Edward III's Preemptive War Against France and the Devastating Power of the Longbow

TLDR Edward III launches a preemptive war against France, utilizing the longbow as a secret weapon to achieve victory in battles such as the Battle of Sluce and the Battle of Cressy. Despite financial difficulties, Edward III demonstrates his strategic genius and organizational abilities, ultimately establishing English dominance in France.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Edward III launches a preemptive war against France, aiming to fight the war in the French realm and prevent the French from landing in England, while also gaining control of the seas and forming alliances with other realms in France.
04:55 Edward III targets the cities in Flanders to win them over, imposing a successful economic blockade and causing a revolution in Ghent, leading to an alliance with England, while also laying claim to the French throne as a tactic in the war.
09:25 Edward III is determined to continue the war despite financial difficulties, relying on his charisma, strategic genius, and the use of the longbow as a secret weapon.
13:55 The longbow was invented in the early 14th century and was initially targeted against the Scots, with its ability to penetrate mail armor being a shock to the Scots and leading to their defeat, and while the French had not yet encountered the longbow, the English fleet's victory at the Battle of Sluce demonstrated the devastating power of the longbow.
18:24 The English king and nobility have learned from their defeat in the Scottish Wars of Independence that infantry, particularly archers, can defeat charging cavalry, which is a lesson they have internalized and demonstrated at the Battle of Slees, where the devastating power of the longbow is showcased through the reign of death that falls on the French, leading to Edward's total triumph and the annihilation of the French fleet.
22:50 Edward III, despite his victories, signs a truce with Philip due to financial difficulties, but the war continues in Brittany where Edward achieves strategic success by capturing the port of Brest and solidifying his alliance in Flanders, ultimately leading to his plan to launch a full frontal invasion of France in 1346.
27:07 Edward III launches a high-stakes invasion of France, relying on his superior command and better troops, with the risk of losing himself, his son, and England's chivalry, but he is prepared with large numbers of arrows and field cannon.
31:30 The English successfully repair a broken bridge and engage in brutal hand-to-hand combat with the French to make a crossing, and then Edward III heads towards Pontier, his own duchy, but must cross another river, the Somme, where they discover a guarded ford that they eventually cross with the help of Northampton and his men, resembling Moses crossing the Red Sea, allowing Edward to make it to Pontier and prepare for battle in the Great Forest of Cressy.
36:08 The French army, led by Philip VI, decides to fight the English despite being three times their size, but their Genoese crossbowmen are left without their shields and are unable to effectively engage the English longbowmen, leading to chaos and a disastrous charge by the French cavalry.
40:32 The Battle of Cressy marks the advent of modern warfare, as victory was obtained by projectile weaponry rather than hand-to-hand fighting, demonstrating the importance of technology in warfare.
45:08 Edward III demonstrates his administrative, strategic, and organizational abilities through naval blockades, the transfer of troops and supplies, and the successful siege of Calais, ultimately establishing it as an English city, but his triumph is overshadowed by the arrival of the deadly Black Death.
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