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Battle of Meung-sur-Loire

Battle of Meung-sur-Loire
Part of the Hundred Years' War
Joan of Arc on horseback.png
Early sixteenth-century artist's impression of Joan of Arc on campaign.
Date15 June 1429
Location
Result French victory
Belligerents
Blason France moderne.svg Kingdom of France Royal Arms of England (1399-1603).svg Kingdom of England
Commanders and leaders
Coat of Arms of Jeanne d'Arc.svg Joan of Arc
Blason province fr Alençon.svg John II of Alençon
Talbot arms.svg John, Lord Talbot
Coat of Arms of Sir Thomas de Scales, 7th Baron Scales, KG.png Thomas, Lord Scales
Strength
6000 – 7000 (including non combatants) Lower than the French
Casualties and losses
Light Heavy

The Battle of Meung-sur-Loire took place on 15 June 1429. It was one of Joan of Arc's battles following relief of the siege at Orléans. This campaign was the second sustained French offensive in a generation in the Hundred Years' War.

Background

Meung-sur-Loire (now in Loiret) was a small town on the northern bank of the Loire river in central France, slightly west of Orléans. It controlled a bridge of strategic significance during the latter part of the war. Captured by the English a few years earlier as a staging point for a planned invasion of southern France, the French offensive recaptured the bridge and hampered English movement south of the river during the campaign.

The French Loire Campaign of 1429 consisted of five actions:

1. The Siege of Orléans.
2. The Battle of Jargeau.
3. The Battle of Meung-sur-Loire.
4. The Battle of Beaugency.
5. The Battle of Patay.

Virtually all of France north of the Loire had fallen to foreign occupation by the end of 1428. The bridge at Orléans had been destroyed shortly before the siege lifted. The French had lost control of all other river crossings. Three swift and numerically small battles at Jargeau, Meung-sur-Loire, and Beaugency demonstrated renewed French confidence and laid the groundwork for subsequent French offenses on Rheims and Paris. The Loire campaign killed, captured, or disgraced a majority of the top tier of English commanders and decimated the numbers of the highly skilled English longbowmen.

Tactics

English defenses at Meung-sur-Loire consisted of three components: the walled town, the fortification at the bridge, and a large walled castle just outside the town. The castle served as headquarters to the English command of John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury and Thomas Scales.

Joan of Arc and Duke John II of Alençon controlled a force that included captains Jean d'Orléans, Gilles de Rais, Jean Poton de Xaintrailles, and La Hire. Estimates of numerical strength vary with the Journal du Siège d'Orléans citing 6,000 – 7,000 for the French. A number that large probably counts non-combatants. Bypassing the city and the castle, they staged a frontal assault on the bridge fortifications, conquered it in one day, and installed a garrison. This hampered English movement south of the Loire.

The Battle

Bibliography

  • Devries, Kelly. Joan of Arc: A Military Leader (Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 1999). ISBN 0-7509-1805-5
  • Richey, Stephen W. Joan of Arc: The Warrior Saint. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003). ISBN 0-275-98103-7
  • Allmand, C. The Hundred Years War: England and France at War c. 1300 – 1450. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988). ISBN 0-521-31923-4

See also

External links

Coordinates: 47°49′46″N 1°41′57″E / 47.8294°N 1.6992°E / 47.8294; 1.6992


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