English Naval Activities, 1242 – 1243

By Michael Weir, published February 1972


Henry III of England’s second unsuccessful attempt in 1242-1243 to recover lands lost by his father in Poitou & Gascony was due in part to his failure at sea against France as well as failure on the battlefield (Saintonge War). In this campaign, the sea route between Portsmouth and Gascony was critical to supplying his army. Protecting it required harassing the French in the north, blockading the port at La Rochelle in the south, as well as acquiring an adequate number of transport ships and funding the effort. His subjects were reluctant to fund the war effort and he was unable to protect his supply route from an evenly matched French fleet. Though a failure, the campaign demonstrated the growing importance of naval forces in English military affairs.

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Filed under: Late Middle Ages | English Channel
Subjects include: Logistics | Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

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