Battle of Agincourt - England's Most Famous Victory

25 Oct 2021
by Simone de Mestre


England vs France - a tale as old as time

On this day in history, the 25th October 1415, it was Saint Crispin's Day! Well sure, but it was also one of the most famous battles of the 100 Year's War, the Battle of Agincourt.

Famous due to the circumstance, it saw King Henry V of England's army pitted against the combined forces of several French duchies.

An English victory that by all means seemed unachievable. The French had a considerable numbers advantage and they were on French soil. The factor that seems to have won the battle was the vast swathes of English and Welsh Longbowmen, comprising some 80% of Henry's army.

They were used to great effect against the potentially overwhelming French cavalry, wounding and incapacitating the horses rather than the soldiers, rendering them ineffective.

15thc Breastpalte

A typical foot soldier's armour

The Longbowmen had their flanks protected by stakes, and could move without much restraint in the muddy clay. They had free reign to shoot at close range, against enemies who had been forced into narrow terrain.

The French foot soldiers, those who had managed to weather the arrows on their march to the English position, arrived exhausted and mud covered. They were said that the French men at arms could "scarcely lift their weapons". Knocked to the ground, many could simply not stand up again.

Such a devastating loss for the French saw a period of success for the English in the 100 Years War. Agincourt is one of the most celebrated English victories, and is the subject of Shakespeare's play, Henry V.