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The Fall of English France 1449-53 (Campaign) Paperback – February 21, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“...provides a fine narrowed focus on the battles of Formigny and Castillon which represented a change in how warfare was perceived and fought, and is a pick for any collection strong in medieval European history.” ―James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review (August 2012)

About the Author

Born in 1944, David Nicolle worked in the BBC's Arabic service for a number of years before gaining an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and a doctorate from Edinburgh University. He has written numerous books and articles on medieval and Islamic warfare, and has been a prolific author of Osprey titles for many years.

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Product Details

  • Series: Campaign (Book 241)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; 1st Printing edition (February 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849086168
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849086165
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.3 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #875,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Although I am not a super big fan of David Nicolle, I found this book to be a pretty good read on how the English dominance in France ended and how the Hundred Years War ended with a French victory as the English were driven off from France. Only the Channel Island and Pale of Calais remains when it was all over. The book traces two campaigns, one in Normandy and the other one in Gascony that spelled the end of English France with all major battles won by the French. It didn't help that by the time this war ended, England was already sliding into a destructive civil war called the War of the Roses that would last until 1485. (It would be an interesting paragraph to note that if War of the Roses could ever happened if England was victorious in France during this period.)

I found the illustrations to be pretty good but I found the maps to be very cluttered. A good example will be on page 36-37 when the map of Battle of Formigny is shown. Crease not with standing, the map is cluttered with 30 event markers with host of red and blue movements and troop positions. To followed the events of the battle needless to say, create some confusing moments. I only took a star from these maps since I was able to traced the movements and the flow and ebbs. I am an experience reader but these Osprey books are kind of gear toward the new readers and these maps will confused them all.

But overall, I thought this was a pretty good effort in explaining how the Hundred Years War ended and how medieval warfare was slowly sliding into the modern warfare mode as weapons of gunpowder began to take more dominate role. The book also show how the English longbow slowly fell from importance as the major destructive weapon.
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Format: Paperback
Although I haven't been a big fan of David Nicolle's Medieval histories, which I generally find are erudite but don't pack a lot of military detail or analysis, his latest volume in Osprey's Campaign series, The Fall of English France 1449-53, is considerably different. This volume covers the final years of the Hundred Years War, where the French finally got their act together and eliminated the English footholds in Normandy and Gascony. While not as exciting as the big-pitched battles like Crecy or Agincourt, the operations in this phase of the conflict were fast-moving and more professional in many respects. The author puts considerable effort into teasing an unusual amount of military detail out of Medieval literary sources and is able to compile it into an interesting and coherent campaign narrative. Overall, The Fall of English France 1449-53 is a good campaign history and one of the author's best efforts in recent years.

The introductory sections are a bit brief - no section on opposing plans - but provide good background. The author highlights French efforts to reform and professionalize their army after decades of defeat, while English military resources were severely constrained by financial limitations. The French emphasis on standardizing and improving their artillery also paid dividends in the campaign. On the other hand, the author notes that the English armies devoted their resources toward fortifying their possessions, but fell behind in terms of tactics and technology. The campaign narrative is divided into two main sections: the fall (or liberation) of Normandy in 1449-50 and the fall of Gascony in 1451-53. The volume has one 3-D BEV map of the Battle of Formigny in 1450 and two of the Battle of Castillon in 1453.
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Format: Paperback
This Osprey Campaign title contains in fact the last two major campaigns, or more accurately, the last two sets of campaigns in Normandy and “Gascony”, as David Nicolle and which, together, make up what the author has called “English France” and put an end to the “Hundred Years War” between the Kingdoms of England and France.

This title, first published in 2012, may (or may not) suffer from comparisons with Juliet Barker’s book “Conquest: The English Kingdom of France, 1417-1450). In fact, the books have different scopes and cover different periods, with the Osprey title focusing on the last four years of the Hundred Years’ War. Even the terms used “English France” for one, referring to the last English possessions, and “The English Kingdom of France”, referring to the territories (north of the Loire) and the French won by Henry the Fifth but not to his hereditary lands in Gascony which had been held by Kings of England since Alienor of Aquitaine became Queen of England (in 1154). Even the respective purposes of the two books are different, with the Osprey title being more narrowly focused on specific events and emphasising the military campaigns, whereas Juliet Barker’s more scholarly and much longer book is about the “rise and fall” of this “English Kingdom of France”. In other terms, the two books are not really comparable and each should be appreciated on its own terms.

Doing this leads to assess this Osprey Campaign title as being among the better ones, although I believe it is worth a good four-stars, rather than top marks, as they are a few glitches.

Perhaps the main quality of this title is that the author does manage to make almost all of the main points and provides quite a lot of political and military context for both sets of campaigns, however briefly.
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The Fall of English France 1449-53 (Campaign)
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