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The Battle of Agincourt


In 1415, King Henry V of England resumed hostilities against the French in what would eventually become known as the 100-years war. Over the next few months, many of his men got sick with many dying from disease and Henry led his army north to evacuate his exhausted army back to England via the English held port of Calais. However, on the way, he found his way blocked by a considerable French army and, despite exhaustion and numerically inferior numbers, prepared for battle across a freshly ploughed field.

At about 11 am on the morning of 25th October 1415 (St Crispin’s Day), the French attacked with their cavalry, but as the ground was heavy from days of rain, the advance was slow.

On the opposite side of the field stood Henry’s army, consisting mainly of English and Welsh archers. most were armed with the feared longbow and when the French attack stalled in the mud, they filled the air with volleys of arrows, cutting down the enemy with ease.


Despite this, many French knights still reached the English lines but were unable to make any impact as their way was blocked by sharpened stakes embedded into the ground in from of the archers.

Realising the threat, another line of French knights raced in to support their comrades, but they were so tightly packed, they were unable to use their weapons, and the English quickly gained the advantage.

The battle lasted no more than a few hours, and though exact numbers of casualties are not known, it has been suggested that the English losses were around 400 and French losses up to 6,000, an overwhelming victory for King Henry and his men.

The Battle of Agincourt

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