I enjoyed the amusing hyperbole of the letter from ‘Bothered of Benissa’ (‘Not Cricket’, CBN April 2). However, he (she?) showed a lamentable ignorance of history.
In the first place, technically, Hastings was an English defeat to the Normans, not the French. Normandy was a virtually independent duchy in the early 11th century with Duke William, though ostensibly a vassal of the King of France, Philip I, in command of far more political and military power than his nominal overlord.
More egregiously, your correspondent totally airbrushed the Hundred Years War from history.
It was ever thus with the English attitude to this war, glorifying the victories at Crecy (1346), Poitiers (1356) and of course, Agincourt in 1415, but scarcely mentioning the turning point of the war, the raising of the siege of Orleans in 1429.
And how many English people have even heard of the battle which ended the War? The Battle of Castillon was fought on July 17, 1453 and is notable for being the first battle in Europe where cannons played a decisive part.
Incidentally, without the support of France, their closest ally, the fledgling United States might have lost their War of Independence. France supplied gunpowder and arms, and financed the war to the tune of more than 1.3 billion livres.
In addition, roughly 12,000 French soldiers served the rebellion, along with some 22,000 naval personnel, aboard 63 warships.