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The Battle of Normandy, 29 October 1744, was the only conflict in the short-lived War of Norman Succession. It was fought between the Norman Alliance, comprising of House Normandy and its vassals, House Nassau and its vassals, Lowell-Brittany and House Vendome, and the Burgundy League, comprised of Lowell-Burgundy, Soule, Chatellerault and Montpensier.

The Battle was characterised by the presence of Louis XI on the battlefield, in support of his daughter, Amelie, claimant of the Normandy Dukedom.

The Nassauvian alliance was compromised as House Soule, traditionally a vassal of House Nassau left to support House Lowell-Burgundy.

Prelude

The previous Duc de Normandie, Gaston Hyacinthe de Normandie, died without heirs. He, his father and grandfather had been single children, and his great-grandfather had been the only sibling to survive infancy. This left Gaston with few direct living relatives. When he died suddenly of a stroke, no will had been drawn up and without an heir, his house was thrown into turmoil. Various claimants came forward to claim the Duchy.

Godwison

William Godwison, 5th cousin once removed of Duc Gaston Hyacinthe de Normandie

His distant 5th cousin once removed, William Godwinson, was one of the original claimants to the position and garnered a large support. He travelled from England to claim the Duchy, House Hollande immediately showing support to his cause, alongside House Lowell-Brittany.

Late on, Marie Amelie, daughter of Louis XI, put forward her claim. Louis XI had until then favoured Godwinson as the candidate but was forced to support his favourite child, wishing to avoid an inter-house conflict.

Marie Amelie de Grandelumiere

Marie Amelie, Madame Premiere 1744

Armies

The support gathered by the claimant Godwinson, named the Normandy Alliance, was much larger than the Burgundy league. His House, Normandy, was under his command de facto for the battle and supported by his vassals, House Hainaut and House Hollande. Supporting were the armies of the Great House Nassau and her vassals, originally including House Soule, House Turbigen and House Utrecht, the armies of the Great House Lowell-Brittany. House Vendome and House Montbeliard supported Godwinson, both being vassals of Great House Lowell-Valois, though Valois was not present itself.

The Burgundy League was originally composed by the armies of the Imperial House Lowell-Burgundy, and Great House Montpensier. House Chatellerault had supported the Burgundy league from the start, despite being a vassal of Lowell-Brittany.

Early in the conflict, the Nassauvian alliance broke, with House Soule abandoning House Nassau and her allies to support the Burgundy League.

The Burgundy League was outnumbered, being about 3/4 the size of the Norman Alliance. The Normans had roughly 41,000 men, including 2,000 cavalry. Meanwhile, the Burgundy League had 2,000 cavalry with around 29,000 men.

Battle

The Norman alliance held the defensive position atop a nearby hill from the House Normandy Camp. Godwinson and Hollande would ensure the men remained atop the hill to defend, rather than move down to the battlefield, which originally confused the Burgundy troops.

Charles Philippe, Duc d'Aquitaine and Prince of Grandelumiere, would leave the Burgundy side to support Godwinson, infuriating his father who would dismiss his son.

House Soule, led by Auguste de Soule, marched forward and scouted the land, finding the Norman troops and attempted to scale the hill. Louis XI was present with the cavalry atop an opposing hill as Amelie and the Baron de Chatellerault marched in on the Normans from two sides in a pincer movement.

The battle begun as the forces under Amelie arrived from the North, clashing with the Normans, while the forces under Baron de Chatellerault eventually arrived from the South. Soule, who had scaled the hill, now attacked from the West.

The Burgundy League initially suffered many losses in the initial clash, though with the added forces of Soule and Montpensier, this was turning into a Burgundy win.

A decisive distraction lead by Jean-Charles would later  give way for Soule and Montpensier forces to ambush Normans from hilltop. The charge was lead by Jean-Charles and would contribute to the Burgundian victory.

The cavalry of Louis XI would eventually move around to box in from the East. The cavalry of Louis XI suffered major defeats from the papal cavalry, led by Pope Pierre II, on the field, though Louis XI himself would be said by many Burgundy supporters to have performed valiantly.

Monsieur d'Aquitaine would led an Burgundian infantrymen in about 110 marching Southwest to surround Marquis de Hollande's men thinking that he could outnumber him, but was ambushed by 50 Norman skirmishers on the hilltop killing 46 men. Jacques himself would be shot in the chest by enemy fire, but his remaining Burgundians who have 45 men left fought bravely against the Normans till they have squash their men.

Godwinson and Hollande would command successfully until boxed in from four sides, by the opposing armies. Though they managed to inflict much damage to Burgundy League, killing upwards of 2,000 Burgundians, the Normans would suffer upward of 4,000 deaths.

Once the Marquis de Hollande died at the hands of the forces under Amelie, the Hollande armies began their retreat, fleeing to the Holy Roman Empire, while Godwinson would flee for the coast with a group of Normans.

The rest of the Norman alliance broke without the command of the Normans and surrendered to the Burgundy forces.

Result

The conclusion of the battle of Normandy installed Auguste de Soule as Duke of Normandy, under the condition he would surrender his claim to Soule's previous territory. Meanwhile, House Hollande fell and was replaced by a distant relative of the Marquis.

The Nassauvian alliance was semi-restored as Nassau returned to be supported by Soule, while Auguste took the name de Normandie.

Charles Philippe was left out of favour with his father as a result of his battle against his family.