Battle of Golden Spurs (1302)
The Battle of Golden Spurs was fought between the Flemish forces predominantly consisting of members of craft guilds and the French army consisting of mounted knights under leadership of Robert II of Artrois at Kortrijk in Flanders (today’s Belgium) on July 11, 1302. The French army suffered a devastating defeat, while the large number of spurs collected from the fallen French knights gave the battle its name. Flemish victory in the Battle of Golden Spurs renewed the Flemish independence after five-year-long French domination. Today, the date of the battle is the official celebration day of the Flemish community in Belgium.
The Battle of Golden Spurs is notable for demonstrating the strength of disciplined and well-equipped infantry, and importance of a good strategy. The scene of the battle took place in an open field at Kortrijk which was crossed by many ditches and streams preventing the heavy chivalry to maneuver effectively against their Flemish adversaries. The attack of the French infantry was successful but it has been halted so that chivalry could claim the victory. However, the knights hindered by retreating infantry were an easy target for well-equipped and organized Flemish forces.