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"Edward III Crossing the Somme" by Benjamin West, 1788 (detail)

The Battle of Blanchetaque was fought on 24 August 1346, during the early stages of the Hundred Years' War, between an English army under King Edward III and a French force commanded by Godemar du Fay. The English army had burnt a path of destruction through some of the richest lands in France to within 20 miles (32 km) of Paris, then had marched north, hoping to link up with an allied Flemish army. The French king, Philip VI, garrisoned all of the bridges and fords over the River Somme and followed the English with his own field army. The area had previously been stripped of food stocks, and the English were essentially trapped. They launched an attack across a tidal ford at Blanchetaque, and after a disorderly mêlée the French blocking force there broke and fled. French casualties were reported as over half of their force, while English losses were light. Two days later, the main army under Philip was defeated at the Battle of Crécy. (Full article...)

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