Battle of Roche-au-Moine
|Battle of Roche-au-Moine|
|Part of the Anglo-French War (1213–14)|
King John of England in battle with the French (left), Prince Louis VIII of France on the march (right).
|Kingdom of France||
Duchy of Normandy|
Kingdom of England
|Commanders and leaders|
|Prince Louis of France||John of England|
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Roche-au-Moine was a battle between the Kingdom of France and the Kingdom of England in 1214. When John besieged the castle, he retreated after he was refused support from Angevin nobles.
In 1214 John began his final campaign to reclaim Normandy from Philip. John was optimistic, as he had successfully built up alliances with the Emperor Otto, Renaud of Boulogne and Count Ferdinand of Flanders; he was enjoying papal favour; and he had successfully built up substantial funds to pay for the deployment of his experienced army. Nonetheless, when John left for Poitou in February 1214, many barons refused to provide military service; mercenary knights had to fill the gaps. John's plan was to split Philip's forces by pushing north-east from Poitou towards Paris, whilst Otto, Renaud and Ferdinand, supported by William Longespée, marched south-west from Flanders.
The first part of the campaign went well, with John outmanoeuvring the forces under the command of Prince Louis and retaking the county of Anjou by the end of June. John besieged the castle of Roche-au-Moine, a key stronghold, forcing Louis to give battle against John's larger army. The local Angevin nobles refused to advance with the king; left at something of a disadvantage, John retreated back to La Rochelle.
Shortly afterwards, Philip won the hard-fought battle of Bouvines in the east against Otto and John's other allies, bringing an end to John's hopes of retaking Normandy. A peace agreement was signed in which John returned Anjou to Philip and paid the French king compensation; the truce was intended to last for six years. John arrived back in England in October.
References and footnotes
- Barlow, Frank (1999). The Feudal Kingdom of England, 1042–1216. Harlow, UK: Pearson Education. ISBN 0-582-38117-7.
- Carpenter, David (2004). The Struggle for Mastery: The Penguin History of Britain 1066–1284. London: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-014824-4.
- Warren, W. Lewis (1991). King John. London: Methuen. ISBN 0-413-45520-3.