In 1346, on this day the urgent need to re-configure the out-dated crossbow and knight combination was demonstrated by the narrow margin of the hard-fought French victory at the Battle of Crécy.
Battle of CrécyPhilip VI of France's much larger force of thirty-five thousand men massively outnumbered an Anglo-Welsh army of fifteen thousand men. And yet the superiority of Anglo-Welsh weapons and tactics brought a decision that was close to call.
But on the day, a favourable turn in the weather, the maneuverability of the French knights and an exceptional performance from the Genoese crossbowmen prevented Edward III of England from pulling off what would have been a stunning victory.
In addition to the required tactical update, Philip VI ordered a development of French armour that could withstand a storm of longbow arrows.