Battle of Guinegate Spurs August 16 1513 Holy League Italian Wars Henry VIII Maximilian I French cavalry Jacques de La Palice

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SOTK2011 / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: C7XRX3
The Battle of Guinegate or Battle of the Spurs took place on August 16, 1513. As part of the Holy League under the on-going Italian Wars, English and Imperial troops under Henry VIII and Maximilian I surprised and routed a body of French cavalry under Jacques de La Palice. The English army was provided by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and combined several different types of martial forces, and included cavalry, artillery, infantry and longbows using hardened steel arrows designed to penetrate armour more effectively. The French forces were mostly companies of gendarmes and pikemen, with some other mixed forces as well. Called the "Battle of the Spurs" because of the haste of the French horse to leave the battlefield, it took place at Guinegate (now Enguinegatte, France), hence its name: A French cavalry force, which had come to succour the besieged town of Therouanne, suddenly found itself opposite the Anglo-Imperial army, the size and position of which it had misjudged. Repelled by the latter’s artillery, the French turned and fled, with English and Burgundian cavalry in hot pursuit. At the end of the battle the cities of Therouanne and Tournai were in the hands of Henry VIII of England.

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