Final Phase (1422-1453)

Significance of the final phase of the Hundred Years' War Generally the last, and decisive, phase of the Hundred Years' War is not well covered in most modern English or American histories of Western warfare. If not ignored completely, the reconquests by the French army of Charles VII are given the skimpiest summary treatment. Even popular French histories often close the coverage of the military events with the arrival of Joan of Arc, and suggest that this introduced a moral prerogative which outweighed military factors.

More accurately, Yolande of Anjou, appears to have played a role as vital as that of Joan of Arc. It was Yolande who was constantly involved in the selection and promotion of the many who truly earned for Charles VII his later acquired sobriquet "the Well Served."

The final phase of the Hundred Years' War encompassed the obviously dramatic, first effective employment of gunpowder weapons (aside from the Hussite Wars of 1413-36) in Western Europe. What was special to the French artillery was not a secret technology. The improved gunpowder and gun manufacturing techniques were widely known throughout Europe. It was the organization and direction of the artillery arm by Jean and Gaspard Bureau, that enable the French army to prevail in rapid siege operations as well as in pitched battles.

The final phase of the Hundred Years' War contained two battles that ran contrary to the some of the touted themes of medieval warfare espoused by many military theorists.
  • English longbowmen were defeated in an open battle. Forced to dislodge from their traditional defensive positions by a few guns and then overridden by a French heavy cavalry charge at Formigny (1450). This battle led to the recovery of Normandy by the French crown.

  • At Castillon (1453) the French destroyed the last English army with cannon, handguns, and heavy cavalry. This battle led to the recovery of Guyenne and was the last major battle of the long war.

This page provides links to topics related to understanding, and to the study of the Hundred Years' War. Although initial emphasis will be on French participants and focus will be on the final phase of the war, some topics will pertain to broader aspects of the long war. Topics will be continiously added, expanded and revised.
Hundred Years War, la guerre de cent ans

Index to Topics on the Hundred Years' War
(Note: not all listed topics have developed links at this time.)
  • Timeline
  • Map of France
  • Persons:
  • Genealogical Charts
  • Charles VII
  • Jeanne d'Arc
  • Yolande d'Aragon
  • Constable Arthur de Richemont
  • Comte de Dunois, 'le bâtard d'Orléans'
  • Jacques Cur
  • Christine de Pizan
  • Companions of 'The Maid' and Others
  • Weapons, Armor, Forces:
  • Non-Gunpowder Artillery.
  • Gunpowder Artillery and Handguns.
  • Individual Weapons and Armor.
    Medieval artillery demonstrations in France.
  • Summary of Major Battles and Sieges:
  • Cravant (1423)
  • Verneuil (1424)
  • Orléans Campaign (1428-29)
  • Formigny (1450)
  • Castillon (1453)
  • Mont Saint-Michel, Unconquored.
  • Bibliography.
  • Glossary of Terms
  • Controversial Issues in the Study of the HYW

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    This page is sponsored by Société de l'Oriflamme; originally established in 1997, and last updated 16 June 2002.
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