The battle of Sandwich: England’s medieval Trafalgar

In 1217, with a French armada approaching the coast of Kent, English sailors secured what may be the most significant naval victory in their country's history. Sean McGlynn describes the battle of Sandwich

English sailors engage the French invasion fleet at the battle of Sandwich in 1217. "It was English experience in naval matters that won the day at Sandwich," says Sean McGlynn. (Print Collector/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the July 2012 issue of BBC History Magazine 

Nelson and Trafalgar? Yes. Drake and the Armada? Yes. But de Burgh and Sandwich? This unlikely-named combination of medieval naval hero and sea battle proved arguably of far greater importance than its more renowned successors.

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