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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction
Gordon in his own inimatable style gives a clear exposition of the Hundred Years War. For those who want to know about this period it really is an excellent and pithy introduction. For those that know then it's worth reading as well. Very highly recommended.
Published 11 months ago by MWS

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Felas, let's go!
I picked up this book written by a retired officer of the Royal Gurkha Rifles and enjoyed it very much. As an introduction to the Hundred Years War it is excellent. Being an ex soldier, he is very good on logistics and tactics and writes with a soldier's appreciation of the task undertaken by the English Plantagenet kings who crossed the channel in pursuit of their 'just...
Published 10 months ago by JANEITE


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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Felas, let's go!, 13 Sep 2013
This review is from: Great and Glorious Adventure, A: A Military History of the Hundred Years War (Hardcover)
I picked up this book written by a retired officer of the Royal Gurkha Rifles and enjoyed it very much. As an introduction to the Hundred Years War it is excellent. Being an ex soldier, he is very good on logistics and tactics and writes with a soldier's appreciation of the task undertaken by the English Plantagenet kings who crossed the channel in pursuit of their 'just rights and inheritances'. Indeed, at many points he conveys a longing to have been part of the campaigns of Edward III, the Black Prince and Henry V. However, for the informed reader it lacks the depth of a book such as, say, Agincourt, and really should be subtitled 'A Very Short Military History of the Hundred Years War' - coming in at just over 280 pages the whole thing. (That the deeds of the Plantagenet kings resonate with the French into modern times, he cites a standing order of General Charles de Gaulle that while travelling around the country he was never to be within thirty kilometres of Agincourt).

With regard to the lack of depth, indeed lack of scholarship, at one point he is critical of Henry V's offer to the 18 year old Dauphin to settle the dispute in 'trial by combat'. Pointing to the age difference as being unfair he calls Henry's challenge schoolboyish. Well, the Black Prince fought pitch battle at Crecy aged 16, Henry V took an arrow in the face at Shrewsbury aged 18 - and continued fighting, Edward IV won Towton aged 19 ... surely that is one of the reasons the English were able to dominate in the French wars: the French monarchs were seriously underpowered vis-a-vis their Plantagenet counterparts. It was only on the accession of a seriously underpowered Plantagenet king that the French were able to gain the upper hand and eject the English from their territory.

As an introduction to the subject it is ideal, but, as I previously stated, I can't see it fully satisfying the knowledgeable reader - hence 3 stars.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Proudly biased, 7 April 2014
By 
David Wineberg "David Wineberg" (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Great and Glorious Adventure, A: A Military History of the Hundred Years War (Hardcover)
What was wrong with the French? Why didn’t they just let the English take over their lands? Why did they have to keep fighting? Why did they want to push the English back across the Channel? These are the puzzling questions that led English kings to keep crossing the Channel for over a century to try to get the French to let them rule. All they wanted was everything. Three million Brits wanted control over 16 million French. King after king led sorties and sieges - that succeeded. But the English never consolidated their victories by occupying and administering (until about 90 years into it). They swept through the land, destroying anything that was not sufficiently defended, and moved on, returning control to the natives who were left. Then they came back and laid it waste again. And again. This is the essence of the Hundred Years’ War.

It was made a little more difficult because of the Scots who had a treaty with France to come to their aid in the case of an English invasion. The Scots fulfilled their commitment by gleefully attacking northern England, and running away when the English came after them. Even the capture of their king didn’t stop them. It was a labour of love. And it kept English troops in the north, when they were needed on the continent. Eventually, the Scots fought alongside the French in France, such was their love of England.

The English had an advanced military strategy. They had banks of archers who did nothing but shoot arrows into the air – six per minute each. This resulted in a rain of tens of thousands of arrows that not only killed and maimed, but frightened the horses into rearing and fleeing. The English liked to set up where it was advantageous, dig holes and trenches to slow the enemy, and wait to be attacked. It was a requirement that they be attacked. Sometimes they had to taunt the French into attacking. If it wasn’t so bloody, it would seem humourous.

Corrigan is a Sandhurst man, and wallows enthusiastically in the actual battles, which he relates in fine detail. The chronology is treated more summarily, with a lot of begatting and intrigue worthy of any opera, which defined the warring internal politics of England. So much effort went into rearranging the chess pieces that society itself was all but neglected, except for constant taxation (and revolts).

He’s also an Anglophile of the first rank, belittling the French at every opportunity, and singing the praises of Kings Edward III and Henry V, his all time favourite. Anything the French accomplished, particularly the advances with Joan of Arc, Corrigan attributes to dumb luck, while everything the English accomplished was due to professional soldiers, able administrators, strategic diplomats and loyal archers from an unending stream of extraordinary, quality people at the king’s service. This despite protection rackets run by garrisons, pillaging, looting, backstabbing, plots, betrayals, murder and mayhem. Finally, in the epilogue, Corrigan comes clean: “France as a nation has never liked us. The feeling is mutual.” And he ends by claiming the Hundred Years’ War to subjugate France was “a great and righteous cause”.

David Wineberg
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction, 25 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Great and Glorious Adventure, A: A Military History of the Hundred Years War (Hardcover)
Gordon in his own inimatable style gives a clear exposition of the Hundred Years War. For those who want to know about this period it really is an excellent and pithy introduction. For those that know then it's worth reading as well. Very highly recommended.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best One Volume History, 10 May 2014
By 
Peter J. Holmes (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Great and Glorious Adventure, A: A Military History of the Hundred Years War (Hardcover)
of the Hundred Years War that I have read - and I have read several.

Corrigan writes clearly and entertainingly about a quite confusing period of history. As the title makes clear his focus is on the military but he does not ignore other aspects such as religion and social factors.

I think some of the comments made in the 3 star reviews are a little harsh. Corrigan does not pretend to write a balanced account of the conflict; it is intended for the general reader not specialists, and as such he does an excellent job.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 9 Mar 2014
By 
Kobiangelus (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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Firstly,
this not my first attempt to get to grips with The Hundred Years War.
The other titles I have read left me confused and without explanation of they why's, who's, when's and .more importantly how's of the various campaigns.
A book with much humour and wit in the midst of quite often most sinister matters makes the reading of these often terrible events lighter but nonetheless informative.
Thank you Gordon..
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good details but patchy, 14 April 2014
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This review is from: Great and Glorious Adventure, A: A Military History of the Hundred Years War (Hardcover)
I would recommend this as a book for a club to read as it generates discussion points aplenty.
Lots of details of how and why the English monarchs were able to gain successes and repeat them in an attempt to control as much of France as they could.
However, on balance it is a book that ducks too many of the serious issues (the great harm done to the French people by the wars, among others) to focus on catchy ones (big battles). As in many accounts of this conflict the flashy campaigns get disproportionately large amounts of attention even though they settled almost nothing whereas the real successes of the French state in the last 30 years remain puzzling as they are not explained or analysed in a rather short section that finishes off the story. The author makes a lot of assumptions on the reader's behalf and this gets increasingly discomfiting (English successes are all "good"; their failures are bad for us; religious beliefs are probably just for show and not genuine; the Scots were taught a lesson for interfering; and many others.) The text is augmented with some very helpful campaign maps but not a book for anyone who already is familiar with the subject.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gteat read!, 27 Aug 2013
This review is from: Great and Glorious Adventure, A: A Military History of the Hundred Years War (Hardcover)
Corrigan brings insight and a great writing style to this period in history, couldn't put it down. I don't usually read Military History books but this one had social hostory too which brought the period to life - fantastic read!
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