Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Battle of Crecy - intro

The Battle of Crecy changed everything.

This book tells the story of the most dramatic military campaign of the medieval world. It has everything that a reader could want: action, adventure, mystery and much more. As a story, it is thrilling. As an exercise in exploring military history it is fascinating.

Before the Crecy campaign began, France was recognised to have the greatest, most powerful and most modern army in all Christendom. England was thought of as a prosperous but relatively backward kingdom lying somewhere in the sea off the European coast. But six hours of bloodshed, slaughter and heroism beyond imagining changed all that. The pride of France was humbled, her army destroyed and her king made into a wounded fugitive fleeing for his life through a foggy night.

This book explains to the general reader the reality of warfare in the year 1346. It seeks to recreate in our minds the tactics used in the Crecy Campaign and to put them into the context of the time. It shows what the weapons were like and how they were used in action. It describes the tactics of the different military units involved and how these would have impacted on each other in battle. Crucially, it takes the reader inside the minds of the commanders to explain what they did, why they did it and what they hoped to achieve.

This is a gripping book that tells the thrilling story of a campaign from long ago, bringing the thinking up to date and allowing the modern reader to understand what it was really like to stand on a lonely hillside in northern France alongside the King of England while the greatest army in the world charged up the hill towards you. And to see with the King his eldest son and heir knocked down by the enemy weapons. And when asked to send help to the boy to hear King Edward refuse and say only:

“Let the boy win his spurs!”

from "The Battle of Crecy" by Rupert Matthews. Buy your copy HERE

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