Battle of Castillon

Battle of Castillon
Part of the Hundred Years' War
Français 5054, fol. 229v, Bataille de Castillon 1453 - détail.jpg
The death of John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury at the battle of Castillon from Vigilles de Charles VII by Martial d'Auvergne
Date17 July 1453
Location
44°51′20″N 0°02′26″W / 44°51′20″N 0°02′26″W / 44.85556; -0.04056
Result

Decisive French victory

End of Hundred Years War in France's favour
Belligerents
Kingdom of England Duchy of Gascony
Commanders and leaders
John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury  Jean Bureau
Peter II
Strength
c. est. 6,000–10,000[1][2]c. est. 7,000–10,000[1][2]
Casualties and losses
4,000 dead, wounded, or captured100 dead or wounded
Battle of Castillon is located in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Battle of Castillon
Location within Nouvelle-Aquitaine

The Battle of Castillon was a battle fought on 17 July 1453 in Gascony near the town of Castillon-sur-Dordogne (later Castillon-la-Bataille). A decisive French victory, it is considered to mark the end of the Hundred Years' War. As a result of the battle, the English lost all landholdings in France, except Calais.

Background

The term "Hundred Years' War" is misleading, as the fighting between the English and the French during the period of 1337 to 1453 was more a series of conflicts than a single prolonged war. Thus, the conflict(s) can be examined from the vantage point of various stages.[3] The breakdown of the 1420 Treaty of Troyes began the final stage of the Hundred Years' War.[4] This period from 1420 to 1453 is characterized by Anne Curry as the "wars of the Treaty of Troyes" for control of the crown of France.[5]

After the 1451 French capture of Bordeaux by the armies of Charles VII, the Hundred Years' War appeared to be at an end. The English primarily focused on reinforcing their only remaining possession, Calais, and watching over the seas.[6] However, after three hundred years of Plantagenet rule, the citizens of Bordeaux considered themselves subjects of the English monarch and sent messengers to Henry VI of England demanding that he recapture the province.[7]

On 17 October 1452, John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury landed near Bordeaux with a force of 3,000 men.[8] A feared and famous military leader, Talbot was rumored to be seventy-five or eighty years old, but it is more likely that he was around sixty-six at the time.[9] With the cooperation of the townspeople, Talbot easily took the city on October 23.[10] The English subsequently took control over most of Western Gascony by the end of the year.[10] The French knew an expedition was coming, but had expected it to come through Normandy.[8] After this surprise, Charles VII prepared his forces over the winter, and by the spring of 1453 he was ready to counter-attack.[8]