A brave St Crispin's day to all....


Book Reviewer
Anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt 1415 falls today 25th October.....huzza!

St. Crispin's Day Speech - Henry V (1944) - YouTube

The Battle of Agincourt - The English victory over the French king’s army; immortalized in Williams Shakespeare’s play “Henry V”.

War: Hundred Years War.

Date: 25th October 1415.

Place: Northern France

Combatants: An English and Welsh army against a French army.

Generals: King Henry V of England against the Constable of France, Charles d’Albret, Comte de Dreux.

Size of the armies: The English army landed in France and besieged the port town of Harfleur some 30,000 strong. The siege took its toll, many in the army dying of disease, and a strong garrison had to be left to defend the captured port. At the Battle of Agincourt Henry’s army was probably around 5,000 knights, men-at-arms and archers. Estimates of the size of the French army vary widely, from 30,000 to as high as 100,000.

Uniforms, arms and equipment: Knights wore steel plate armour of greater thickness and sophistication than at Creçy with visored helmets. Two-handed swords were coming into vogue as the battle weapon of the gentry. Otherwise weapons remained the lance, shield, sword, various forms of mace or club and dagger. Each knight wore his coat of arms on his surcoat and shield.

The English and Welsh archers carried a more powerful bow than their fathers and grandfathers under Edward III and the Black Prince. Armour piercing arrow heads made this weapon more deadly than its predecessor, stocks of thousands of arrows being built up in the Tower of London in preparation for war.

For hand-to-hand combat the archers carried swords, daggers, hatchets and war hammers. They wore jackets and loose hose; although many were rendered bare foot by the time of the battle from the long harrowing march from Harfleur. Archers’ headgear was a skull cap either of boiled leather or wickerwork ribbed with a steel frame.

It is claimed that many of the archers stripped off their upper garments for the battle to ease the use of their bows.

King Henry wore a polished and plumed bascinet helmet for the battle, surmounted by a gold crown. His surcoat was emblazoned with the arms of England and France.

Winner: King Henry V of England won a decisive victory in the battle

The exact composition of the archers present has often been debated: Welsh and English mixed without doubt - but certain numbers are not known. - cf Bernard Cornwell's ' Azincourt'
The exact composition of the archers present has often been debated: Welsh and English mixed without doubt - but certain numbers are not known. - cf Bernard Cornwell's ' Azincourt'
Mean bastards none the less


Book Reviewer
A free man said:
Think the Kenny Spanner version is better
( Heathen !).....for those of a certain age Lord Larry's version had it all even if it was in B&W.....( not least as it was filmed at a time when there was still a good deal of hard battling ahead before the Boche conceded that, for them, the war was over... .....)

but whosevers version you prefer - remember them, with all those who later fell in Flanders.....

PS - I've just remembered - Branagh hanged Richard Briers, A National Treasure !...bad joss to him the knave !
I think its incredible that the National Archives still hold most of the original contract documents between the Crown and the various retinues and companies of archers for the campaign. Amazing level of detail about the logistics and funding of a medieval war.

Juliet Barker's "Agincourt" is quite a good read.


Book Reviewer
And so Nicholas Hook, outlaw and archer, had traveled to Soissons where he wore the jagged red cross of Burgundy and walked the high city wall. He was part of an English contingent hired by the Duke of Burgundy and commanded by a supercilious man-at-arms named Sir Roger Pallaire. Hook rarely saw Pallaire, taking his orders instead from a centenar named Smithson who spent his time in a tavern called L'Oie, the Goose. "They all hate us," Smithson had greeted his newest troops, "so don't walk the city at night on your own. Not unless you want a knife in your back."
The garrison was Burgundian, but the citizens of Soissons were loyal to their imbecile king, Charles VI of France. Hook, even after three months in the fortress-city, still did not understand why the Burgundians and the French so loathed each other, for they seemed indistinguishable to him. They spoke the same language and, he was told, the Duke of Burgundy was not only the mad king's cousin, but also father-in-law to the French dauphin. "Family quarrel, lad," John Wilkinson told him, "worst kind of quarrel there is."
Historical Notes on Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell

The battle of Agincourt (Azincourt was and remains the French spelling) was one of the most remarkable events of medieval Europe, a battle whose reputation far outranked its importance. In the long history of Anglo-French rivalry only Hastings, Waterloo, Trafalgar, and Crécy share Agincourt’s renown. It is arguable that Poitiers was a more significant battle and an even more complete victory, or that Verneuil was just as astonishing a triumph, and it’s certain that Hastings, Blenheim, Vittoria, Trafalgar, and Waterloo were more influential on the course of history, yet Agincourt still holds its extraordinary place in English legend. Something quite remarkable happened on 25 October 1415 (Agincourt was fought long before Christendom’s conversion to the new-style calendar, so the modern anniversary should be on 4 November). It was something so remarkable that its fame persists almost six hundred years later.

Agincourt’s fame could just be an accident, a quirk of history reinforced by Shakespeare’s genius, but the evidence suggests it really was a battle that sent a shock wave through Europe. For years afterward the French called 25 October 1415 la malheureuse journée (the unfortunate day). Even after they had expelled the English from France they remembered la malheureuse journée with sadness. It had been a disaster.

Yet it was so nearly a disaster for Henry V and his small, but well-equipped army. That army had sailed from Southampton Water with high hopes, the chief of which was the swift capture of Harfleur, which would be followed by a foray into the French heartland in hope, presumably, of bringing the French to battle. A victory in that battle would demonstrate, at least in the pious Henry’s mind, God’s support of his claim to the French throne, and might even propel him onto that throne. Such hopes were not vain when his army was intact, but the siege of Harfleur took much longer than expected and Henry’s army was almost ruined by dysentery.

The tale of the siege in the novel is, by and large, accurate, though I did take one great liberty, which was to sink a mineshaft opposite the Leure Gate. There was no such shaft, the ground would not allow it, and all the real mines were dug by the Duke of Clarence’s forces that were assailing the eastern side of Harfleur. The French counter-mines defeated those diggings, but I wanted to give a flavor, however inadequately, of the horrors men faced in fighting beneath the earth. The defense of Harfleur was magnificent, for which much of the praise must go to Raoul de Gaucourt, one of the garrison’s leaders. His defiance, and the long days of the siege, gave the French a chance to raise a much larger army than any they might have fielded against Henry if the siege had ended, say, in early September

...hee, hee......and, by the way, get that longbow out and start growing your hair those who want to be extras !

Michael Mann heading into battle with Agincourt | TotalFilm.com
Think the Kenny Spanner version is better.

Cry God for Harry England and St. George.

God help us for we are in the hands of maundering politicians, lawyers and social workers now. Who will save us?


Book Reviewer
( if historical precedent is anything to go by - The Welch ! :) )
Anybody else hoping that the Longbows in helmand today have as much success? I mean I know nowaday's they come with 30 mil cannons and hellfires, but still, it'd be nice if we could have similar results.
Anybody else hoping that the Longbows in helmand today have as much success? I mean I know nowaday's they come with 30 mil cannons and hellfires, but still, it'd be nice if we could have similar results.
I think the French would be quite upset if you started slotting them today, esp as your now allies.


Book Reviewer
Think the Kenny Spanner version is better.
You are Welch is it Boyo, yes? If I could just see some ID?

There is absolutely no evidence that we had sheep-shaggers onside at Agincourt. The Frogs might have done. Wouldn't surprise me. Theories abound as to why we escaped defeat at Agincourt. There is but one reason.

We started getting a full English and a mug of builders tea down our necks.
They nibbled on crescents and lingered over a cafe au lait.

There. Another historical conundrum solved. And now, here is Larry.

Those of you taking notes will see that he doesn't touch people much, unlike that Welsh git Brannagh. Indeed, he turns his back at the critical moment and thus, invites his mates to stab him. Or walk with him. ******* magic. And he doesn't have Brian Blessed either. Noisy fat **** what he is.

And he knows how to slap a horse.


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