Hundred Years War

Black Prince's chevauchée of 1356
Black Prince's chevauchée of 1356 ©Graham Turner
1356 Aug 4 - Oct 2

Black Prince's chevauchée of 1356

Bergerac, France

In 1356 the Black Prince intended to carry out a similar chevauchée, this time as part of a larger strategic operation intended to strike the French from several directions simultaneously. On 4 August 6,000 Anglo-Gascon soldiers headed north from Bergerac towards Bourges, devastating a wide swathe of French territory and sacking many French towns on the way. It was hoped to join up with two English forces in the vicinity of the River Loire, but by early September the Anglo-Gascons were facing the much larger French royal army on their own. The Black Prince withdrew towards Gascony; he was prepared to give battle, but only if he could fight on the tactical defensive on ground of his own choosing. John was determined to fight, preferably by cutting the Anglo-Gascons off from supply and forcing them to attack him in his prepared position. In the event the French succeeded in cutting off the Prince's army, but then decided to attack it in its prepared defensive position anyway, partly from fear it might slip away, but mostly as a question of honour. This was the Battle of Poitiers.

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