The Battle of Agincourt

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  • Topic: Battle of Agincourt, Hundred Years' War, English longbow
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Battle of Agincourt

Kingdom of England Kingdom of France
Henry V of England Charles d'Albret †
About 5,900 (but see Modern re-assessment). 5/6 archers, 1/6 dismounted men-at-arms. Between 20,000 and 30,000 (but see Modern re-assessment). Estimated to be 1/6 crossbowmen and archers, 1/2 dismounted men-at-arms, 1/3 mounted knights. Casualties and losses

At least 112 dead, unknown wounded [1] 7,000-10,000 (mostly killed) and about 1,500 noble prisoners [1]

Edwardian – Breton Succession – Castilian – Two Peters – Caroline – Lancastrian

Agincourt – Rouen – Baugé – Meaux – Cravant – La Brossinière – Verneuil – Orléans – Jargeau – Meung-sur-Loire – Beaugency – Patay – Compiègne – Gerbevoy – Formigny – Castillon
The Battle of Agincourt (pronounced a zhin kuhr, or /ˈeʤənˌkɔrt/) was fought on Friday 25 October 1415 (Saint Crispin's Day), in northern France as part of the Hundred Years' War.[2]

The armies involved were those of Kings Henry V of England and Charles VI of France. Charles did not command the French army himself, as he was incapacitated. The French were commanded by Constable Charles d'Albret and various prominent French noblemen of the Armagnac party. The battle is notable for the use of the English longbow, which Henry used in very large numbers, with longbowmen forming the vast majority of his army. The battle was also immortalised by William Shakespeare as the centrepiece of his play Henry V.

Contents [hide]
1 Campaign
2 Battle
2.1 Situation
2.2 Terrain
2.3 Fighting
2.4 Aftermath
2.5 Notable casualties
2.6 Sir Peers Legh
3 Modern re-assessment of Agincourt
3.1 Were the English as outnumbered as traditionally thought? 4 See also
5 Notes
6 References
7 Further reading

[edit] Campaign
Henry V invaded France for several reasons. He hoped that by fighting a popular foreign war, he would strengthen his position at home. He wanted to improve his finances by gaining revenue-producing lands, lands he believed had been stolen from him by the King of France. As was the international custom at the time, nobles taken prisoner would be ransomed by the relatives of the loser in exchange for their return. Evidence also suggests that several lords in the region of Normandy promised Henry their lands when they died, but the King of France took their lands and described it as 'confiscating'.

Henry's army landed in northern France on 13 August 1415 and besieged the port of Harfleur with an army of about 12,000. The siege took longer than expected. The town surrendered on 22 September, and the English army did not leave until 8 October. The campaign season was coming to an end, and the English army had suffered many casualties through disease. Henry decided to move most of his army (roughly 7,000) to the port of Calais, the English stronghold in northern France, where they could re-equip over the winter.

During the siege, the French had raised an army which assembled around Rouen. This was not a feudal army, as sometimes has been said, but an army paid through a system very similar to the English. The French hoped to raise 9,000 troops, but the army was not ready in time to relieve Harfleur. Then after Henry V marched to the north, the French moved to blockade them along the Somme river. They were successful for a time, forcing Henry to move south, away from Calais, to find a ford. The English finally crossed the Somme south of Péronne, at Béthencourt and Voyennes, (Wylie & Waugh 1919:118)[3] (Seward 1999:162 [4] and resumed marching north. Without the river protection, the French were hesitant to force a battle. They shadowed Henry's army while calling a semonce des nobles, calling on local nobles to join the army. By October 24 both armies faced each other for battle, but the French declined, hoping for the arrival of more troops. The next day the French initiated negotiations as a delaying tactic, but Henry ordered his...
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