In 1356, on this day the French army of King John the Good caught up with the retreating English forces a few miles southwest of Poitiers.
French Victory at the Battle of PoitiersEdward the Black Prince and his Gascon allies fought with their backs to the Woods of Noauaille. But a repeat of Crécy was to be avoided because a great charge was mounted on the English archers. And although the French Knights were rapidly unhorsed, their armour was arrow-proof.
A cavalry charge from the English reserves was getting underway before the untimely death of Gascon nobleman Jean de Grailly who was issuing orders designed to smash the French center1. Unaware of their fortunate reprieve, the French nobility boldly fought on foot alongside their troops and the result was fierce hand-to-hand fighting. French morale was sustained by their commanders, and the result was an emphatic and important victory on home turf.