Treaty of Arras, he decided to ally himself with Burgundy's old ally England. Louis did his best to prevent or delay the marriage with Margaret, but in the summer of 1468, it was celebrated sumptuously at Bruges, Charles was made a Knight of the Garter.
The couple had no children. After Mary's death many years she kept Mary's two infant children as long as she was allowed. On 12 April 1465, Philip relinquished control of the government of his domains to Charles, who spent the next summer prosecuting the War of the Public Weal against Louis XI. Charles was left master of the field at the Battle of Montlhéry on 13 July 1465, but this neither prevented the king from re-entering Paris nor did it assure Charles of a decisive victory, he succeeded, however, in forcing upon Louis the Treaty of Conflans of 4 October 1465, by which the king restored to him certain towns on the Somme River, the counties of Boulogne and Guînes, various other small territories. During the negotiations for the treaty, his wife Isabella died at Les Quesnoy on 25 September, making a political marriage possible; as part of the treaty, Louis promised him the hand of his infant daughter Anne, with the territories of Champagne and Ponthieu as a dowry, but no marriage took place.
In the meanwhile, Charles obtained the surrender of Ponthieu. Charles' concentration on the affairs of France was diverted by the Revolt of Liège against his father and the bishop of Liège and a desire to punish the town of Dinant in the province of Namur. During the wars of the summer of 1465, Dinant celebrated a false rumour that Charles had been defeated at Montlhéry by burning him in effigy and chanting that he was the bastard child of his mother Isabella of Portugal and John of Heinsburg, the previous Bishop of Liège. On 25 August 1466, Charles marched into Dinant, determined to avenge this slur on the honour of his mother, sacked the city, killing every man and child within. After the death of Charles' father Philip the Good in 1467, the Bishopric of Liège renewed hostilities, bu
Henry IV of France
Henry IV known by the epithet Good King Henry or Henry the Great, was King of Navarre from 1572 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first monarch of France from the House of Bourbon, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, he was assassinated in 1610 by François Ravaillac, a fanatical Catholic, was succeeded by his son Louis XIII. The son of Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme and Jeanne d'Albret, the Queen of Navarre, Henry was baptised as a Catholic but raised in the Protestant faith by his mother, he inherited the throne of Navarre in 1572 on his mother's death. As a Huguenot, Henry was involved in the French Wars of Religion escaping assassination in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, he led Protestant forces against the royal army. Henry IV and his predecessor Henry III of France are both direct descendants of the Saint-King Louis IX. Henry III belonged to the House of Valois, descended from Philip III of France, elder son of Saint Louis; as Head of the House of Bourbon, Henry was "first prince of the blood."
Upon the death of his brother-in-law and distant cousin Henry III in 1589, Henry was called to the French succession by the Salic law. He kept the Protestant faith and had to fight against the Catholic League, which denied that he could wear France's crown as a Protestant. To obtain mastery over his kingdom, after four years of stalemate, he found it prudent to abjure the Calvinist faith; as a pragmatic politician, he displayed an unusual religious tolerance for the era. Notably, he promulgated the Edict of Nantes, which guaranteed religious liberties to Protestants, thereby ending the Wars of Religion. Considered a usurper by some Catholics and a traitor by some Protestants, Henry became target of at least 12 assassination attempts. An unpopular king among his contemporaries, Henry gained more status after his death, he was admired for his conversion to Catholicism. The "Good King Henry" was remembered for his geniality and his great concern about the welfare of his subjects. An active ruler, he worked to regularise state finance, promote agriculture, eliminate corruption and encourage education.
During his reign, the French colonization of the Americas began with the foundation of the colony of Acadia and its capital Port-Royal. He was celebrated in Voltaire's Henriade. Henry de Bourbon was born in Pau, the capital of the joint Kingdom of Navarre with the sovereign principality of Béarn, his parents were Queen Joan III of Navarre and her consort, Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, King of Navarre. Although baptised as a Roman Catholic, Henry was raised as a Protestant by his mother, who had declared Calvinism the religion of Navarre; as a teenager, Henry joined the Huguenot forces in the French Wars of Religion. On 9 June 1572, upon his mother's death, the 19-year-old became King of Navarre. At Queen Joan's death, it was arranged for Henry to marry Margaret of Valois, daughter of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici; the wedding took place in Paris on 18 August 1572 on the parvis of Notre Dame Cathedral. On 24 August, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre began in Paris. Several thousand Protestants who had come to Paris for Henry's wedding were killed, as well as thousands more throughout the country in the days that followed.
Henry narrowly escaped death thanks to the help of his wife and his promise to convert to Catholicism. He was forced to live at the court of France, but he escaped in early 1576. On 5 February of that year, he formally abjured Catholicism at Tours and rejoined the Protestant forces in the military conflict, he named Catherine de Bourbon, regent of Béarn. Catherine held the regency for nearly thirty years. Henry became heir presumptive to the French throne in 1584 upon the death of Francis, Duke of Anjou and heir to the Catholic Henry III, who had succeeded Charles IX in 1574; because Henry of Navarre was the next senior agnatic descendant of King Louis IX, King Henry III had no choice but to recognise him as the legitimate successor. Salic law barred the king's sisters and all others who could claim descent through only the female line from inheriting. Since Henry of Navarre was a Huguenot, the issue was not considered settled in many quarters of the country, France was plunged into a phase of the Wars of Religion known as the War of the Three Henries.
Henry III and Henry of Navarre were two of these Henries. The third was Henry I, Duke of Guise, who pushed for complete suppression of the Huguenots and had much support among Catholic loyalists. Political disagreements among the parties set off a series of campaigns and counter-campaigns that culminated in the Battle of Coutras. In December 1588, Henry III had Henry I of Guise murdered, along with his brother, Cardinal de Guise. Henry III thought that the removal of the brothers would restore his authority. However, the populace rose against him. In several cities, the title of the king was no longer recognized, his power was limited to Blois and the surrounding districts. In the general chaos, Henry III relied on King Henry of his Huguenots; the two kings were united by a common interest—to win France from the Catholic League. Henry III acknowledged the King of Navarre as a true subject and Frenchman, not a fanatic Huguenot aiming for the destruction of
Bayeux is a commune in the Calvados department in Normandy in northwestern France. Bayeux is the home of the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England, it is known as the first major town secured by the Allies during Operation Overlord. Charles de Gaulle made two famous speeches in this town. Bayeux is a sub-prefecture of Calvados, it is the seat of of the canton of Bayeux. Bayeux is located 7 kilometres from 30 km north-west of Caen; the city, with elevations varying from 32 to 67 metres above sea level – with an average of 46 metres – is bisected by the River Aure. Bayeux is located at the crossroads of the train route Paris-Caen-Cherbourg; the city is the capital of the Bessin. The city was known as Augustodurum in the Roman Empire, it means the durum dedicated to Roman Emperor. The Celtic word duron, Latinised as durum, was used to translate the Latin word forum. In the Late Empire it took the name of the Celtic tribe who lived here: the Bodiocassi, Latinized in Bajocassi and this word explains the place-names Bayeux and Bessin.
Bodiocassi has been compared with Old Irish Buidechass'with blond locks'. Founded as a Gallo-Roman settlement in the 1st century BC under the name Augustodurum, Bayeux is the capital of the former territory of the Baiocasses people of Gaul, whose name appears in Pliny's Natural History. Evidence of earlier human occupation of the territory comes from fortified Celtic camps, but there is no evidence of any major pre-existing Celtic town before the organization of Gaul in Roman civitates. Any settlement was more confined to scattered Druid huts along the banks of the Aure and Drome rivers or on Mount Phaunus where they worshiped. Cemeteries have been found on the nearby Mount Phaunus indicating the area as a Druid centre. Titus Sabinus, a lieutenant of Julius Caesar, subjected the Bessin region to Roman domination; the 5th-century Notitia provinciarum et civitatum Galliae mentions Suevi, settled here. The town is mentioned by Ptolemy, writing in the reign of Antoninus Pius, under the name Noemagus Biducassium and remained so until the time of the Roman Empire.
The main street was the heart of the city. Two baths, under the Church of St. Lawrence and the post office in rue Laitière, a sculpted head of the goddess Minerva have been found, attesting to the adoption of Roman culture. In 1990 a closer examination of huge blocks discovered in the cathedral in the 19th century indicated the presence of an old Roman building. Bayeux was built on a crossroads between Lisieux and Valognes, developing first on the west bank of the river. By the end of the 3rd century a walled enclosure surrounded the city and remained until it was removed in the 18th century, its layout can be followed today. The citadel of the city was located in the cathedral the southeast. An important city in Normandy, Bayeux was part of the coastal defence of the Roman Empire against the pirates of the region, a Roman legion was stationed there; the city was destroyed during the Viking raids of the late 9th century but was rebuilt in the early 10th century under the reign of Bothon. In the middle of the 10th century Bayeux was controlled by Hagrold, a pagan Viking who defended the city against the Franks.
The 12th-century poet Benoît de Saint-Maure, in his verse history of the dukes of Normandy, remarked on the "Danish" spoken at Bayeux. The 11th century saw the creation of five villages beyond the walls to the north east evidence of its growth during Ducal Normandy. William the Conqueror's half brother Odo, Earl of Kent completed the cathedral in the city and it was dedicated in 1077; however the city began to lose prominence. When King Henry I of England defeated his brother Robert Curthose for the rule of Normandy, the city was burned to set an example to the rest of the duchy. Under Richard the Lionheart, Bayeux was wealthy enough to purchase a municipal charter. From the end of Richard's reign to the end of the Hundred Years' War, Bayeux was pillaged until Henry V of England captured the city in 1417. After the Battle of Formigny, Charles VII of France recaptured the city and granted a general amnesty to its populace in 1450; the capture of Bayeux heralded a return to prosperity as new families replaced those decimated by war and these built some 60 mansions scattered throughout the city, with stone supplanting wood.
The area around Bayeux is called the Bessin, the bailiwick of the province Normandy until the French Revolution. During the Second World War, Bayeux was the first city of the Battle of Normandy to be liberated, on 16 June 1944 General Charles de Gaulle made the first of two major speeches in Bayeux in which he made clear that France sided with the Allies; the buildings in Bayeux were untouched during the Battle of Normandy, the German forces being involved in defending Caen from the Allies. The Bayeux War Cemetery with its memorial includes the largest British cemetery dating from the Second World War in France. There are 4,648 graves, including 466 Germans. Most of those buried. Royal British Legion National, every 5 June at 1530 hrs, attends the 3rd Division Cean Memorial Service and beating retreat ceremony. On the 6th of June, it holds a remembrance