War Cruel and Sharp

War Cruel and Sharp : English Strategy under Edward III, 1327-1360

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Contemporaries considered Edward III of England "the wisest and shrewdest warrior in the world", but he has not fared so well in the estimation of modern historians, many of whom have argued that he was a fine tactician but a poor strategist. This is despite the fact that by 1360 the English had become the foremost martial nation of Europe; that famous victories had been won at Dupplin Moor, Halidon Hill, Crecy, and Poitiers; and David II of Scotland and Jean II of France were Edward's prisoners, and the French, with the Treaty of Bretigny, had agreed to surrender a third of their kingdom to his sovereign rule in exchange for peace.
In War Cruel and Sharp, Professor Rogers offers a powerfully argued and thoroughly researched reassessment of the military and political strategies which Edward III and the Black Prince employed to achieve this astounding result. Using a narrative framework, he makes the case that the Plantagenets' ultimate success came from adapting the strategy which Robert Bruce had used to force the "Shameful Peace" on England in 1328. Unlike previous historians, he argues that the quest for decisive battle underlay Edward's strategy in every campaign he undertook, though the English also utilized sieges and ferocious devastation of the countryside to advance their war efforts.

CLIFFORD J. ROGERS is Professor of History, United States Military Academy, West Point.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 24.64mm | 671.32g
  • The Boydell Press
  • Woodbridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 13 Line drawings, black and white
  • 1843839296
  • 9781843839293
  • 1,207,724

Table of contents

"He Might Come and Amend It": The Weardale Campaign of 1327, Edward III's Military Apprenticeship
"Oneliche to Conquer [T]ham in Bataile": The Dupplin Moor Campaign, 1332
"To Kindel Yow Care, and Crak Yowre Crowne": The Siege of Berwick and Battle of Halidon Hill, 1333
"Apon Thayme Tyte, for Thai Ar Welle Nere Dyscumffyte": From Scotland to France, 1334-1347
"Great Expenses and Little Success in War": Strategy and Edward III's Diplomacy in the Low Countries, 1337-1338
"To Shac him by the Berd": The Cambrai-Thierach Campaign, 1339
"With Sorrow on Ilka Syde": Flanders and the Two Kings of France, 1340
"To Bring Our Rightful Challenge to a Quick Conclusion": The Siege of Tournai, 1340
The Invasion of 1346: Strategic Options and Historiography
"To Make an End to the War by Battle": The Crecy Chevauchee, 1346
"In Pursuit of His Quarrel": The Siege of Calais and the Year of Miracles in Retrospect
"Giving the Frenchmen Sharper Provocation to Fight": The Twin Chevauchees of 1335
"To Make Chevauchees and Harm His Enemies": Three Campaigns of Early 1356
"Eager for Battle Because of the Peace Which Usually Comes with it": The Poitiers Campaign, 1356
"Courting Combat to Maintain the Right of Their Lord, But Not Finding Any Takers": The Reims Campaign and Peace, 1359-1360
Appendix 1: The Strength of the Army at La Hougue, 1346
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Review quote

This sort of book, attempting to overthrow an historical orthodoxy, is rarely this good, or this well researched....This is a major contribution to our understand of this phase of the Hundred Years War. WWW.HISTORYOFWAR.ORG

This impressive work makes a major contribution to our understanding of late medieval warfare... Rogers is particularly good on the particularities of conflict and campaign. JOURNAL OF MILITARY HISTORY
Among the great medieval military leaders, Edward III may be the least studied. That is, until this excellent book... CHOICE
A complete and convincing reassessment of Edward's strategic planning and execution... All subsequent historians of the Hundred Years' War will have to take account of (and in my opinion accept) Rogers' conclusions, and medieval military historians generally will have to explain the modification Rogers' study forces upon the standard battle-avoiding model of medieval strategy. This is, in short, a very important book. ALBION
Exhilarating...persuasive...an impressive and compulsively readable book, illuminated by vivid citations from the sources and enlivened by a combative style. J. J. N. Palmer, HISTORY
A worthy and distinguished contribution to scholarship on the early stages of the Hundred Years War. FRENCH HISTORY
Has surely extended the scholarship in this area... essential reading as a core text on any reading list for a course on the Hundred Years War. TMR
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About Clifford J. Rogers

Clifford J. Rogers is Professor of History, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.
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Rating details

14 ratings
4.35 out of 5 stars
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4 36% (5)
3 14% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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