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Battle of Crecy

The Battle of Crecy was a major defeat for the French in the Hundred Years War. 12,000 highly trained soldiers under the leadership of king Edward III of England; engaged battle with 40,000 French soldiers under Philip VI.

King Edward II had a secret weapon. At least 2,000 long bowmen on top of a hill. They could fire more than 12 arrows per minute causing extreme casualties to the French. While king Philip VI relied heavily on his knights, he realized that they were not effective anymore.

This battle meant the beginning of the end of chivalry. More than 2,500 knights died in this battle; along with another 10,000-20,000 French soldiers; totaling more than 15,000 French loses; while the English only had 300-1000 casualties.

In the night of August 26, 1346; king Philip VI retreated leaving his wounded soldiers behind. The English army took many knights prisoners while killing the knights who were badly injured.

The Battle of Bannockburn

The Battle of Bannockburn was a key battle in the history of Scotland. During Scottish independence, 1286 - 1370, many English castles were besieged and captured by the Scots. Stirling was among the few English castles remaining in Scotland by the year 1314.

Edward II, brother of the king of Scotland, besieged Stirling castle. Nevertheless, the castle had a very strong defense which, combined with the fact that Edward had no siege equipment; made both Philip, the castle's governor, and Edward arrange some terms. Firstly, Philip told him that if no relief arrived by midsummer's eve; then he'd surrender the castle.

Having sent a messenger to king Edward II of England, Philip waited for relief as his castle was more prone to starvation and defeat. King Edward II was happy to oblige because his father tried to have the Scots under his control. Edward II was able to gather an army of more than 40,000 units. It consisted of 2,500 knights, 750 bowmen and 500 heavy infantry; the rest was composed of well-trained light infantry.

The Scottish army consisted of no more than 13,000 soldiers. Edward II was convinced that with his superiority in numbers, he'd be able to overcome the Scots and rule Scotland once and for all. King Robert of Scotland was awaiting Edward II. He knew that Edward had to come through the old Roman road; for which he prepared his soldiers accordingly.

On June 23, the skirmish fights began. Nevertheless, the highlight was when an army composed of 500 English knights fought against Scottish pikemen. While more than 80 knights died, only 6 pike men died. This demoralized the English army and made the Scots pride of their own because it proved that foot soldiers could overcome heavy cavalry.

The struggle that happened in the first day is nothing compared to the one that took place in the second day; in which, king Robert of Scotland, took advantage of a narrow gap followed by a ford which was supposed to confuse the English soldiers. It happened as he planned it since, when the English decided to attack the Scots, the Scots ambushed the few soldiers that had passed the ford making them retreat. This sudden consternation made the British archers start firing at not only the Scots, but also the English fighters who did not retreat. This even caused more confusion since the British trying to retreat were impeding the advance of the soldiers trying to attack.

The Scots won a decisive victory on June 24. King Edward II retreated to Stirling castle; in which the town's governor, Philip, did not let him enter. Edward II headed south riding on his horse until after many days he reached another castle through which he embarked to England; alone and with shame.

The Battle of Bannockburn was the most decisive victory that the Scots have ever had against the British. It proved that king Edward II was not fully prepared to lead an army; and even though 40,000 British soldiers against 13,000 Scottish soldiers is an enormous difference; Robert managed to use the terrain for his disposal and make Scotland victorious.

If this battle had been a victory for the English, then probably Scotland wouldn't be an independent country today; hence its importance.

The Defeat of the Spanish Armada

King Phillip of Spain was furious because England converted to Protestantism. And, aside from that; English pirates were seriously threatening economical benefits coming from America. With the pope's financial aid and blessing, Phillip planned an attack to England. His attack consisted of 17,000 soldiers and 131 ships which would go to France for an additional 15,000 soldiers.

After much preparation, the Spanish Armada set sail in early August of 1588. The English prepared six boats filled with firewood which towards the Spanish Armada. The Spanish saw the ships coming so, with fear, they set sail into the English Channel where they were being awaited by the British fleet.

The Spanish generals knew that they could easily defeat the British because of their advantage in numbers. Nevertheless, this plan wasn't successful at all because the English ships were much faster making the Spanish strategy, of getting close enough for engaging melee, unsuccessful. English ships were smaller and much better designed. They were so fast that getting anywhere near them resulted impossible for the Spanish.

Aside from this, British ships had several cannons incorporated which were very effective for destroying the Spanish Armada at a distance. This new strategy made the Spanish generals retreat into the North Sea in which they could supposedly attack elsewhere. The Spanish fleet was out of luck. The weather was so terrible that dozens of ships perished in the North Sea. When the Spanish returned, defeated; no more than 10,000 soldiers were alive.

The defeat of the Spanish Armada made England a much better country because of their pride. They could safely steal Spanish ships coming from America with gold. This battle is among the most important because it showed superiority when using gunpowder.

The Siege of Jerusalem

During the Medieval Times, the possession of the holy lands was needed. Thousands of crusaders sailed towards Jerusalem on an epic odyssey that would cost thousands of lives. Having besieged Arqa until May 13, the crusaders decided to besiege Jerusalem itself. Before getting to Jerusalem, the crusaders arrived at Tripoli; where the governor gave them food, water and horses.

On June 7, 1099, the crusaders arrived Jerusalem itself. Many cried because of the sight of the city that they dreamt about seeing. The siege began a few hours later.

On July 15 of that same year, Jerusalem finally surrendered after many crusaders managed to get on the walls. It is estimated that out of the 7,000 knights who participated, only about 2,000 were alive. To this we can add another 12,000 foot soldiers out of 20,000.

Upon entering the city, the crusaders massacred every woman children and man on their sight. Many retreated to The Tower of David, but it was quickly surrendered and many crusaders say that there was so much blood on the floor that it was very hard to walk on it.

The only survivors were the governor and his royal guard; who surrendered The Tower of David in order to be left alive.

Battle of Tours

Inarguably, the Battle of Tours was one of the most decisive battles in medieval history. Charles Martel, along with the Frankish army, decided to stop the Muslim invasion that was heading East towards the Frankish empire.

Abd-er Rahman, Spain's leader, relied heavily on his cavalry which had given him many victories in the past. The Battle of Tours began on October 10, 732 AD. Some sources argue that the battle lasted for more than a week; whilst others say that it only lasted two days. Whatever the case, the Frankish army was overpowered in numbers and they possessed no cavalry. Nevertheless, Charles Martel had chosen the terrain, outside of the city of Tours, very efficiently since he knew that cavalry had a huge disadvantage because of the rocky landscape.

The Muslim army withdrew peacefully from Tours as they realized that Charles Martel had captured their leader, Abd-er Rahman, during battle. Charles feared a come-back, but it never happened since the Muslims already feared Martel.

This was one of the most decisive battles for Christianity since losing it would have meant an even greater Muslim progression; and, possibly, the Muslim conquest of most of Europe.

The Battle of Hastings

The Battle of Hastings is an event that marked the history of Europe. It must be noted that the Battle of Hastings was the last event in which England was conquered. Duke William of Normandy, accompanied with his knights; arrived Great Britain in 1066.

The Battle of Hastings occurred in October 14, 1066. It involved a whole day of fighting and; in the end, Harold himself (England's ruler) was killed in battle. William of Normandy was crowned on Christmas day of that same year.

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