What was the Battle of the Herrings?

It sounds like an incident during an Anglo-Icelandic fishing dispute, but it was in fact a real battle, fought in February 1429 during the Hundred Years’ War

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Commanded by Sir John Fastolf, a convoy of as many as 300 wagons was carrying supplies for the English besiegers of Orleans when it was attacked near the town of Rouvray by the French and their Scottish allies.

Deploying his wagons as an improvised fortification, Fastolf fought off the enemy and eventually drove them from the field.

Commanded by Sir John Fastolf, a convoy of as many as 300 wagons was carrying supplies for the English besiegers of Orleans when it was attacked near the town of Rouvray by the French and their Scottish allies.

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Deploying his wagons as an improvised fortification, Fastolf fought off the enemy and eventually drove them from the field.

The battle owes its unusual name to the fact that the supplies being carried by the convoy included not just cannonballs, arrows and crossbow bolts but also a large number of barrels of herrings
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The battle owes its unusual name to the fact that the supplies being carried by the convoy included not just cannonballs, arrows and crossbow bolts but also a large number of barrels of herrings – particularly important as Lent was approaching, a time when the soldiers would have been forbidden from eating meat.

This article was taken from BBC History Revealed magazine