On This Day: July 28th

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On July 28th 1364 troops from the Republic of Pisa and the Republic of Florence clashed in the Battle of Cascina. The Florence army numbered 15,000 to the 5000 from Pisa, the battle ended in a victory for the Republic of Florence. 

As reported in the chronicle of Filippo Villani, On 28 July, the Florentine army under the command of Galeotto Malatesta advanced to Cascina a few miles from Pisa. The road was open, but the temperature was unbearable. The armor of the warriors had become burning hot in the blazing sun; many removed their armor to bathe in the Arno river. The elderly Malatesta, convalescing from fever, succumbed to an afternoon nap, leaving the camp unguarded and the defense disorganized. Pisan spies reported the situation to their commander, John Hawkwood. Hawkwood’s forces were outnumbered three to one, so he decided his best chance of victory was to launch a surprise attack while the enemy was unprepared. The surprise attack failed and Hawkwood retreated taking most of his surviving English troops with him. 

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