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(Redirected from Battle of Orleans)

Template:Battlebox The Siege of Orléans was the first French victory of Joan of Arc during the Hundred Years' War and a turning point in that war between France and England. Following the death of Henry V of England, who had claimed the throne of France, Henry's infant son, later Henry VI of England, was named King of France. Charles the Dauphin, son of the previous French king Charles VI was weak, and did nearly nothing to utilise his claim, until Jeanne d'Arc, a 17-year-old shepherdess who claimed to hear the voice of God, persuaded him to take action.

The Dauphin's army, accompanied by Jeanne d'Arc, who had a flair for persuasion but no military ability, marched to Orléans, aiming to defend it against the English forces commanded by the Earl of Salisbury.

On October 12 1428, the siege began, with the Earl's forces attempting to surround the city, and to claim the fortified bridge across the Loire. They seized the bridge on the 24th, but the Earl was killed in the process. The Duke of Suffolk replaced him as commander temporarily, and was later replaced himself by the Earl of Shrewsbury. The English numbers were insufficient to truly invest and surround the city, and their cannon were incapable of breaking the thick stone city walls. Nevertheless, by spring of 1429, despite several supply runs by the French, the city's situation was growing desperate.

Inexplicably, the Dauphin granted Jeanne d'Arc co-command of 4,000 men, along with Jean Dunois. As they approached the city, Jeanne demanded of the English their withdrawal; she was of course refused. The voices she claimed to hear told her to attack the English from the north, and she persuaded her co-commander and other officers to take this course of action; the French forces entered the city on April 29 1429.

On May 1, Jeanne rode out of the city, and lent aid to the French assault on the English-held fort of St. Loup, killing all the English defenders and suffering only two French casualties. Over the course of the next week, in a number of sorties, Jeanne led the French to victory, seizing several forts the English had taken, as well as the bridge over the Loire. The bridge was burned, and by May 9, the English were in retreat.

The French victory at Orléans was a major turning point for the French, as it energized the supporters of the Dauphin, if not the Prince himself. Soon after Orléans, Charles was crowned king at Rheims, and the French went on to victories at Paris and Patay. Jeanne d'Arc was captured by the Burgundians, and turned over to the English, who found her innocent of witchcraft but guilty of schism (going against the Papacy and Church dogma by following the voice of God directly), and executed her.

References

  • Davis, Paul K. (2001). "Besieged: 100 Great Sieges from Jericho to Sarajevo." Oxford: Oxford University Press.id:Pertempuran Orléans

fr:Siège d'Orléans

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