Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Stephen Miller

Second Committee Member

Joel Anderson

Third Committee Member

Mark McLaughlin


This thesis explores the siege and capture of the port city of Calais in 1347 by King Edward III of England (1312-1377) during the Hundred Years War (1337-1453). The capture of Calais was the culminating event of King Edward III’s 1346-7 military campaign in Normandy and France. This victory provided the English military with a strategically strong foothold on the European continent to conduct future military and economic operations. This thesis blends the methodological approach of “old military history” from the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries with “new military history” beginning in the latter half of the twentieth century in an attempt to provide a more nuanced approach to understanding warfare. Therefore, this thesis is an attempt at understanding not only battle narratives and the effects of engagements from a purely military nature, but also the wide-ranging effects the campaign had on English society as a whole. This paper relies heavily on the usage of both chancery records maintained by England and various contemporary chronicler accounts of the period. The goal of this thesis is to prove King Edward III was a tactically and strategically brilliant commander who through the massing of armies and the mobilization of the English economy secured significant wartime victories. He was able to capture the port city of Calais despite fighting against a kingdom that was far wealthier and larger than his own. King Edward’s creative and adaptive strategic and tactical approaches to siege warfare demonstrated in this paper show the strength of the English military during this period.