Wars between England and France

In the book Good Omens, by Pratchett and Gaiman, there’s a scene where a group of teenagers are playing on a video quiz machine when the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse turn up and the questions start to get more and more… well, apocalyptic.

One of the questions was “How many times since 1066 have England and France been at war?” The answer was supposedly 20.

Now, of course, Pratchett and Gaiman aren’t historians, so I don’t necessarily believe this. It seems quite a large number. Can anyone here identify all the wars between England and France?

(I assume you’re meant to substitute “Britain” for “England” after the Act of Union in 1707).

Wikipedia says 15, but I’m sure some of those can be broken down into two or more subconflicts to reach 20.

Wikipedia only has 13. But if you break the Hundred Years War into 3 (because it was really multiple wars), that brings you up to 15, and then the 9 Years War which isn’t listed there gives you 16. Then,. the “Italian Wars” listed there, would be the War of the League of Cambrai, the Four Years War, and the Italian War of 1542-46, so that’s 18. Then if you break the French Revolutionary Wars into the War of the First Coalition and the War of the Second Coalition, that’s 19. I can’t find the 20th, though, unless you’re seperating the Penninsular War from the Napoleonic War.

Alternately, you could make a case for there being just one, which occasionally went on hold.

You could also argue that during World War II the French fought the English, at least for a time. They started out on the same side, but then signed an armistice with Nazi Germany.

While the Vichy French government never formally declared war on Britain, they did break off diplomatic relations, and their forces in French colonies like North Africa and Iraq fought some deadly battles against British (& later Allied) troops.

How about the Hundred Days (Seventh Coalition)? That could count as a different war.

Off topic, but still interesting: There are maps that show that 1066 brought part of France under English rule, which seems backwards. But, the logic is that William of Normandy became King of England while he was still only ruler of the Normandy part of France (IIRC), so by this rule he’s considered English, and therefore an Englishman ruled part of France.