THE BATTLE OF AGINCOURT
Summary: Henry V of England sets out to claim the French throne. He meets the French army at a place called Agincourt.
Date: 11:00 am 25th October A.D. 1415
Combatants: English and Welsh under Henry V - 5,000 - 6,000; French under Constable of France, Charles d'Albret - 20,000 - 30,000 (perhaps 100,000)
Location: Agincourt, Northern France
- Introduction -
In August 1415, King Henry V of England sailed for France. On his fleet were between eleven and twelve thousand brave English and Welshmen. King Henry, who had been recently crowned, had made up his mind to invade France, his greatest adversary.
After a vicious five week siege of Harfleur in Normandy, Henry decided to march northeast to the English held city of Calais. He had lost a good half of his men during the siege and figured that he needed to retreat. Desperately, the exhausted English troops staggered and marched onward to their only hope - Calais.
After a treacherous, exhausting journey the English arrived at Agincourt, only to find the last thing they had hoped to encounter - a massive French army four times their own size. This army, led by the Constable of France, Charles d’Albret, was a force to be reckoned with. Quickly, Henry formed a plan. He ordered stakes to be planted around his force and positioned his archers at the front.
Now, the English men used a far superior bow to the French. They called it the longbow, the best bow of it’s time, it even had the capability to shoot through a soldier’s armour.
The English troops, as tired as they were, willingly obeyed orders and positioned themselves.
- The Battle of Agincourt -
At Eleven O’Clock in the morning, the day being the 25th of October, the battle of Agincourt began. Thousands of heavily armed French knights surged forward, as ordered by Charles d’Albret. When the horsemen reached the 750 foot range of the English longbows, all hell was let loose. Scores of French knights were killed in a second and many more followed. The English spikes hindered the horsemen and the boggy mud of the battleground caused utter confusion in the French ranks. A massacre followed with line after line of Frenchmen charging to their deaths.
- The End -
When he thought the time was right, Henry ordered his archers to drop their bows and attack. The lightly armed English troops routed the much larger French force. Between five and eight thousand Frenchmen died during what is now called the Battle of Agincourt, while a mere four hundred Englishmen lost their lives. Agincourt was a marvellous victory for Henry V who went on to become heir of the French throne.
Written and Researched by
Cody B. Mitchell