11th July: The one sided Battle of the Golden Spurs fought today in 1302


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    11th July 1302: Flemish tradesmen defeat a French Cavalry army.
    Flanders was in revolt against its overlord, Phillip the Fair of France. He sent his uncle, Robert D’Artois with 2000 cavalry and some Infantry to put down the rebellion.
    The Flemings managed to field an “army” of 10000, mostly made up of artisans from the Weavers Guild. They were armed with makeshift staves and pikes.

    But they chose their ground well: marshland, with streams all around.
    The French could not charge. Instead they were pulled from their horses, despite calls of ransom. The French Infantry was not even engaged, as the Cavalry had outdistanced them.  1200 Cavalry were killed, including France’s greatest warrior, Robert D’Artois, whose pleas for ransom went unheard as he was pierced by pikes.

    To celebrate their victory the 700 sets of Golden Spurs garnered from the field were hung in the vault of Our Lady’s Church in nearby Courtrai.
    The battle was forever known in Flanders as the Battle of the Golden Spurs.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @wittmann:

    But they chose their ground well: marshland, with streams all around. The French could not charge. Instead they were pulled from their horses, despite calls of ransom. The French Infantry was not even engaged, as the Cavalry had outdistanced them.  1200 Cavalry were killed, including France’s greatest warrior, Robert D’Artois, whose pleas for ransom went unheard as he was pierced by pikes.

    Interesting echoes of Agincourt here.  I think that in that battle too a French cavalry attack literally got bogged down on soft wet ground.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    My thoughts exactly.
    The French did it time and time again! Cannot remember if Crecy or Poitiers was the same sort of cavalry infantry confrontation.

    I cannot recall a successful French cavalry charge.
    Perhaps they should have turned to missile weapons much earlier in their long history. Or if they insisted on sitting astride a horse, do it within the security of  some splendid curtain walls.



  • Thank you for the topic, I was unaware of the battle.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    @CWO:

    @wittmann:

    But they chose their ground well: marshland, with streams all around. The French could not charge. Instead they were pulled from their horses, despite calls of ransom. The French Infantry was not even engaged, as the Cavalry had outdistanced them.�  1200 Cavalry were killed, including France’s greatest warrior, Robert D’Artois, whose pleas for ransom went unheard as he was pierced by pikes.

    Interesting echoes of Agincourt here.  I think that in that battle too a French cavalry attack literally got bogged down on soft wet ground.

    That’s correct Marc! And what’s worse is, that because the french boldly/arrogantly sent their cavalry in first only to fail… then they sent in their footsoldiers with armor… who were even more bogged down on approach because the horses had ripped up the ground. The soldiers who didn’t get stopped in the mud, were exhausted by the time they’d reached the english, and the english archers in plain clothes, used daggers, and quickly eliminated the french infantry.


  • Customizer

    There is an echo of French cavalry tactics even in 1940; the French had more and better tanks than the Germans, but didn’t use them properly and suffered overwhelming defeat.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    I thought they were still there.

    Edit: I am wrong. They are replicas.


  • Customizer

    @Flashman:

    There is an echo of French cavalry tactics even in 1940; the French had more and better tanks than the Germans, but didn’t use them properly and suffered overwhelming defeat.

    Exactly. That’s one thing that has always bugged me in A&A variants of the invasion of France. I won’t extrapolate de-railing the thread but yes, you are correct.

    Always like your topics Wittman.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    Thank you Toblerone.
    I do not mind people going off at a tangent incidentally. It is all fun.
    As you said, Flashman made a very good point.


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