Battle of Crécy - Basic Facts


Crécyis a village in the south of France in the department of Somme near Abberville. One of the most terrible battles of the Middle Ages and also one of the most decisive battles of all time was waged in its immediate Battle of Crécyvicinity. Invading troops of about 20,000 Englishmen led by King Edward III (who reigned between 1327-1377) was outnumbered by about 60,000 Frenchmenheaded by King Philip (1328-1350). The battle ended with a clear-cut English victory, who depended upon foot archers and took advantage of the disorderly French heavy cavalry.

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This battle is also notable for Czech history because of Czech King Jan of Luxembourg, who brought a support force of several thousand armor-clad knights to the rescue of the French. This famous warrior, who was already completely blind at the time, died a hero’s death in the battle. Charles IV, his son and future king of Bohemia, also took part in the battle.

The battle at Crécy was only one of many incidents of the Hundred Years’ War, which was in fact a series of eight great conflicts, and plunged Britain and France into war for more than 100 years (1337-1453).

From a purely military point of view, Crécy was an undoubted victory of disciplined infantry in an open field over the best cavalry in Europe. Additionally, Edward presented himself as a master of tactics of his time. He understood the impact of disciplined infantry on cavalry, and was aware of the devastating shooting power of his archers. Edward made the most of the army he had under his command.

Battle of Crécy - Armies

The English

  • Commander: Edward III
  • Army: Approx 20,000 soldiers
  • Left Wing: Count of Northampton and Count Arundel, Bishop of Durham with 1,000 armor-clad cavalrymen and 3,000 archers
  • Right Wing: Black Prince, Count of Warwick and Count of Oxford with 1,000 armor-clad cavalrymen, 1,000 Welsh light-armed cavalrymen and 3,000 archers
  • Reserve: King Edward with 700 armor-clad cavalrymen and 2,000 archers

The French

  • Commander: King Philip VI
  • Army: Exact numbers are not known and estimates differ. There were files of 6,000 Genoese crossbow shooters led by Odon Dorioa and Carl Grimaldi and 12,000 knights and armor-clad cavalrymen