… Many in France rallied to Charles VII, recognizing him as crown prince. In reality, though, he controlled only a small territory south of the Loire River, and even that was in danger. France’s last unconquered major city, Orleans, was under siege. As the year 1429 opened, the English seemed to have everything going their way. Then an 18-year-old shepherd girl from Lorraine, Joan of Arc, became inspired by visions of Saints Katherine and Margaret and the Archangel Michael, who commanded her to save France from the English.
What we know of her comes from the account of her trial by the English and the commission later established by the French to review and refute the validity of that proceeding. Those reports include the accounts of many who served with her on campaign. Because of that, hers is the most well-documented life of the Middle Ages. She first went to her local lord to ask him to send her to Charles. He dismissed her as a lunatic when she told him of a battle the French were losing that very day (Herrings, 12 February) near Orleans. Two weeks later, when he learned the battle had happened just as she had said, he sent her to Charles…
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The Great Turkish War: 1683–1699 During the second half of the 17th century, the Ottoman Empire was invigorated by the leadership of the Koprulu family. The third in that line, Kara Mustapha, set the most ambitious objective of all: to impose Turkish dominance over Central Europe. He planned to begin by taking Vienna, the city the Turks called the “golden apple.” Here is our analysis of his failure.
Joan of Arc’s Loire Campaign The arrow storm loosed by the English longbowmen again and again took a bloody toll of the chivalry of France in the 100 Years War. At three great battles, the longbow was the decisive weapon. Termed the medieval equivalent of the machinegun by some modern writers, the French finally figured out how to defeat it at Patay in 1429.
The War in Nagorno-Karabakh Late 2020 saw a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. It is inhabited by Armenians, but it lies inside Azerbaijan as a result of decisions made in the 19th century. The Armenians declared their independence after the collapse of the USSR. The Azeri are loath to let territory slip from their grasp regardless of the ethnicity of those living there.
Command of the Seas: US Entry into World War I A central concept of international maritime trade is “freedom of the sea.” It has been the fundamental doctrine underwriting the free flow of goods across the world’s ocean since the dawn of the European age of exploration. However, it has come into dispute when warring nations use naval blockade to hamper their enemy’s ability to make war. In turn, the ability to dominate the maritime communications of an enemy is called “command of the seas.”