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"Joan of Arc -A Military Appreciation" Topic

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469 hits since 9 Nov 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango0109 Nov 2017 4:04 p.m. PST

"Joan of Arc -- the seventeen-year-old peasant girl, who, as she said herself, "did not know ‘A' from ‘B', " but who, in a year and a month, crowned a reluctant king, rallied a broken people, reversed the course of a great war, and shoved history into a new path --what are we to make of her? The people who came after her in the five centuries since her death tried to make everything of her: demonic fanatic, spiritual mystic, naive and tragically ill-used tool of the powerful, creator and icon of modern popular nationalism, adored heroine, saint. She insisted, even when threatened with torture and faced with death by fire, that she was guided by voices from God. Voices or no voices, her achievements leave anyone who knows her story shaking his head in amazed wonder.'

Joan was born into a poor common family in the peasant village of Domrémy in the French province of Lorraine in 1412. She grew up a simple but unusually devout farm child during the height of the Hundred Years' War. Disaster after disaster befell her native France -- the English invaders and their Burgundian allies conquered and occupied the northern half of France including Paris. Dauphin Charles VII, the rightful but un-crowned king of France, set up the remnants of his royal court at the town of Chinon. From here, this weak monarch of questionable competence tried to rule over the unoccupied rump of France. Starting in May, 1428, Joan, claiming that God was directing her through the saints, repeatedly approached the regional governor demanding that he send her to Charles at Chinon. She insisted that it was her divinely ordered mission to take charge of the French army, defeat the English, and escort Charles to Rheims to have him properly crowned king. In October 1428, the English and Burgundians began their siege of the city of Orléans, their last obstacle before overrunning the rest of France. In February 1429, the governor finally relented to Joan and sent her to Chinon with a small escort. Upon arriving at Chinon, she presented herself to Charles with her hair cut short and wearing a man's clothes, though she made it clear to all that she was in fact a girl. By April, she persuaded Charles to provide her with a horse, a suit of armor, and weapons, and to place her at the head of the army marching to rescue Orléans. Upon arriving at Orléans, she proceeded to lead the army in an astounding series of victories that reversed the tide of the war. She was seventeen years old. In July 1429, she led the army and the timid Charles deep into English-occupied territory to the great cathedral at Rheims where France's kings had been crowned for generations. With Joan in armor at his side, Charles received the crown. After thus becoming fully king, Charles sought to undercut Joan's influence in any way he could. To Joan's rage, he opened negotiations with the English and Burgundians and disbanded the army while much of France was still under hostile occupation. Joan continued to make war on her own as the independent captain of a small band of mercenaries. It was in this capacity that she was taken prisoner by enemy soldiers at the Siege of Compiègne in May, 1430. A church court of English-sponsored clerics convicted her of heresy and she died at the stake in May, 1431, at the age of nineteen. Charles resumed military operations and succeeded in driving the English from France by 1453, thus winning the Hundred Years' War. In 1456, the Church revoked Joan's conviction for heresy and proclaimed that she had been a good Christian and Catholic. The Church canonized her as a saint in 1920…."
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Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member10 Nov 2017 2:20 p.m. PST

There are at least two fine books available (by Kelly Devries and Steven Ritchey, I believe) focusing solely on Joan's military career.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member11 Nov 2017 10:51 p.m. PST

Unlike certain ridiculous Kickstarter projects cashing in on her good name, Joan did not appear to spend much time battling trolls, dragons, demons, or undead.

Tango0111 Nov 2017 11:02 p.m. PST



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