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Essay on Agincourt

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Part A

Describe the main stages of a battle, campaign, role of an English King

Henry V had been king for two years when he embarked on his campaigns to claim land in France. He had a great deal of military experience when he came to the throne and this greatly helped his efforts in France. The battle of Agincourt became his most famous battle and helped Henry V to gain the French throne due to the treaty of Troyes signed in 1420. Henry V landed in France on 13th August with 12,000 men and besieged the town of Harfleur. After a prolonged siege, Henry V decided to return to English held Calais with his remaining 8,000 men. The French army blocked Henry’s route across the Somme and he was forced to march East to find a river crossing. The French army tracked the English and they finally met at valley in-between the villages of Agincourt and Tramecourt, on the 25th of October 1415. The French are believed to have numbered between 12,000 and 25,000. Henry’s army was depleted by casualties and dysentery and by the time he faced the French his troops are thought to have numbered 6,000, primarily made up of archers. Most of the men were exhausted after their 260m march from Harfleur. The Battlefield was a piece of ploughed open ground flanked by woods. The soil had been turned to mud due to heavy rain the night before and recent ploughing making the mud much worse.

Henry’s military experience came to the fore as be prepared for battle. The English arranged themselves in three groups with lord Cammoys commanding the left flank, Henry commanding the centre and the Duke of York on the right flank. He posted groups of archers in-between these groups and arranged them in the shape of triangles so they could corner the French when they got to the English foot soldiers. Henry V ordered stakes to be driven into the ground in front of the English lines to foil the French Cavalry. The French king, Charles VI, was ill, some say mad and therefore the...

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