The Most Famous Battle You've Never Heard Of.

Mention the Battle of Hastings and most of the English-speaking world will have an idea what you are talking about. They may only have a vague idea of its importance in terms of world history. They may recall it was fought in 1066 and began the Norman Conquest of England.

The same likely cannot be said for the Battle of Bouvines, fought in Flanders in the year 1214. And yet, most French people will be able to tell you all about Bouvines. The victory of the French forces of King Philip Augustus over the army of the Holy Roman Empire, confirmed France as the leading power in medieval Europe. It marked the transformation from a feudal backwater to a cohesive kingdom and a force to be reckoned with.


As we might expect, the unpopular King of England, John Lackland, had a hand in the formation of the coalition that opposed the French. He thirsted to regain Plantagenet territory lost to the French, including Normandy. He didn't actually participate in the battle itself. His role was to invade France from the south and divert Philip away from Paris. The Emperor and the Counts who supported him planned to then take Paris.

Things fell apart when John's army was routed, and Philip managed to march his army back to the north where he surprised the Emperor's forces.

In a hard fought battle near Bouvines, the superior discipline of the French infantry and cavalry won the day.

The hero of my story ADRIEN fought on the side of the French. Adrien de Montbryce is the younger brother of Becket and Roland and his book is the third installment of The Montbryce Dynasty.