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Medieval

November 1315, a small contingent of men from the Swiss Confederacy ambushed a group of Austrian Soldiers near the Morgarten Pass. The Swiss victory furthered the confederacy between Unterwalden, Uri, and Schwyz, the core of modern Switzerland. Recent archaeological excavations near the site of the battle of Morgarten in 1315 have uncovered two knives, a number of...

Of all the 15th century Ottoman battles in the Balkans prior to the conquest of Constantinople, the most important was probably the Battle of Varna in 1444. Particularly if you pair its effects with those of the (second) Battle of Kosovo in 1448. Varna broke a major Hungarian-Polish alliance that had been formed to counter the...

In 1451, with the tide of the Hundred Years' War favoring the French, King Charles VII marched south and succeeded in capturing Bordeaux. Long an English possession, the residents presented their new French overlords and soon were secretly dispatching agents to London asking for an army to liberate their territory. While the government in London was in...

During the Ottoman-Venetian Wars, the city of Candia, today Heraklion on Crete, was besieged for 21 long years. The siege of Candia, regarded as one of the longest sieges in history, lasted from 1648–1669. The Venetians had been ruling the land ever since the Fourth Crusade, and Candia was in a key position in the Mediterranean. The...

Viking raiders had made frequent raids in search of plunder on the coast of Britain since the 5th century or earlier. In the late 10th century these raids became more cohesive - and more difficult to oppose. In mid-August of 991, a force under the leadership of Olaf Tryggvasson descended upon the coast of Essex. Olaf's men appear...

The city of Orléans is located on the Loire River in north-central France. At the time of this siege, it was the northernmost city that remained loyal to the French crown. The English and their allies the Burgundians controlled the rest of northern France, including Paris. Orléans's position on a major river made it the last...

In 1428, the English sought to assert Henry VI's claim to the French throne through the Treaty of Troyes. Already holding much of northern France with their Burgundian allies, 6,000 English soldiers landed at Calais under the leadership of the Earl of Salisbury. These were soon met by another 4,000 men drawn from Normandy by the...

The Battle of Mohi or battle of the Sajó River, (on April 11, 1241) was the main battle between the Mongols under Subutai and the Kingdom of Hungary under Béla IV during the Mongol invasion of Europe. It took place at Muhi or Mohi, southwest of the Sajó River. Mongol use of heavy machinery demonstrated how military...

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