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Chevauchée

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Definition: The medieval term for a particularly destructive kind of military raid especially prominent during The Hundred Years War (and especially used by Edward III of England). Rather than besieging a castle or conquering land, soldiers on a Chevauchée aimed to create as much destruction, carnage and chaos as possible to both break the morale of enemy peasants and deny their rulers income and resources. Consequently, they would burn crops and buildings, kill the population and steal anything valuable before enemy forces could challenge them, often systematically laying regions to waste and causing great starvation. Comparison to the modern concept of Total War is more than justified and the Chevauchée makes an interesting counterpoint to the modern view of Chivalrous medieval warfare.
Examples:
On July 14th the King launched another chevauchée, this time towards Paris.
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