Road to Crecy 1346 – Bibliography, Conclusions, and Hindsight

Feb 2nd, 2009 | By | Category: AD 1346 Crecy

The First Somme Campaign – August 1346
(The Road to Crecy)

by Garry Harbottle-Johnson

Bibliography, Conclusions, and Hindsight

Illustration of Battle of Crecy August 1346 from Chronicles of Jean FroissartConclusions and Hindsight

Apart from the obvious tactical lessons of using massed ranks of longbow against an enemy, this campaign shows that the weapon was still being tested in a variety of situations:

d’Harcourts’ horse-mounted longbow, used extensively during the whole 1346 campaign, were at the final battle, dismounted and placed among the foot archers at Crecy.  At this point it may have been thought that there was no use for such a weapon on a horse. It certainly does not seem to have appeared on one again during the Hundred Years War, other than as a means of rapidly redeploying infantry, who would then dismount to shoot.

Medieval wargamers and rules writers have continually over-emphasised the value of the full frontal assault by deep ranks of pike during the Hundred Years War (the author of this article having previously also been guilty). That tactic belongs to the period before Christ and after Henry VIII. Between those times, the long spear was used for infantry clashes, whilst the pike was used to finish-off opponents, without getting within reach of their dying sword swing.

Perhaps after reading this article, more people will move their 14th century army away from resembling Greek Macedonians or the Landsknecht.  I doubt it, but until they do, opponents without pike will have to continue to place unforming terrain, to keep such units down to front rank only eligible to fight.

My belief now, is that rules should reflect the killing power of this weapon in small units and single ranks, against any unit but steady formed infantry.  Perhaps an allowance for small pike units to charge existing melees should be created.


  • Crecy 1346, Anatomy of a battle: Henri de Wailly / Charles Lavauzell 1985.
  • Feodora, Conventiones, Lilerae el cujuscunque generis Acta Publica inter Regis Anglicae: Thomas Rymer 1709.
  • World Atlas of Military History, Volume 1, to 1500AD. A. Banks / Seeley Service & Co Ltd 1973.
  • The Wargame: P. Young (general editor) / Cassell & Co Ltd 1972.
  • Wargames through the Ages, Volume 1, to 1500AD: Donald F. Featherstone/Stanley Paul & Co Ltd 1972.
  • Glossary of the construction, decoration, and use of arms & armour in all centuries and in all times’, G.C. Stone/Jack Brussel 1961.
  • Agincourt: C. Hibbert / BT Batsford Ltd 1964.

Aftermath of Crecy - English territories in France AD 1360

Aftermath of Crecy – English territories in France AD 1360

Earlier articles in this series

[wordbay]15mm, medieval,  (peasants, serfs, militia, wagons, pike, longbow, foot, knights, “men at arms”)[/wordbay]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave Comment