Round II of the Hundred Year’s War

Generally the last, and decisive, phase of the Hundred Years\' War (1415-1453) 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. There were obviously many more
factors that lead to the expulsion of the English in 1453. The second phase of the

Hundred Year’s War is far more crucial than the first phase, much like a football game,
the second half being where the game is won or lost, not the first. As is the case in the

Hundred Year’s War, the second phase decided the war. As in most examinations of
war, emphasis will be laid on the origins of the second out break of war, the course of the
second phase of the Hundred Year’s War, and the impact the war had on medieval


The origins of the second phase of the Hundred Year’s War, can be directly
linked to the first phase, Edward III claim to the French crown. The first phase of the
war ended because of domestic crises in both countries. Hostilities still remained high
during the relative peace that ensued between the two periods of the war, and there was
no question if the war would resume, but rather only, when it would resume. This is seen
with French troops assisting in a Scottish invasion of England in 1402.1 And again with
the French sending an expedition to England to assist in Owen Glendower\'s revolt in

Wales, against king Henry IV, but withdrew as the rebellion faltered.2 The French
continued to harass the English during the so called truce. The English were just as
hostile to the French, they supported many of the Flemish uprisings in France and English

Baron’s in France would continue to raid the French countryside between 1373 and
1415.3 But what was the spark that relit the flame of war again in 1415? A civil war had
been ragging in France since 1407, with the assassination of Charles VI\'s brother, Louis
duc d\'Orléans, by Jean \'the Fearless\', duke of Burgundy. This resulted in open civil war in

France between partisans of the duke of Burgundy (Burgundians) and those of the duke
of Orléans, called \'Armagnacs\'. When Henry V took the English throne in 1413, he
decided to take advantage of the political turmoil in France to renew the English King’s
claim to the French thrown. He quickly formed an alliance with Jean ‘the Fearless’, and
the Burgundians in May of 1413. Two years after the alliance was formed Henry V
invaded France with the help of the Burgundians, on September 23 the English captured

Harfleur and on October 25 defeated a French army at Agincourt. These were the
beginnings of the second phase of the Hundred Year’s War.4

The second phase of the Hundred Year’s War resembled the first phase, in that
the English won overwhelming victories at the beginning and conquered much land, but
in the end lost it all back to the French. The second phase began with the invasion of

Henry V into France in 1415, he soon captured Harfleur and won a decisive victory at

Agincourt. The battle is described by Jehan de Waurin, a French nobleman who fought
against the English.
“Then the English archers, who, as I have said,
were in the wings, saw that they were near enough, and
began to send arrow on the French with great vigor. The
said archers were for the most part in their doublets,
without armor, their stockings rolled up to their knees, and
having hatchets and battle-axes or great swords hanging at
their girdles; some were bare-footed and bare-headed,
others had caps of boiled leather, and others of osier,
covered with harpoy or leather.

Then the French, seeing the English come towards
them in this fashion, placed themselves in order, every one
under his banner, their helmets on their heads. The
constable, the marshal, the admirals, and the other princes
earnestly exhorted their men to fight the English well and
bravely; and when it came to the approach the