The Battle of Agincourt is one of the most famous medieval battles in Europe and a crucial battle in the Hundred Years’ War between France and England.
The battle took place in Northern France and even though the French army was numerically superior, the battle tactics of the British under Henry V helped to destroy the French armies.
A distinguishing characteristic of the Battle of Agincourt was the deployment of a large number of English longbowmen who played a decisive role.
The Battle of Agincourt was fought on Friday, 25 October 1415 which was the Saint Crispin’s Day. The English King Henry V himself led the battle but the French king Charles VI could not lead his troops because of illness. The battle is mentioned in William Shakespeare’s famous play Henry V.
The Battle of Agincourt was won by English Longbowmen
The Agincourt Battle saw the strength of the English army at between 6,000 and 11,000 soldiers while the strength of the French army has been estimated between 12,000 and 36,000 soldiers.
However, a crucial feature of the English army was that most of its soldiers consisted of longbowmen from England and Wales. These longbowmen wrecked havoc on the French troops during the battle.
During the Agincourt battle the longbowmen were tightly packed in large numbers (thousands of men) this allowed the English army to fire thousands of arrows at the same time accurately, the French soldiers would look up to see the sky darken as thousands of arrows rained down on them.
The Crossbowmen of the English army were the ones that won the Battle of Agincourt for the English; the best Knights that France had to offer were decimated and had no answer to the constant onslaught that ensued.
Battle of Agincourt Facts
There are some very interesting facts about the Battle of Agincourt available to modern historians. The most striking fact is that the importance of longbow manifested itself during the battle.
This resulted in the death of over 6,000 Frenchmen while the English casualties amounted to only about 400. The outcome of the battle was that Henry V was recognised as an heir to the French throne as well as the regent of France.
Battle of Agincourt Speech
It was customary for leading kings and generals to make a speech before a war, and this happened before the Battle of Agincourt as well when Henry V made a speech to his troops reminding the English army of the glory of England’s past and military victories. The speech also features in Act IV of Shakespeare’s play Henry V.
French Knights prepare for battle during the battle of Agincourt
Henry V Battle of Agincourt
Henry V was the king leading the English side during the Battle of Agincourt. Before the start of the battle, he made a brief speech about the justness of England’s cause and his claim to the French throne.
After the initial victory, Henry V ordered the killing of French prisoners, sparing only the high-ranking nobles, in order to eliminate any chances of their regrouping. Henry V’s claim to the French throne was accepted after the English victory.
Who won the Battle of Agincourt
The Battle of Agincourt saw clear and decisive victory for the English, even though they were far outnumbered by the French.
The role of the longbowmen was central in this English victory since most of the English troops consisted of these longbowmen. Exact figures vary, but according to the conservative estimates, the French lost six times more men than the English.
Battle of Agincourt Summary
Battle of Agincourt was one of the most famous battles between England and France during the medieval times. It was fought in 1415 in Northern France with the French outnumbering the English in thousands.
However, the English longbowmen virtually destroyed the rank and file of the French troops and delivered a decisive victory for the English.