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Battle of Liége (Magnam Europae)

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Battle of Liége
Date:

850

Location:

Liége

Result:

Carolingian Victory. Beginning of the Rhine Campaigns.

Belligerents

Oriflamme du Atticus Carolingian Union
Oriflamme du Atticus Frankish Empire
Oriflamme du Atticus Byzantine Empire

No flag Danes
No flagSwedes

Commanders

Oriflamme du Atticus Atticus I

Strength
Casualties and Losses
  

The Battle of Liége was a battle during the First Viking War. Taking place in 850, this battle, which resulted in a Frankish/Byzantine victory, is seen as the ultimate turning point in favor of the Carolingian Union during the First Viking Wars. The Rhine Campaigns immediately followed the Battle of Liége.

Background

Following the Frankish/Eastern Roman victory at Aachen, the Vikings were unable to counter Atticus' forces. Attempting to draw them out of Aachen, they sacked Verdun, though Atticus did not intend on losing Aachen again. They did, however, manage to retake Maastricht. In 850, the Vikings prepared to attack Liége. Getting word of the planned assault on the Frankish city, Atticus mobilized his forces and rode for Liége, intending to prevent the Viking forces from sacking the city.

Battle

Atticus I ordered his forces to occupy either side of the Meuse River to await the arrival of the Viking ships. Upon the arrival of the Viking ships, Frankish archers opened fire, taking out many people on the Viking ships. Flaming arrows were used in the fight to cause further damage to the ships. By the time the ships had outrun the archers, the Viking numbers had been severely thinned. However, their defeat was yet to come.

The Byzantine navy had sent a few ships down the Meuse river. Eventually catching up to the Vikings, the Byzantines utilized Greek fire against the Vikings, destroying most of their forces by the time they reached Liége. The militia in the city was able to finish the stunned Vikings off.

Aftermath

The Battle of Liége was the first in a series of Frankish/Byzantine victories along the Rhine River known as the Rhine campaigns. For this reason, the Battle of Liége is seen as the turning point of the First Viking War. Liége, unlike Aachen, remained undamaged. The Battle of Liége was also the first time Greek fire was used in the First Viking War. It showed the might of the Byzantine navy, especially when it was faced against such a deadly and ruthless adversary such as the Vikings.

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