The Battle of Agincourt

The podcast I did was on the Battle of Agincourt. The battle was fought between the French and the English under Henry V. Henry V’s father, Henry IV had usurped the throne from Richard II in 1399 and was seen by many as illegitimate. Henry V grew up during the war with the Welsh and had been fighting from a young age. When Henry V became king in 1413, he wanted to gain the support of the whole country and began to spread a sense of English nationalism. Henry wanted to reclaim lands in France and raised an army of some 12,000 men. He went to France in 1415 and laid siege to the French city of Harfleur. After a month-long siege, Harfleur surrendered to the English. The siege was exhausting to Henry’s men and dysentery broke out among the army. Some English soldiers went home and others were left to garrison Harfleur, but Henry continued on in the French countryside. The English presence in France angered the French and the French nobility banded together to destroy the English threat. The French began to follow Henry and his army around the French countryside. After an exhausting march and their supplies running low, Henry decided to head to the English-held city of Calais but their way was blocked by the French who had gotten ahead of the English and a battle seemed unavoidable. The French army was led by the French nobility and not the king of France himself, Charles VI because he was suffering from insanity and thought he was made of glass. On October 25, the French and English faced off against each other. The English were greatly outnumbered by the French by at least three to one, though estimates of the numbers vary. After staring each other down for three hours, the French finally made the first move and were met by a storm of arrows from English longbows that decimated the French. The French continued to send wave after wave of men at the English but were cut down by the English due to the narrow terrain and lethality of the longbows. The French were eventually defeated and lost thousands of men. Henry V returned to England as a hero and received praise for his success. The Battle of Agincourt is remembered as a great English victory due to Henry’s starved and outnumbered forces defeated a much larger enemy force. The battle continues to be studied and amaze people to this day.

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One Response to The Battle of Agincourt

  1. Seriously, Charles VI thought he was made of glass?! Those silly Frenchmen! No wonder they always lose…

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