|During the peace Edward the III had sunk into senile pleasures,
and had a greedy mistress. He had also fallen ill with dropsy, as a result
he was no longer the war hero he had been at the beginning of the war.
In contrast Charles Vth had come to the throne in France. Though Charles
was of weak constitution, and was often ill with ulcers, poor circulation
and unexplained fevers, he understood the strengths of the English army,
and weaknesses of his own. As a result during the peace he along with Du
Guesclin (constable of France) implemented five restructuring policies.
Charles also built an arsenal, so the towns could be equipped with cannons.
This was an advantage the French had over the English, since they could
not easily drag Cannons cross the countryside. The French navy was also
equipped with them, and was placed under the control of Jean de Vienne
(Admiral of the fleet)
he paid local lords to defend their regions by creating a militia to fight
the free companies. If they failed to do this they were forfeit their lands.
Systematic fortifications. The local towns were fortified, so when the
English army approached everyone went inside, and the surrounding land
was burnt. The English army therefore had nothing to live on during a siege.
Charles also improved taxes. He streamlined them, and placed a tax on salt
He created a royal professional army, which was directly under his control
He made Generals and Admiral based on their past performance on the field
and not because of social rank.
When the war resumed the English continued the chevaucher tactics, but
with little success since the French army had been forbidden to engage
the British in a pitch battle. Also since the French were using guerrilla
tactics on the English baggage trains, and a scorched earth policy, it
was difficult for the English to live off the land.
The only major battle fought was at sea, in 1372 at La Rochelle, and
since the French had use of the whole Castilian fleet the French were victorious.
The English when war resumed was in debt, and the siege tactics that
the French were employing was a huge drain on English resources, there
were not even any victories to boost moral as there had been in the first
phase of the war. The situation only got worse when Edward died and the
crown passed to Richard II who was young and weak. And by the end of the
third phase of the war England had lost everything they had gained at Bretigy
except Guyenne and Calais.