The war began when an English company of 100 swordsmen and 45 cavalry ambushed a Saxon convoy of 75 men. After immediate defeat, the Saxons declared war on England. Since England was ruled by the Saxon dynasties, it fought for independence, not conquest. France later agreed to assist England in 1052, and helped drive the Saxon forces out of York. Later, the First Anglo-French Coalition drove out Saxon troops in London, somewhere between September and October 1053. After a grave defeat, the Saxons lost their support from the Germans, causing the Nation to weaken. The Second Anglo-French Coalition, known as the 1st Red-Cross Army defeated the Saxons at Winchester, the capital of the Kingdom of England. Badly beaten, the remaining 45,00 strong Saxon army marched into Manchester, immediately manning the Manchester Garrison and the Duke's Barracks, alongside 55,000 reinforcements. 85,000 infantry and 25,000 cavalry defended Manchester against 180,000 English infantry, 42,000 French cavalry supported with 290 catapults and 340 trebuchets. The entire garrison was killed in the battle, yet over 24,000+ horses survived. The horses were captured by the English and French, forming the Red Knights of the Kingdom of England, a special army of 70,000 cavalry. After the Battle of Manchester, the Saxons were disbanded from the British Isles, with England's independence finally gained.