02 Battle of Agincourt: 25 October 1415
A French Battlefields “Virtual Battlefield Tour”. This battle is more fully described in Fields of War: Fifty Key Battlefields in France and Belgium published by French Battlefields.
Summary: Henry V became King of England in 1413. A professional soldier, he almost immediately began preparations to invade France, then embroiled in a nasty civil war between Armagnac and Orleanist factions. Henry landed his forces near the port of Harfleur and began a five-week siege. Henry’s army, weaken by the siege, illness, and shortages of supplies, made to escape to the English stronghold at Calais. After days of maneuvering as the English attempted to cross the Somme River, the larger French army, led by the Constable of France, Charles d’Albret, blocked the road to Calais at the town of Agincourt (Azincourt). Outnumbered in men-at-arms by over 10 to 1, Henry established positions on open ground flanked by his archers. Again, as at Crecy, the superior firepower of the longbow and poor tactics by the French resulted in a stunning English victory.
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“Once more into the breach, dear friends…”
If one can have favorite battles, this one is definitely among my favorites — and not just because I love the play (and movie) Henry V. I’m just always amazed by success against overwhelming odds (Battle of Rorke’s Drift is on the list, too). With Agincourt, it’s also the matter of seeing a battle that is a truly key turning point of history (not quite the same level of turning point as, say, the defeat of the Spanish Armada, but still in that category). Good stuff. your site makes me want to jump on a plane and go search out battlefields. (I’ve seen a lot of them on this side of the Atlantic. Now I need to explore Europe.)
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