Battle of Jengland
August 22nd 851, the battles of Jengland-Beslé , or battles of the Large-Fougeray opposed to the franques troops of Charles the Bald person to Breton of Erispoë, and was gained by this last. This Breton victory led to the Traité of Angers signed in September 851.
First stepsAfter having respected the peace concluded with Charles the Bald person in 846, Nominoë, with the head of the Breton , takes again the offensive in 849. He seems from now on to seek to establish the total independence of his principality, as its deposition testifies some to the bishops in place - faithful to the Métropolitain of Turns - under charges of Simonie and their replacement by the faithful ones (for example: Gislard appointed bishop with Nantes, then with Guérande and Courantgwen with Valves).
In 850, Charles raises an army, but the confrontation does not take place and the king is satisfied to reinforce the counties bordering.
In 851, the left garrisons the previous year with Rennes and Nantes capitulate in front of Nominoë, which deeply pushes its devastations towards the East (it devastates Mans). Wanting to push with its advantage its new conquests, Nominoë decides to advance on Chartres, but dies suddenly while riding a horse, close to Vendôme. Erispoë, is wire, takes again the command of the Breton army and continues the offensive in company of the renegade Franc Lambert.
In front of the threat, Charles concludes an agreement from reciprocal assistance with his brothers, obtaining a quota of Saxons of Louis Germanic the. The ost is convened in the west of the kingdom at the end of the summer.
Involved forcesFor lack of precise data, manpower of the two camps must be estimated under all reserves. It is necessary to take care not to repeat the whimsical evaluations of formerly, which grant to 40.000 men to Charles, whereas Charlemagne itself undoubtedly never led some as much to the battle field, to one time when the empire was still whole.
One can nevertheless suppose that after his bitter failure with Ballon, Charles seeks to avoid twice making the same error while presenting itself with not enough men, even if it knows Breton very few. A massive mobilization in Francie Western could represent from four to six thousand men - 30 to 50% of the theoretical maximum of the kingdom, because the king must alternate the areas convened with the ost from one year to another to avoid the exhaustion of the resources and men. On this number, it is necessary to perhaps count 10% of heavy riders, their riders, if they themselves are assembled, possibly being able to form a light cavalry. As for the quota of Saxon mercenaries, one can venture oneself to grant to him from 500 to 800 men, that is to say about manpower of a band of Germanic war (by analogy with the bands of Scandinavian wars).
At the Breton ones, the army apparently consisting of only one light cavalry, only the men of a certain social status, i.e. having the means of having a horse, could take part in it. Despite everything, the proportion of men having of the horses could be higher than what it is in Francie at the same time. Indeed, the breeding holds a dominating place in the production activities of the Celtic company of the time, at least at the free class, to believe of it the contemporary relations and the analogy with the other Celtic nations of the Early middle ages. The culture of the fields, little developed, is the business of the servile class, excluded from the privilege to carry the weapons. The richness and the capacity are calculated in heads of cattle and skins.
Thus, the population of Brittany of then - less than 150.000 hearts, without counting the Romance population acquired in the counties of Rennes and Nantes - leads to an estimate of 500-800 riders for a gallo-franque area, where the minor nobility, which has the quasi-monopoly of the horse, represents from 2 to 2,5% of the population. One can suppose the higher proportion at the Breton ones. Only one benchmark historiographic: in 873, Charles convenes Solomon, successor of Erispoë, to come to make the head office of Angers jointly where cut off themselves from the Viking S; the Breton king goes there with 1.000 men according to the sources of the time.
The battleIn August 851, Charles the Bald person leaves the Maine to penetrate in Brittany by the Roman way of Nantes with Corseul. With the bridge of Beslé, the Breton army bars the road to him.
The first day, the king lays out his troops on two lines: francs behind, Saxon mercenaries having to break the load of the Breton cavalry, of which he knows mobility and tenacity.
At the first moments of engagement, canardés of javelins, the Saxon ones are folded up behind the franque line. The Francs are taken with deprived by the tactics of the enemy. Instead of engaging the body with body, the Breton ones remotely badger the heavy army with the Francs, a little the made-to-order of the wandering people of Central Asia, the arc and the arrow being replaced by the javelin. They alternate furious loads, sudden routs and pretenses incentive the Francs with the continuation, the Breton ones being involved to aim as well in front of them as behind. As soon as a few Francs are detached from a column, the Breton ones gather to encircle them.
After two days of combat, the losses as men and mountings are catastrophic at the Francs, tiny at the Breton ones. Fright gains the king, who flees with the favor of the night, giving up all his cloakroom. When its disappearance is noticed at the small day, panic seizes the soldiers and all any more but do not think of saving their skin. The Breton ones are not long in realizing some and base on the camp with great cry, seizing the treasures and the weapons, massacring as many runaways as they can it.
Consequences: The treaty of AngersAt the conclusion of this battle, the relations between Francs and Breton are redefined. Charles the Bald person agrees to meet Erispoé with Angers city located at the limits of the Breton projection.
According to the Yearly of Saint-Bertin : “Erispoé, wire of Nominoé, coming to Charles, in the City of Angers were ordered from him (= subjects itself) and as well accepted in gift the symbols of the royalty as the springs of his/her father, being added the Of Rennes one, the Nantes one and Retz. ”
By this treated of Angers , signed in September 851 , if Erispoé, Prince of Brittany, remains in theory prone of Charles the Bald person, he regards himself from now on as equal same Charles, in his loads of king de Francie Western, since he will carry from now on itself the title of “ rex ”. Charles recognizes the authority of the Breton Princes on the country of Rennes, the Nantes country and the country of Retz, which formed before the Marche of Brittany, and incorporated in it at the same time population of a Gallo-Roman and franque origin of Romance language.
This treaty of Angers delimits the borders of the future Duchy of Brittany and the historical Brittany. It marks also a turning in the relations between Francia and Brittany: the Norman ones attack Neustrie and Brittany, an interior peace, for lack of a solid and voluntary alliance, is necessary to counter these incursions (from 799) increasingly pressing.
Limits of the treaty of Angers
The treaty of Angers flies in glare a few years later under Solomon of Brittany which sets out again in war against the French central capacity in 863. Solomon pushes his troops until Orleans. by the Treated of Entrammes (with the limit of Maine and historical Anjou), it acquires on the Francs the Maine and part of the Anjou. In 868, the Traité of Compiegne concedes to him the Cotentin, the Avranchin as well as the Channel Islands. Brittany reaches its maximum geographical extension then. But the duchy of Brittany is destabilized by the occupations and the incursions of the Viking S at the beginning of the 10th century like by the counter-attacks of the royal armed forces.
Indeed, Brittany loses its last conquests on the Anjou, the Comté of Maine and the Normandy. In 909, following the death of Alain Large the, Foulque Ier of Anjou receives the Comté of Nantes. It is charged to fight against the Normands and the Bretons. The county of Nantes will be then closely related on the Anjou and the dynasty of the Plantagenêts until in 1203.
Reconstituted but weakened, by the duke Alain II of Brittany and its following, Brittany is nothing any more but a Duché (sometimes called county simply) which takes again overall the limits of the Traité of Angers. The dukes continue however to exert the royal prerogatives their predecessors and will generally maintain alliances with the French central capacity by marriages with princesses of the French nobility.
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