The Battle

The Battle of Agincourt was a major English victory during the Hundred Years War against the French. It took place on St Crispin’s Day, October 25 in 1415 near the village of Agincourt (Azincourt in French)

The odds were stacked against the English. They had been marching though French-held territory and were suffering from lack of food and sickness such as dysentery. There are various estimates of the size of the armies, but it is generally agreed that the French had significantly more men.

The armies faced each other on a relatively narrow field – still visible today – between two areas of dense woodland. The land had recently been ploughed, which created problems for the heavily-armoured parts of the French force.

After a few hours of standoff Henry V ordered an advance. The English army could have been vlnerable at this point, but they dug in and established a defensive line of sharpened stakes. The dense woodland on either side protected them from being outflanked.

After an initial volley of arrows from the English and Welsh archers, the French cavalry charged the English line. A hail of longbow fire killed many of the French and particularly their horses, making it difficult for them to reach the English army. By the time the French reached the English line they were exhausted and the English were victorious in the ensuing hand-to-hand combat.

After several more years of campaigning, this phase of the war was settled by the Treaty of Troyes, which recognised Henry as the regent and heir to the French throne, cemented by his marriage to Catherine of Valois, daughter of King Charles VI of France.

Source: Wikipedia’s article on the Battle of Agincourt


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