Joan of Arc, Abandoned
Last year after a fabulous campaign against the English, Joan of Arc reluctantly lays her sword upon the alter at Saint-Denis Abbey. King Charles the 7th of France has negotiated a truce but the English use the time to regroup and resupply. Joan is a restless soul and her amazing success grates on the nobles at court. Her visions are pushing her to relaunch the campaign so she sets out as soon as the truce lapses. Her visions say that she will be captured before midsummer and as she is leading a sortie to defend the city of Compiègne [compee-EN-guh], her small force is caught outside when the city commander drops the gate in a panic. She is taken prisoner by the forces of Burgundy and sold to the English for what amounts to a few hundred thousand dollars. What happens next is utterly disgraceful. She will go on trial next year for heresy, and if trains and buses existed in 1430, one could say that Joan of Arc will be thrown under the bus by the French nobility and railroaded by the English.    
Say Hello to My Little Friend: Mad Marjorie
100 years ago cannons were more probably more dangerous to the man who lit the fuse than the troops standing in front of the cannon. Cast iron allows smaller cannons to be used as field artillery, but the main use of cannons are still as siege weapons. Tremendous caliber weapons fling stone boulders at fortifications with the idea of knocking the walls down. These huge cannons have names. "Mad Marjorie" has a bore of a little over 2 feet and fires a stone ball weighing 750 pounds (340 kg). The cannon itself is made of wrought iron bars welded in place with large metal rings and weighing more than 16 tons.     
This Year in Wikipedia
Year 1430, Wikipedia.
- Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 204. (BOOK) Quote: "Joan of Arc captured by Burgundians at Compi$egrav;gne"
- Thurston, Herbert. St. Joan of Arc. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 15 Sept. 2014.
- Williamson, Allen. Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc) Archive. 2014 [last update] Quote: "In February 1429 she convinced Lord Robert de Baudricourt to provide an escort of soldiers to bring her to the Royal Court at Chinon. After an eleven-day journey through enemy-held territory, she was allowed to present her case to the Dauphin Charles."
- Compiègne - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Huizinga, Johan. The Waning of the Middle Ages. New York: St. Martin's Press. 1985. ISBN 0312855400. (BOOK) Quote: "What are we to say, lastly, of the curious levity of the authors of the close of the Middle Ages, which often impresses us as an absolute lack of mental power? It sometimes seems as if they were content to present to their readers a series of vague pictures, and felt no need whatever of really hard thinking. Superficial description of outward circumstances this is all we get from writers like Froissart and Monstrelet."
- Watson, Bruce. Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, the Murders, and the Judgment of Mankind. Viking Adult. August 16, 2007. ISBN 9780670063536. (BOOK)
- Sacco and Vanzetti - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 205. (BOOK) Quote: "Mad Marjorie, the great cast-iron gun, introduced."
- Supergun: Gunpowder Age - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Dulle Griet - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Cast Iron: History - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Scarface (1983 film) "Say Hello..." - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Hindley, Geoffrey. Medieval Siege and Siegecraft. New York: Skyhorse Publishing. 2009. pp. 73-74. (BOOK) Quote: "Four days were enough to bludgeon the outer walls into rubble. The enemy swarmed into what the week before had been peaceful suburban communities; the gunners wheeled their ordnance up to pulverize the next line of defense."