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Castillon, battle of

Castillon, battle of, 1453. On 17 July 1453, the English lost Gascony, which they had held for 300 years. An Anglo-Gascon attack on a fortified artillery park a mile or two on the right bank of the Dordogne upstream from Castillon was probably launched without knowledge of the strength of its defence. For a short while, despite the hail of shot and ball, the rampart was gained. But the assault was repulsed and the English overrun, Shrewsbury, their legendary 65-year-old commander, being killed in the rout. Thus, in a suicidal frontal attack on artillery, not unlike the Charge of the Light Brigade, the Hundred Years War came to an end. Only Calais was left to the English.

Anthony James Pollard

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