Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War
The Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War was a conflict between two cadet branches of the French royal family — the House of Orléans and the House of Burgundy from 1407 to 1435. It began during a lull in the Hundred Years' War against the English and overlapped with the Western Schism of the papacy; the leaders of both parties were related to the French king through the male line. For this reason, they were called "princes of blood", exerted much influence on the affairs of the kingdom of France, their rivalries and disputes for control of the government would serve as much of the basis for the conflict. The Orléans branch of the family referred to as House of Valois-Orléans, stemmed from Louis I, Duke of Orléans, younger son of King Charles V of France; the House of Valois-Burgundy originated from Charles V's youngest brother, Philip the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy. Both their respective namesake duchies of Orléans and Burgundy were held in the status of appanage, as none of its holders were first in the line of succession to the French throne.
The war's causes were rooted in the reign of Charles VI of France and a confrontation between two different economic and religious systems. On the one hand was France strong in agriculture, with a strong feudal and religious system, on the other was England, a country whose rainy climate favoured pasture and sheep farming and where artisans, the middle classes and cities were important; the Burgundians were in favour of the English model. In the same way, the Western Schism induced the election of an Armagnac-backed antipope based at Avignon, Pope Clement VII, opposed by the English-backed pope of Rome, Pope Urban VI. With Charles VI mentally ill, from 1393, his wife Isabeau of Bavaria presided over a regency counsel, on which sat the grandees of the kingdom; the uncle of Charles VI, Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, who acted as regent during the king's minority, was a great influence on the queen. This influence progressively shifted to Louis I, Duke of Orléans, the king's brother, it was suspected, the queen's lover.
On the death of Philip the Bold, his son John the Fearless again lost influence at court. The other uncle of Charles VI, Duke of Berry, served as a mediator between the Orléans party and the Burgundy party, whose rivalry would increase bit by bit and in the end, result in a true civil war. To oppose the territorial expansion of the Dukedom of Burgundy, the Duke of Orléans acquired Luxembourg in 1402. While Louis of Orléans, getting 90% of his income from the royal treasury, bought lands and strongholds in the eastern marches of the kingdom that the Burgundians considered their private hunting ground, John the Fearless saw royal largess towards him drying up; the Duke of Orléans, son-in-law of Gian Galeazzo Visconti and holding the title for more or less hypothetical fiefdoms in the peninsula, wanted to let Charles VI intervene militarily in his favor. What is more, it seems he wanted to let the Anglo-French truce break down so far as provoking Henry IV of England to a duel, which John the Fearless could not allow, since Flemish industry depended on imported English wool and would have been ruined by an embargo on English goods.
The quarrel at first respected all forms of courtesy: John the Fearless adopted the nettle as his emblem, whilst Louis of Orléans chose the gnarled stick and the duke of Burgundy the plane or rabot. The king's brother, Louis of Orléans, "who whinnied like a stallion after all the beautiful women", was accused of having wanted to seduce or worse, "esforcier", Margaret of Bavaria, the duchess of Burgundy. Moreover, if it was only a rumor, this seducer was – as Burgundian propaganda ran – the queen's lover and the real father of Charles, the future Charles VII. Louis was close to the queen and benefited from the benevolence of his brother the king, whenever he was out of crisis. Ousted from power and toyed with by Louis, this was too much for John the Fearless. Taking advantage of rising anger among the taxpayers, always under pressure in peacetime, noting that their taxes serve to finance court festivities, John began to campaign for support, financing demagoguery, he thus won over the small people and the university.
John threatened Paris in 1405 with a demonstration of his power, but this did not prove sufficient to restore his influence. He thus decided to get rid of his exasperating rival, having him murdered on rue Vieille du Temple in Paris on 23 November 1407, whilst he was leaving the queen's residence at Hôtel Barbette, a few days after she had given birth to her twelfth child. Thomas de Courteheuse sent word to Louis that the king, Charles VI of France, urgently needed him at hôtel Saint-Paul. Leaving the Hôtel Barbette, Louis was stabbed by fifteen masked criminals led by Raoulet d'Anquetonville, a servant of the Duke of Burgundy. Louis's escort of valets and guards were powerless to protect him. John had the support of Paris's population and university, whom he had won over by promising the establishment of an ordinance like that of 135
Bertrand du Guesclin
Bertrand du Guesclin, nicknamed "The Eagle of Brittany" or "The Black Dog of Brocéliande", was a Breton knight and an important military commander in the French side during the Hundred Years' War. From 1370 to his death, he was Constable of France for King Charles V. Well known for his Fabian strategy, he took part in six pitched battles and won the four in which he held command. Bertrand du Guesclin was born at Motte-Broons near Dinan, in Brittany, first-born son of Robert du Guesclin and Jeanne de Malmaines, his date of birth is unknown but is thought to have been sometime in 1320. His family was of minor Breton nobility, the seigneurs of Broons. Bertrand's family may have claimed descent from Aquin, the legendary Muslim king of Bougie in Africa, a conceit derived from the Roman d'Aquin, a thirteenth-century French chanson de geste from Brittany, he served Charles of Blois in the Breton War of Succession. Charles was supported by the French crown, while his rival, Jean de Montfort, was allied with England.
Du Guesclin was knighted in 1354 while serving Arnoul d'Audrehem, after countering a raid by Hugh Calveley on the Castle of Montmuran. In 1356–57, Du Guesclin defended Rennes against an English siege by Henry of Grosmont, using guerrilla tactics. During the siege, he killed the English knight William Bamborough; the resistance of du Guesclin helped restore French morale after Poitiers, du Guesclin came to the attention of the Dauphin Charles. When he became King in 1364, Charles sent Du Guesclin to deal with Charles II of Navarre, who hoped to claim the Duchy of Burgundy, which Charles hoped to give to his brother, Philip. On 16 May, he met an Anglo-Navarrese army under the command of Jean de Grailly, Captal de Buch at Cocherel and proved his ability in pitched battle by routing the enemy; the victory forced Charles II into a new peace with the French king, secured Burgundy for Philip. On 29 September 1364, at the Battle of Auray, the army of Charles of Blois was defeated by John IV, Duke of Brittany and the English forces under Sir John Chandos.
De Blois was killed in action. After chivalric resistance, Du Guesclin broke his weapons to signify his surrender, he was ransomed by Charles V for 100,000 francs. In 1366, Bertrand persuaded the leaders of the "free companies", pillaging France after the Treaty of Brétigny, to join him in an expedition to Spain to aid Count Henry of Trastámara against Pedro I of Castile. In 1366, du Guesclin, with Guillaume Boitel, his faithful companion, leader of his vanguard, captured many fortresses. After Henry's coronation at Burgos, he proclaimed Bertrand his successor as Count of Trastámara and had him crowned as King of Granada, although that kingdom was yet to be reconquered from the Nasrids. Bertrand's elevation must have taken place at Burgos between 16 March and 5 April 1366, but Henry's army was defeated in 1367 by Pedro's forces, now commanded by Edward, the Black Prince, at Nájera. Du Guesclin was again captured, again ransomed by Charles V, who considered him invaluable. However, the English army suffered badly in the battle as four English soldiers out of five died during the Castilian Campaign.
The Black Prince, affected by dysentery, soon withdrew his support from Pedro. Du Guesclin and Henry of Trastámara renewed the attack, defeating him at the decisive Battle of Montiel. After the battle, Pedro fled to the castle at Montiel, from whence he made contact with du Guesclin, whose army were camped outside. Pedro bribed du Guesclin to obtain escape. Du Guesclin agreed, but told it to Henry who promised him more money and land if he would only lead Pedro to Henry's tent. Once there, after crossed accusations of bastardy, the two half-brothers started a fight to death, using daggers because of the narrow space. At a moment when they fought on the floor, Pedro was about to finish Henry, but Du Guesclin, who had stayed inactive for he was compromised to both, made his final choice. He grabbed Pedro's ankle and turned him belly-up, thus allowing Henry to stab Pedro to death and gain the throne of Castile. While turning Pedro down, du Guesclin is claimed to have said "Ni quito ni pongo rey, pero ayudo a mi señor", which has since that moment become a common phrase in Spanish, to be used by anyone of lesser rank who does what he is ordered or expected to do, avoiding any concern about the justice or injustice of such action, declining any responsibility.
Bertrand was made Duke of Molina, the Franco-Castilian alliance was sealed. War with England was renewed in 1369, Du Guesclin was recalled from Castile in 1370 by Charles V, who had decided to make him Constable of France, the country's chief military leader. By tradition this post was always given to a great nobleman, not to someone like the comparatively low-born Du Guesclin, but Charles needed someone, an outstanding professional soldier. In practice du Guesclin had continual difficulties in getting aristocratic leaders to serve under him, the core of his armies were always his personal retinue, he was formally invested with the rank of Constable by the King on 2 October 1370. He defeated an English army led by Robert Knolles at the Battle of Pontvallain and reconquered Poitou and Saintonge forcing the Black Prince to leave France. In 1372, the Franco-Castillan fleet destroyed the English fleet at the Battle of La Rochelle where more than 400 English knights and 8000 soldiers were captured.
Master of the Channel, du Guesclin organized destructive raids on the English coasts in retaliation for the English chev
Charles II of Navarre
Charles II, called Charles the Bad, was King of Navarre 1349–1387 and Count of Évreux 1343–1387. Besides the Pyrenean Kingdom of Navarre, he had extensive lands in Normandy, inherited from his father, Count Philip of Évreux, his mother, Queen Joan II of Navarre, who had received them as compensation for resigning her claims to France and Brie in 1328. Thus, in Northern France, Charles possessed Évreux, parts of Vexin, a portion of Cotentin, he was a major player at a critical juncture in the Hundred Years' War between France and England switching sides in order to further his own agenda. His horrific death by burning was considered God's justice upon him. Charles was born in Évreux. Since his father was first cousin to King Philip VI of France, his mother, Joan II of Navarre, was the only child of King Louis X, Charles of Navarre was'born of the fleur de lys on both sides', as he liked to point out, but he succeeded to a shrunken inheritance as far as his French lands were concerned. Charles was raised in France during childhood and up to the moment he was declared king at 17, so he had no command of the Romance language of Navarre at the moment of his coronation.
In October 1349, he assumed the crown of Navarre. In order to take his coronation oath and be anointed, Charles II visited his kingdom in summer 1350. For the first time, the oath was taken in a language other than Latin or Occitan as it was customary, i.e. Navarro-Aragonese. Apart from short visits paid the first 12 years of his reign, he spent his time entirely in France, he hoped for a long time for recognition of his claim to the crown of France. However, he was unable to wrest the throne from his Valois cousins, who were senior to him by agnatic primogeniture. Charles II served as Royal Lieutenant in Languedoc in 1351 and commanded the army which captured Port-Sainte-Marie on the Garonne in 1352; the same year he married Joan of the daughter of King John II of France. He soon became jealous of the Constable of France, Charles de La Cerda, to be a beneficiary of the fiefdoms of Champagne and Angoulême. Charles of Navarre felt he was entitled to these territories as they had belonged to his mother, the Queen of Navarre, but they had been taken from her by the French kings for a paltry sum in compensation.
After publicly quarrelling with Charles de la Cerda in Paris at Christmas 1353, Charles arranged the assassination of the Constable, which took place at the village of l'Aigle, his brother Philip, Count of Longueville leading the murderers. Charles made no secret of his role in the murder, within a few days was intriguing with the English for military support against his father-in-law King John II, whose favourite the Constable had been. John II was preparing to attack his son-in-law's territories, but Charles's overtures of alliance to King Edward III of England led John instead to make peace with the King of Navarre by the Treaty of Mantes of 22 February 1354, by which Charles enlarged his possessions and was outwardly reconciled with John II; the English, preparing to invade France for a joint campaign with Charles against the French, felt they had been double-crossed: not for the last time, Charles had used the threat of an English alliance to wrest concessions out of the French king.
Relations between Charles and John II deteriorated afresh and John invaded Charles's territories in Normandy in late 1354 while Charles intrigued with Edward III's emissary, Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster at the fruitless peace negotiations between England and France held at Avignon in the winter of 1354–55. Once again Charles changed sides: the threat of a renewed English invasion forced John II to make a new agreement of reconciliation with him, sealed by the Treaty of Valognes on 10 September 1355; this agreement, did not last. Charles befriended and was thought to be trying to influence the Dauphin, was involved in a botched coup d'état in December 1355 whose purpose appears to have been to replace John II with the Dauphin. John amended matters by making his son Duke of Normandy, but Charles of Navarre continued to advise the Dauphin how to govern that province. There were continued rumours of his plots against the king, on 5 April 1356 John II and a group of supporters burst unannounced into the Dauphin's castle at Rouen, arrested Charles of Navarre and imprisoned him.
Four of his principal supporters were beheaded and their bodies suspended from chains. Charles was taken to Paris and moved from prison to prison for greater security. Charles remained in prison after John II was defeated and captured by the English at the Battle of Poitiers, but many of his partisans were active in the Estates General which endeavoured to govern and reform France in the power-vacuum created by the King's imprisonment while much of the country degenerated into anarchy. They continually pressed the Dauphin to release him. Meanwhile his brother Philip of Navarre threw in his lot with the invading English army of the Duke of Lancaster and made war on the Dauphin's forces throughout Normandy. On 9 November 1357 Charles was sprung from his prison in the castle of Arleux by a band of 30 men from Amiens led by Jean de Picquigny. Greeted as a hero when he entered Amiens, he was invited to enter Paris by the Estates General, which he did with a large retinue and was'received like a newly-crowned monarch'.
He addressed the populace on 30 November listing his grievances agains
Kingdom of Navarre
The Kingdom of Navarre the Kingdom of Pamplona, was a Basque-based kingdom that occupied lands on either side of the western Pyrenees, alongside the Atlantic Ocean between present-day Spain and France. The medieval state took form around the city of Pamplona during the first centuries of the Iberian Reconquista; the kingdom has its origins in the conflict in the buffer region between the Frankish king Charlemagne and the Umayyad Emirate that controlled most of the Iberian Peninsula. The city of Pamplona, had been the main city of the indigenous Vasconic population and was located amid a predominantly Basque-speaking area. In an event traditionally dated to 824, Íñigo Arista was elected or declared ruler of the area around Pamplona in opposition to Frankish expansion into the region as vassal to the Córdoba Emirate; this polity evolved into the Kingdom of Pamplona. In the first quarter of the 10th century the Kingdom was able to break its vassalage under Córdoba and expand militarily, but again found itself dominated by Córdoba until the early 11th century.
A series of partitions and dynastic changes led to a diminution of its territory and to periods of rule by the kings of Aragon and France. In the 15th century, another dynastic dispute over control by the king of Aragon led to internal divisions and the eventual conquest of the southern part of the kingdom by the Crown of Castile in 1512, it would become part of the unified Kingdom of Spain. The remaining northern part of the kingdom was again joined with France by personal union in 1589 when King Henry III of Navarre inherited the French throne as Henry IV of France, in 1620 it was merged into the Kingdom of France; the monarchs of this unified state took the title "King of France and Navarre" until its fall in the French Revolution, again during the Bourbon Restoration from 1814 until 1830. Today, significant parts of the ancient Kingdom of Navarre comprise the autonomous communities of Navarre, Basque Country and La Rioja. There are similar earlier toponyms but the first documentation of Latin navarros appears in Eginhard's chronicle of the feats of Charles the Great.
Other Royal Frankish Annals give nabarros. There are two proposed etymologies for the name of Navarra/Nafarroa/Naparroa: Basque nabar: "brownish", "multicolor", which would be a contrast with the green mountain lands north of the original County of Navarre. Basque naba/Castilian nava + Basque herri; the linguist Joan Coromines considers naba as not Basque in origin but as part of a wider pre-Roman substrate. The kingdom originated in the southern side of the western Pyrenees, in the flatlands around the city of Pamplona. According to Roman geographers such as Pliny the Elder and Livy, these regions were inhabited by the Vascones and other related Vasconic-Aquitanian tribes, a pre-Indo-European group of peoples who inhabited the southern slopes of the western Pyrenees and part of the shore of the Bay of Biscay; these tribes spoke an archaic version of the Basque language known by linguistics as Proto-Basque, as well as some other related languages, such as the Aquitanian language. The Romans took full control of the area by 74 BC, but unlike their northern neighbors, the Aquitanians, other tribes from the Iberian Peninsula, the Vascones negotiated their status within the Roman Empire.
The region first was part of the Roman province of Hispania Citerior of the Hispania Tarraconensis. It would be under the jurisdiction of the conventus iuridicus of Caesaraugusta; the Roman empire influenced the area in urbanization, infrastructure and industry. During the Sertorian War, Pompey would command the foundation of a city in Vasconic territory, giving origin to Pompaelo, modern-day Pamplona, founded on a existent Vasconic town. Romanization of the Vascones led to their eventual adoption of forms of Latin that would evolve into the Navarro-Aragonese language, though the Basque language would remain spoken in rural and mountainous areas. After the decline of the Western Roman Empire, the Vascones were slow to be incorporated into the Visigothic Kingdom, in a civil war that provided the opportunity for the Umayyad conquest of Hispania; the Basque leadership joined in the appeal that, in the hope of stability, brought the Muslim conquerors. By 718, Pamplona had formed a pact that allowed a wide degree of autonomy in exchange for military and political subjugation, along with the payment of tribute to Córdoba.
Burial ornamentation shows strong contacts with the Merovingian France and the Gascons of Aquitaine, but items with Islamic inscriptions, while a Muslim cemetery in Pamplona, the use of which spanned several generations, suggests the presence of a Muslim garrison in the decades following the Arab invasion. The origin and foundation of the Kingdom of Pamplona is intrinsically related to the southern expansion of the Frankish kingdom under the Merovingians and their successors, the Carolingians. About 601, the Duchy of Vasconia was established by the Merovingians, based around Roman Novempopulania and extending from the southern branch of the river Garonne to the northern side of the Pyrenees; the first documented Duke of Vasconia was Genial, who would hold that position until 627. The Duchy of Vasconia became a frontier territory with varying levels of autonomy granted by the Merovingian monarchs; the suppression of the Duchy of Vasconia as wel
France in the Middle Ages
The Kingdom of France in the Middle Ages was marked by the fragmentation of the Carolingian Empire and West Francia. Up to the 12th century, the period saw the elaboration and extension of the seigneurial economic system. From the 13th century on, the state regained control of a number of these lost powers; the crises of the 13th and 14th centuries led to the convening of an advisory assembly, the Estates General, to an effective end to serfdom. From the 12th and 13th centuries on, France was at the center of a vibrant cultural production that extended across much of western Europe, including the transition from Romanesque architecture to Gothic architecture and Gothic art. From the Middle Ages onward, French rulers believed their kingdoms had natural borders: the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Rhine; this was used as a pretext for repeated invasions. The belief, had little basis in reality for not all of these territories were part of the Kingdom and the authority of the King within his kingdom would be quite fluctuant.
The lands that composed the Kingdom of France showed great geographical diversity. While there were great differences between the northern and southern parts of the kingdom there were important differences depending on the distance of mountains: the Alps, the Pyrenees and the Massif Central. France had important rivers that were used as waterways: the Loire, the Rhone, the Seine as well as the Garonne; these rivers were settled earlier than the rest and important cities were founded on their banks but they were separated by large forests and other rough terrains. Before the Romans conquered Gaul, the Gauls lived in villages organised in wider tribes; the Romans referred to the smallest of these groups as the widest ones as civitates. These pagi and civitates were taken as a basis for the imperial administration and would survive up to the middle-ages when their capitals became centres of bishoprics; these religious provinces would survive until the French revolution. During the Roman Empire, southern Gaul was more populated and because of this more episcopal sees were present there at first while in northern France they shrank in size because of the barbarian invasions and became fortified to resist the invaders.
Discussion of the size of France in the Middle Ages is complicated by distinctions between lands held by the king and lands held in homage by another lord. The notion of res publica inherited from the Roman province of Gaul was not maintained by the Frankish kingdom and the Carolingian Empire, by the early years of the Direct Capetians, the French kingdom was more or less a fiction; the "domaine royal" of the Capetians was limited to the regions around Paris and Sens. The great majority of French territory was part of Aquitaine, the Duchy of Normandy, the Duchy of Brittany, the Comté of Champagne, the Duchy of Burgundy, the County of Flanders and other territories. In principle, the lords of these lands owed homage to the French king for their possession, but in reality the king in Paris had little control over these lands, this was to be confounded by the uniting of Normandy and England under the Plantagenet dynasty in the 12th century. Philip II Augustus undertook a massive French expansion in the 13th century, but most of these acquisitions were lost both by the royal system of "apanage" and through losses in the Hundred Years' War.
Only in the 15th century would Charles VII and Louis XI gain control of most of modern-day France. The weather in France and Europe in the Middle Ages was milder than during the periods precedin
In military tactics, a flanking maneuver, or flanking manoeuvre is a movement of an armed force around a flank to achieve an advantageous position over an enemy. Flanking is useful. Therefore, to circumvent a force's front and attack a flank is to concentrate offense in the area where the enemy is least able to concentrate defense. Flanking can occur at the operational and strategic levels of warfare; the flanking maneuver is a basic military tactic, with several variations. Flanking an enemy means attacking from one or more sides, at an angle to the enemy's direction of engagement. One type is employed in an ambush, where a unit performs a surprise attack from a concealed position. Units friendly to the ambushing unit may be hidden to the sides of the ambush site to surround the enemy, but care must be taken in setting up fields of fire to avoid friendly fire. Another type is used in the attack. Upon receiving fire from the enemy, the unit commander may decide to order a flank attack. A part of the attacking unit "fixes" the enemy with suppressive fire, preventing them from returning fire, retreating or changing position to meet the flank attack.
The flanking force advances to the enemy flank and attacks them at close range. Coordination to avoid friendly fire is important in this situation; the most effective form of flanking maneuver is the double envelopment, which involves simultaneous flank attacks on both sides of the enemy. A classic example is Hannibal's victory over the Roman armies at the Battle of Cannae. Another example of the double envelopment is Khalid ibn al-Walid's victory over the Persian Empire at the Battle of Walaja. Despite being associated with land warfare, flanking maneuvers have been used in naval battles. A famous example of this is the Battle of Salamis, where the combined naval forces of the Greek city-states managed to outflank the Persian navy and won a decisive victory. Flanking on land in the pre-modern era was achieved with cavalry due to their speed and maneuverability, while armored infantry was used to fix the enemy, as in the Battle of Pharsalus. Armored vehicles such as tanks replaced cavalry as the main force of flanking maneuvers in the 20th century, as seen in the Battle of France in World War II.
The threat of flanking has been existent since the dawn of warfare and the art of being a commander entailed the choice of terrain to allow flanking attacks or prevent them. In addition, proper adjustment and positioning of soldiers is imperative in assuring the protection against flanking. A commander could prevent being flanked by anchoring one or both parts of his line on terrain impassable to his enemies, such as gorges, lakes or mountains, e.g. the Spartans at Thermopylae, Hannibal at the Battle of Lake Trasimene, the Romans at the Battle of Watling Street. Although not impassable, forests, rivers and marshy ground could be used to anchor a flank, e.g. Henry V at Agincourt. However, in such instances it was still wise to have skirmishers covering these flanks. In exceptional circumstances, an army may be fortunate enough to be able to anchor a flank with a friendly castle, fortress or walled city. In such circumstances it was not necessary to fix the line to the fortress but to allow a killing space between the fortress and the battle line so that any enemy forces attempting to flank the field forces could be brought under fire from the garrison.
As good was if natural strongholds could be incorporated into the battle line, e.g. the Union positions of Culp's Hill, Cemetery Hill on the right flank, Big Round Top and Little Round Top on the left flank, at the Battle of Gettysburg. If time and circumstances allowed field fortifications could be created or expanded to protect the flanks, such as the Allied forces did with the hamlet of Papelotte and the farmhouse of Hougoumont on the left and right flanks at the Battle of Waterloo; when the terrain favoured neither side it was down to the disposition of forces in the battle line to prevent flanking attacks. For as long as they had a place on the battlefield, it was the role of cavalry to be placed on the flanks of the infantry battle line. With speed and greater tactical flexibility, the cavalry could both make flanking attacks and guard against them, it was the marked superiority of Hannibal's cavalry at Cannae that allowed him to chase off the Roman cavalry and complete the encirclement of the Roman legions.
With matched cavalry, commanders have been content to allow inaction, with the cavalry of both sides preventing the other from action. With no cavalry, inferior cavalry or in armies whose cavalry had gone off on their own it was down to the disposition of the infantry to guard against flanking attacks, it was the danger of being flanked by the numerically superior Persians that led Miltiades to lengthen the Athenian line at the Battle of Marathon by decreasing the depth of the centre. The importance of the flank positions led to the practise, which became tradition of placing the best troops on the flanks. So that at the Battle of Platea the Tegeans squabbled with Athenians as to who should have the privilege of holding a flank; this is the source of the tradition of giving the honour of the right to the most senior regiment present, that persisted into the modern era. With troops confident and reliable enough to operate in separate dispersed units, the echelon formation may be adopted; this can take different forms with either strong "divisions" or a massively reinforced wing or centre s
Battle of La Rochelle
The Battle of La Rochelle was a naval battle fought on 22 and 23 June 1372 between a Castilian fleet commanded by the Castilian Almirant Ambrosio Boccanegra and an English convoy commanded by John Hastings, 2nd Earl of Pembroke. The Castilian fleet had been sent to attack the English at La Rochelle, being besieged by French forces. Besides Boccanegra, other Castilian commanders were Cabeza de Vaca, Fernando de Peón and Ruy Díaz de Rojas. Pembroke had been dispatched to the town with a small retinue of 160 soldiers and instructions to recruit an army of 3,000 soldiers around Aquitaine; the strength of the fleet is estimated as between the 12 galleys given by the Castilian chronicler and naval captain López de Ayala and the 40 sailing ships and 13 barges mentioned by the French chronicler Jean Froissart. It consisted of 22 ships galleys and some "naos" or sailing ships; the English convoy consisted of 32 vessels and 17 small barges of about 50 tons. To justify the English defeat, the pro-English chronicler Jean Froissart says that only three ships were warships, but it's hard to believe that a fighter escort so small would be sent to defend the convoy.
The Castilian victory was complete and the entire convoy was captured. On his return to the Iberian Peninsula, Boccanegra seized four additional English ships; this defeat threatened their Gascon possessions. In 1372 the English monarch Edward III planned an important campaign in Aquitaine under the newly appointed lieutenant of the Duchy, the Earl of Pembroke, he contracted to serve a year in the duchy with a retinue of 24 knights 55 squires and 80 archers besides another companies led by Sir Hugh Calveley and Sir John Devereux, who did not serve or did not appear. Pembroke received instructions to recruit a host of 500 knight, 1,500 squires and 1,500 archers after his arrival in France. One of Edward's clerks, John Wilton, was appointed to accompany the Earl with a large amount of money to pay the troops; the Earl of Pembroke, his retinue and Wilton embarked at Plymouth aboard a transport fleet, unprepared for serious engagement. The Castilian chronicler Pero López de Ayala estimated that this fleet had 36 ships, whereas the chronicler of the French court estimated it to be 35.
Jean Froissart, in one of his two descriptions of the battle, put the English force on'perhaps' 14 ships. A fleet of 20 vessels is considered a creditable force; as most of them were small transports, Sir Philip Courtenay, the Admiral of the West, was detached to escort them with 3 ships with large tonnage and towers utilizable by archers. The English rule in Aquitaine was by under threat. Since 1370 large parts of the region had fallen under French rule and in 1372 Bertrand du Guesclin lay siege at La Rochelle. To respond to the demands of the Franco-Castilian alliance of 1368, the king of Castile, Henry II of Trastámara, dispatched a fleet to Aquitaine under Ambrosio Boccanegra, seconded by Cabeza de Vaca, Fernando de Peón and Rui Díaz de Rojas; the size of this fleet is uncertain. According to López de Ayala, it was composed of 12 galleys. Froissart, in his first relation, mentioned 40 sailing ships and 13 barges, but reduced this numbers to 13 galleys. Quatre Premiers Valois and Chronique des Pays-Bas mention 20 and 22 galleys.
On 21 June the English convoy arrived at La Rochelle and the battle began as Pembroke's ships approached the harbour. This lay at the head of an inlet, unnavigable at low water; the first Castilian attacks met strong resistance. The English, despite the inferiority of their numbers, defended themselves well. At dusk, when the tide rose, the two fleets separated. Though they had lost two or four vessels, according to Froissart, the English were not yet defeated. Pembroke withdrew some way from land, while Boccanegra anchored in front of La Rochelle; the Chronicle Quatre Premiers Valois, unlike López de Ayala and Froissart, implies that only some skirmishes took place on the first day, as Boccanegra would have ordered his galleys to withdraw, reserving them for the main action. According to this chronicle, the anchoring sites were reversed: the English off the town and the Castilians on the open sea. Froissart described a discussion between Pembroke and his men during the night of 21–22 June regarding how to escape the trap.
An attempt to escape under the cover of the night was dismissed due to the fear of the Castilian galleys, as well as another to enter La Rochelle because of the low draft of the passage. In the end, the low tide left. Castilian galleys could maneuver in shallow water; that gave them a decisive tactical advantage. When the fight resumed on the morning of the 22nd, the Castilians managed to set fire to some of them by spraying oil on their decks and rigging and igniting it with flaming arrows. Many of the English were burned alive, while other surrendered, among them Pembroke; the Spanish naval historian Cesáreo Fernández Duro claims that the English prisoners amounted to 400 knights and 8,000 soldiers, without counting the slain. Estimates in English chronicles speak of about 1,500 casualties, 800 deaths and between 160 and 400 prisoners; the whole fleet was destroyed or captured and £12,000 fell into Castilian hands. The English defeat appeared inevitable because of the major inequality in strength.
The battle of La Rochelle was the first important English naval defeat of the Hundred Years' War. Its effect upon the course of the war was significant: La Rochelle was lost on 7 September, its capture was followed during the second half of the year by nearly all of Poitou and Saintonge, which Bertrand du Guesclin cleared of English garrisons. Some authors claim that the battle cost England its naval suprem