Poitiers, Battle of, 1356, an English victory over the French near Poitiers, France, in the Hundred Years' War. It is also called the Battle of Maupertius, after a small village (no longer in existence) near the site. The commanders were Edward the Black Prince of England and King John II of France. The English were greatly outnumbered, but John's poor generalship led to disaster. French knights were routed while advancing on foot in heavy armor against a strong English defensive position. King John was captured and held in England for an enormous ransom.