Military History Timeline From 1401 to 1600

A full-color image depicting the battle of Agincourt.
The Battle of Agincourt.

Chroniques d’Enguerrand de Monstrelet (early 15th century)/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The military history of the 1400s and 1500s was full of battles in the Hundred Years' War between France and England and was marked by the life and death of Joan of Arc. This chunk of history saw the fall of the Byzantine Empire, the final outcome of the English Wars of the Roses, the Eighty Years' War, the Thirty Years' War, and the Nine Years' War, among many other bloody conflicts.

The 1400s and the Hundred Years' War

On July 20, 1402, Timur won the Battle of Ankara in the Ottoman-Timurid Wars. A year later, on July 21, 1403, in Britain, Henry IV won the Battle of Shrewsbury.

The Teutonic Knights were defeated July 15, 1410, during the Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War at the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg).

In the ongoing Hundred Years' War, Henry V besieged and captured Harfleur from August 18 to September 22, 1415. Later the same year, on October 25, the French forces were beaten by Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt. On January 19, 1419, Rouen, France surrendered to the English king Henry V.

The Hussite Wars began July 30, 1419, with the First Defenestration of Prague.

Scottish and French forces defeated the English at the Battle of Baugé on March 21, 1421, in another battle of the Hundred Years' War. On July 31, 1423, the English won the Battle of Cravant. The Duke of Bedford won the Battle of Verneuil on August 17, 1424. On September 5, 1427, French forces broke the siege of Montargis.

The Hundred Years' War continued to rage through the decade. From October 12, 1428, to May 8, 1429, the Siege of Orleans was waged, with Joan of Arc eventually saving the city. On February 12, 1429, Sir John Fastolf won the Battle of the Herrings. Toward the end of the decade, on June 18, 1429, the French won the Battle of Patay.

In a decisive and history-making moment of the Hundred Years' War, Joan of Arc was executed at Rouen on May 30, 1431.

The Hussites won the Battle of Taus on August 14, 1431, during the Hussite Wars. The Hussite Wars conflict effectively ended May 30, 1434, following the Battle of Lipany.

The Fall of the Byzantine Empire and the End of War

The Hundred Years' War continued on April 15, 1450, when the Comte de Clermont defeated the English at the Battle of Formigny.

The Second Ottoman Siege of Constantinople was conducted from April 2 to May 29, 1453, resulting in the fall of the Byzantine Empire and effectively ending the Byzantine-Ottoman Wars.

The English army, under the Earl of Shrewsbury, was beaten at the Battle of Castillon on July 17, 1453, an event that put an end to the Hundred Years' War.

The Wars of the Roses

The Wars of the Roses began May 22, 1455, when the First Battle of St. Albans resulted in a victory for the Yorkist cause. The House of York enjoyed another victory in the ongoing conflict on September 23, 1459, when the Earl of Salisbury won the Battle of Blore Heath for the Yorkists.

The conflict continued on July 10, 1460, when King Henry VI was captured during the Battle of Northampton. Richard, Duke of York was defeated and killed at the Battle of Wakefield on December 30, 1460.

The Yorkists won the Battle of Mortimer's Cross on February 2, 1461. Edward IV was proclaimed king on March 4, after the Lancastrian forces won the Second Battle of St. Albans on February 17, 1461. Edward IV triumphed at the Battle of Towton March 29, 1461.

In Japan, a dispute between Hosokawa Katsumoto and Yamana Sōzen escalated into the Onin War, which was waged from July 1467 to July 1477.

Back in England on July 26, 1469, the Lancastrians won at the Battle of Edgecote Moor in the still-ongoing Wars of the Roses.

The Earl of Warwick was killed at the Battle of Barnet on April 14, 1471, in another decisive moment of the Wars of the Roses. Edward IV reclaimed the throne on May 4 of that year, after winning the Battle of Tewkesbury.

Portugal was defeated at the Battle of Toro in the War of the Castilian Succession on March 1, 1476.

War Begins and Ends for France and England

Over in France, the Burgundian Wars erupted when Duke Charles of Burgundy was beaten at the Battle of Granson on March 2, 1476. Swiss forces defeated the Duke of Burgundy at the Battle of Murten (Morat) on June 22, 1476. Duke Charles was defeated and killed at the Battle of Nancy on January 5, 1477, ending the Burgundian Wars.

It was the beginning of the end for the Wars of the Roses on August 22, 1485, when Henry Tudor triumphed at the Battle of Bosworth Field and became King Henry VII. The final engagement of the Wars of the Roses was fought at the Battle of Stoke Field on June 16, 1487.

The Reconquista ended January 2, 1492, when Spanish forces captured Granada from the Moors, ending the conflict.

Sixty-three years of conflict began in October 1494 with the French invasion of Italy, the event that launched the Italian Wars.

1500s Military Conflicts Begin

French forces won the Battle of Ravenna April 11, 1512, in a decisive moment of the War of the League of Cambrai. In the next chapter of the conflict, the Scottish forces were crushed at the Battle of Flodden on September 9, 1513.

Elsewhere in the world, Ottoman forces won the Battle of Chaldiran over the Safavid Empire on August 23, 1514.

The War of the League of Cambrai continued September 13 and 14, 1515, when the French defeated the Swiss at the Battle of Marignano.

Imperial and Spanish forces defeated and captured Francis I at the Battle of Pavia on February 24, 1525, as the Italian Wars continued to unfold.

War Erupts Outside of Europe

Babur won the First Battle of Panipat in the Mughal Conquests on April 21, 1526.

In the Ottoman-Hungarian Wars, the Hungarian forces were badly defeated at the Battle of Mohacs on August 29, 1526.

In the ongoing Mughal Conquests, the forces of Babur defeated the Rajput Confederation to conquer northern India on March 17, 1527.

Imperial troops sacked the city of Rome on May 6, 1527, in a dark moment of the Italian Wars.

The Ottoman-Habsburg Wars continued to rage from September 27 to October 14, 1529, when the Ottomans besieged Vienna but were forced to retreat.

Swiss Catholics defeated the Protestants of Zurich at the Battle of Kappel on October 11, 1531, during the Second War of Kappel.

In 1539, Humayan was defeated by the Sher-Shah at the Battle of Benares.

The 1540s Bring War Back to England

English naval commander Sir Francis Drake was born in Tavistock, Devon in 1540, during the Anglo-Spanish War. The conflict heated up on November 24, 1542, when the Scottish forces were beaten at the Battle of Solway Moss.

Emperor Galawdewos won the Battle of Wayna Daga on February 21, 1543, during the Ethiopian-Adal War.

Scottish troops defeated the English at the Battle of Ancrum Moor on February 27, 1545, during the Anglo-Scottish Wars.

During the Schmalkaldic War, protestant forces were beaten at the Battle of Mühlberg on April 24, 1547.

The Anglo-Scottish Wars continued when the English won the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh over the Scots on September 10, 1547.

Mughal forces defeated rebels at the Second Battle of Panipat on November 5, 1556.

The Battle of Kawanakajima, a conflict between Takeda and Uesugi forces, was waged on September 10, 1561, in Japan.

Decades of War

The forces of Oda Nobunaga conducted the successful siege of Ishiyama Hongan-ji from August 1570 to August 1580 in Japan.

The Holy League defeated the Ottomans at the decisive Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571, ending the Ottoman-Habsburg Wars.

Mughal forces won the Battle of Tukaroi over the Sultanate of Bangala and Bihar on March 5, 1575.

Albrecht von Wallenstein was born in Bohemia September 24, 1583, during the Thirty Years' War.

English naval forces raided the Spanish port of Cadiz from April 12 to July 6, 1587, during the Anglo-Spanish War. In battles raging from July 19 to August 12, 1588, English naval forces defeated the powerful Spanish Armada. English and Dutch forces captured and burned the Spanish city of Cadiz from June 30 to July 15, 1596.

Maurice of Nassau won the Battle of Turnhout on January 24, 1597, during the Eighty Years' War.

English forces were beaten at the Battle of Curlew Pass on August 15, 1599, during the Nine Years' War.

The Eighty Years' War continued through the end of the 1500s when the Dutch won a tactical victory at the Battle of Nieuwpoort on July 2, 1600.