After a long period of uneventful sieges and skirmishing, lasting from the death of Edward III in 1377 until the accession of Henry V in 1413, The Hundred Years War is suddenly and dramatically fanned into full fledged war in a third and final phase. Henry V is determined to end the conflict once and for all on the field of battle. After assembling an army, he crosses to Calais in 1415 and marches toward Paris. The French come out to intercept him, and the two armies blunder into one another at Agincourt. Outnumbered four to one, Henry deals the French a staggering defeat and enters Paris to be acclaimed king of England and France, apparently putting the issue to rest. Henry continues to harry the French territories, which will not acknowledge his claim to rule, but is struck dead by illness in 1422 while in the full tide of victory. With the death of Henry V, England's cause is doomed. Though brilliantly led by a series of capable English commanders, there will never again be a military commander who wears a crown like Edward III and Henry V. The French rally around the miraculous leadership of Joan of Arc in 1429 and repulse the English siege at Orleans, thus setting in motion a 24-year series of events leading to the final English defeat at Castillon in 1453. By that date, the French king, Charles VII, is able to sit on his throne with confidence.More
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