Boydell Press, 2008. — 234 p.For over 200 years following its capture by Edward III in 1347 the town of Calais was in English hands; after 1453 it remained the last English possession on the continent, a commercial, cultural, diplomatic and military frontier until its recapture by the French in 1558. This is the first book-length study of the Calais garrison, the largest standing military force available to the English crown. It is based on extensive archival research and looks at recruitment and service in the garrison, the problems of pay and logistics, the weaponry and tactics used, and the chivalric and professional ethos among the soldiers. The effectiveness of English arms against their European counterparts is examined by detailed studies of the failed Burgundian siege of 1436 and the successful French siege of 1558. This book reaffirms the importance of Calais to successive medieval and early modern English kings, and challenges the perceived notion that England lagged behind its northwest European rivals in terms of military technology and effectiveness. The Calais garrison is placed in the wider context of the development of European warfare in general during this period. Dr. David Grummitt is Lecturer in British History, University of Kent.
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