Siege of OrléansOrléans, France
By 1428, the English were laying siege to Orléans, one of the most heavily defended cities in Europe, with more cannons than the French. However one of the French cannons managed to kill the English commander, the Earl of Salisbury. The English force maintained several small fortresses around the city, concentrated in areas where the French could move supplies into the city.
Charles VII met Joan for the first time at the Royal Court in Chinon in late February or early March 1429, when she was seventeen and he was twenty-six. She told him that she had come to raise the siege of Orléans and to lead him to Reims for his coronation. The dauphin commissioned plate armor for her. She designed her own banner and had a sword brought to her from under the altar in the church at Sainte-Catherine-de-Fierbois.
Before Joan's arrival at Chinon, the Armagnac strategic situation was bad but not hopeless. The Armagnac forces were prepared to endure a prolonged siege at Orléans, the Burgundians had recently withdrawn from the siege due to disagreements about territory, and the English were debating whether to continue. Nonetheless, after almost a century of war, the Armagnacs were demoralized. Once Joan joined the Dauphin's cause, her personality began to raise their spirits inspiring devotion and the hope of divine assistance and they attacked the English redoubts, forcing the English to lift the siege.