On the 12th February 1429, the curiously-named Battle of the Herrings was fought between French and English forces near the village of Rouvray in France. One of numerous clashes during the Hundred Years War, it ended in English victory. However, Joan of Arc’s prediction of the French defeat is said to have contributed greatly to her securing a visit to the French Dauphin Charles VII.

On the 12th October 1428 the English besieged the city of Orléans, but by the end of January were in need of additional supplies. A convoy of “some 300 carts and wagons” containing various weapons was sent in response. In addition, as the troops would soon be observing Lent when Christians abstain from eating meat, it also included barrels of herrings.

The convoy met a large force of 3,000-4,000 French and Scottish troops led by Charles de Bourbon, Count of Clermont, outside the village of Rouvray. The English arranged their carts into a defensive wagon fort, with sharpened stakes similar to those used at the Battle of Agincourt around the perimeter. Unable to use their cavalry, the French launched a gunpowder artillery bombardment, but were forced to abandon this after the Scots advanced prematurely. The English seized the opportunity for a counter-attack and forced them to retreat.

At the same time Joan of Arc was attempting to persuade Robert de Baudricourt help her visit the French dauphin at Chinon. Apparently she told him of the terrible defeat near Orléans, something that was only confirmed several days later. De Baudricourt felt Joan must have experienced divine help to know this, so agreed to help her.

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