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France

1915 – The Battle of Gallipoli begins

25 April

The invasion of the Turkish Gallipoli Peninsula by Australian, British, French and New Zealand troops begins with landings at ANZAC Cove and Cape Helles.

1450 – Battle of Formigny

15 April

The Battle of Formigny occurred on this day in 1450 near the end of the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) between the crowns of England and France.

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1199 – King Richard I of England dies

6 April

Richard I (8 September 1157 – 6 April 1199) was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death on this day in 1199. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy (as Richard IV), Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Poitiers, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes, and Overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period. He was the third of five sons of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was known as Richard Cœur de Lion or Richard the Lionheart because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior. He was also known in Occitan as Oc e No (Yes and No), because of his reputation for terseness. Continue reading “1199 – King Richard I of England dies”

1889 – The Eiffel Tower is officially opened

31 March

The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Constructed in 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world: 6.98 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.

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1856 – The Treaty of Paris is signed, ending the Crimean War

30 March

The Crimean War was a military conflict fought between October 1853 – February 1856 in which Russia lost to an alliance of France, the United Kingdom, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia. Continue reading “1856 – The Treaty of Paris is signed, ending the Crimean War”

1809 – Peninsular War: the Battle of Ciudad Real

27 March

The Battle of Ciudad Real was fought on this day in 1809, and resulted in a French victory under General Sebastiani against the Spanish under General Conde de Cartojal. Continue reading “1809 – Peninsular War: the Battle of Ciudad Real”

1351 – Combat of the Thirty

26 March

The Combat of the Thirty occurred on this day in 1351 and was an episode in the Breton War of Succession, a war fought to determine who would rule the Duchy of Brittany. It was an arranged fight between picked combatants from both sides of the conflict. Continue reading “1351 – Combat of the Thirty”

1812 – Siege of Badajoz begins

16 March

In the Siege of Badajoz (16 March – 6 April 1812), also called the Third Siege of Badajoz, an Anglo-Portuguese Army, under General Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington), besieged Badajoz, Spain and forced the surrender of the French garrison. Continue reading “1812 – Siege of Badajoz begins”

1590 – Battle of Ivry

14 March

The Battle of Ivry was fought on this day in 1590, during the French Wars of Religion. The battle was a decisive victory for Henry IV of France, leading Huguenot (French Protestant) and English forces against the Catholic League led by the Duc de Mayenne and Spanish forces under the Count of Egmont. Henry’s forces were victorious and he went on to lay siege to Paris. The battle occurred on the plain of Épieds, Eure near Ivry (later renamed Ivry-la-Bataille), Normandy. Ivry-la-Bataille is located on the Eure River and about thirty miles west of Paris, at the boundary between the Île-de-France and the Beauce regions. Continue reading “1590 – Battle of Ivry”

1915 – The Battle of Neuve Chapelle begins

10 March

The Battle of Neuve Chapelle (10–13 March 1915) took place during the First World War and was the first major operation undertaken by the British Army since the frontier battles of 1914. The offensive occurred in the Artois region of France and broke through at Neuve-Chapelle but the success could not be exploited. Continue reading “1915 – The Battle of Neuve Chapelle begins”

1906 – The Courrières mine disaster

10 March

The Courrières mine disaster, Europe’s worst mining accident, caused the death of 1,099 miners (including many children) in Northern France on this day in 1906. Continue reading “1906 – The Courrières mine disaster”

1831 – The French Foreign Legion is established to support the war in Algeria

10 March

The French Foreign Legion was created by Louis Philippe, the King of the French, on this day in 1831 from the foreign regiments of the Kingdom of France. Recruits included soldiers from the recently disbanded Swiss and German foreign regiments of the Bourbon monarchy. The Royal Ordinance for the establishment of the new regiment specified that the foreigners recruited could only serve outside France. The French expeditionary force that had occupied Algiers in 1830 was in need of reinforcements and the Legion was accordingly transferred by sea in detachments from Toulon to Algeria. Continue reading “1831 – The French Foreign Legion is established to support the war in Algeria”

1704 – Queen Anne’s War: Raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts

29 February

The 1704 Raid on Deerfield (or the Deerfield Massacre) occurred during Queen Anne’s War on this day, when French and Native American forces under the command of Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville attacked the English frontier settlement at Deerfield, Massachusetts, just before dawn, burning part of the town, killing 47 villagers, and taking 112 settlers captive to Canada, of whom 60 were later redeemed. Continue reading “1704 – Queen Anne’s War: Raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts”

1797 – Last invasion of Britain

25 February

There was a military invasion of Great Britain by Revolutionary France during the War of the First Coalition. The brief campaign, which took place between 22 February and 24 February 1797, was the most recent effort by a foreign force that was able to land on Britain, and thus is often referred to as the “last invasion of Britain”. Continue reading “1797 – Last invasion of Britain”

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