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Portsmouth is Burning, Tax Free

Up to this point the 100 Years' War consisted of privateers raiding commercial traffic but now it's getting serious as the French come sailing into Portsmouth flying the flag of England and then attack! They even use their newfangled cannon! Portsmouth is caught off guard. Raping and pillaging soon follow. After loading their booty, the French set Portsmouth aflame. The only buildings left standing will be a local church and a poorhouse named Domus Dei which is Latin for "House of God". It remains standing today as Royal Garrison Church. King Edward III of England will grant tax-free status to the townspeople so that they can rebuild. The town will be demolished again by the French three more times in the coming years. The King won't build fortifications for Portsmouth until 1418. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The French are going to make some impressive scores in the opening battles of the 100 Years' War but nothing decisive and that pretty much describes most of the 100 Years' War. Even though they hit Portsmouth hard, the other coastal towns have been alerted so they are better prepared and manage to fight off the French. King Edward's ships will target the Genoan mercenaries working for the French. That will cause the Genoans to ask for more money. When the French refuse to pay, the mercenaries will go home, leaving the French with a less effective fighting force.

Swiss Wars: The Forest Battle of Laupin

Bern's economy is nothing to brag about but the local feudal lords feel threatened so the lords have donated a tithe of soldiers to attack Bern. Unfortunately the lords set up separate camps for their armies, separating the cavalry from the infantry. This is a mistake. To counter this makeshift alliance, Bern has called upon the Confederacy, the Forest Cantons that will one day be known as Switzerland. In a flanking move, the Bern forces attack from the forest in columns, splitting up the camp forces (a tactic that Napoleon Bonaparte will use to good effect in the future). The armies of the feudal lords are routed with the majority of their casualties self-inflicted in a panicked retreat. In time, Bern will join the Confederacy. This is also the first time that the white cross on a red field is used as a battle flag. It will eventually become the flag of Switzerland. [7] [8] [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Napoleon Bonaparte made famous the military tactic of being strong in one or two places, overwhelming the opposing force in those places and blowing through. This tactic tends to confuse the opposing force so that they cannot act in a coordinated fashion. In the case of Bern, coming downhill in columns allowed each column to overwhelm individual armies who were not well coordinated in the first place, being made up of separate forces. [11]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1339, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Grun. Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991. p. 188. (BOOK)
  2. Oman, C. W. C. England and the Hundred Years' War (1327-1485). London: Blackie and Son. 1898. p. 27. (BOOK)
  3. History of Portsmouth: 14th Century - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Domus Dei - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. English Channel Naval Campaign (1338-1339): Portsmouth and Jersey - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  6. Privateer - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  7. Rickard, John. (author of "The Castle Community") Battle of Laupen, 21 June 1339. 2000-Oct-04. (BLOG)
  8. Delbrürk, Hans. History of Warfare: Chapter 3: Battle of Laupen, June 21, 1339, Zeno.org, Berlin. 1923. Note: The book is in German. Translate using Google Translate. (BOOK)
  9. Old Swiss Confederacy - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  10. Battle of Laupen - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  11. Napoleonic weaponry and warfare - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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