The Black Prince at War: the anatomy of a Chevauchée

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The Black Prince at War: the anatomy of a Chevauchée

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The chevauchée, a fast-moving raid, was a common feature of English campaigns during the Hundred Years War and late medieval warfare more generally. These were highly complex, organized, and focused operations rather than unfocused raids with no other purpose but pillage and ravishment. The model of the army "living off the land" is untenable; some system of supply was necessary, even for an army pursuing a raiding strategy like that of the Prince of Wales' 1355 campaign in southern France. The logistics of supply and the realities of geography and human topography helped determine the route the army followed and what it could accomplish. The success of the chevauchée depended on the pre-existing system of purveyance and recruitment in England, rested upon an efficient supply train that accompanied the army, and relied on resupply from England. The Prince employed this raiding strategy to accomplish his aims, namely the punishment of the duke of Armagnac for his encroachments on English Gascony and disruption of the enemy's ability to provision a military force. Moreover, the actions of the Anglo-Gascon army effectively demonstrated to the inhabitants of Languedoc that the French king and his lieutenants could not protect them from the English. Thus, the Prince also achieved Edward III's larger strategic goal: the re-enforcement and projection of English royal authority and power in Gascony and France.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2014. Major: History. Advisor: Bernard S. Bachrach. 1 computer file (PDF); xvi, 436 pages, appendices A-E.

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Madden, Mollie M.. (2014). The Black Prince at War: the anatomy of a Chevauchée. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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