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Slag van Agincourt

Slag van Agincourt

Op 25 Oktober 1415, tydens die Honderdjarige Oorlog (1337-1453) tussen Engeland en Frankryk, het Henry V (1386-1422), die jong koning van Engeland, sy magte tot oorwinning gelei tydens die Slag van Agincourt in Noord-Frankryk. Na verdere verowerings in Frankryk, word Henry V in 1420 erken as erfgenaam van die Franse troon en die regent van Frankryk.

Slag van Agincourt: Agtergrond

Twee maande voor die Slag van Agincourt begin het, het koning Henry V met ongeveer 11 000 man die Engelse kanaal oorgesteek en Harfleur in Normandië beleër. Na vyf weke het die stad oorgegee, maar Henry het die helfte van sy mans aan siekte- en slagoffers verloor. Hy het besluit om sy leër noordoos na Calais te marsjeer, waar hy die Engelse vloot sou ontmoet en na Engeland sou terugkeer. By Agincourt het 'n uitgestrekte Franse leër van ongeveer 20 000 man egter op sy pad gestaan, wat die uitgeputte Engelse boogskutters, ridders en gewapende manne baie oortref het.

Slag van Agincourt: 25 Oktober 1415

Die slagveld lê op 1 000 meter oop grond tussen twee woude, wat grootskaalse maneuvers verhoed het en dus tot Henry se voordeel gewerk het. Die oggend van 25 Oktober het die geveg begin. Die Engelse het hul stand gehou terwyl Franse ridders, deur hul swaar pantser verswak, 'n stadige opmars oor die modderige slagveld begin het. Die Franse het 'n woedende bombardement van artillerie van die Engelse boogskutters ontmoet, wat innoverende langboë met 'n reikafstand van 250 meter gehad het. Franse ruiters het probeer om die Engelse posisies nie te oorweldig nie, maar die boogskutters is beskerm deur 'n reeks spits stokke. Namate meer en meer Franse ridders die oorvol slagveld binnekom, het hul mobiliteit verder afgeneem, en sommige het selfs nie die ruimte gehad om hul arms op te steek en 'n hou te slaan nie. Op hierdie stadium beveel Henry sy lig toegeruste boogskutters om met swaarde en byle vorentoe te jaag, en die onbeswaarde Engelse vermoor die Franse.

Byna 6 000 Fransmanne het hul lewens verloor tydens die Slag van Agincourt, terwyl Engelse slagoffers ongeveer honderde gestaan ​​het. Ten spyte van die kans teen hom, het Henry een van die groot oorwinnings in die militêre geskiedenis behaal.

Slag van Agincourt: nasleep

Na verdere verowerings in Frankryk, word Henry V in 1420 erken as erfgenaam van die Franse troon en die regent van Frankryk. Hy was op die hoogte van sy magte, maar sterf net twee jaar later aan kampkoors naby Parys.


Slag van Agincourt - Agtergrond:

In 1414 begin koning Hendrik V van Engeland met sy adellikes oor besprekings oor die hernuwing van die oorlog met Frankryk om sy aanspraak op die Franse troon te laat geld. Hy het hierdie aanspraak gehou deur sy oupa, Edward III, wat die Honderdjarige Oorlog in 1337 begin het. Aanvanklik huiwer hulle die koning om met die Franse te onderhandel. Daardeur was Henry bereid om afstand te doen van sy aanspraak op die Franse troon in ruil vir 1,6 miljoen krone (die uitstaande losprys op die Franse koning Johannes II - gevang op Poitiers in 1356), sowel as die Franse erkenning van Engelse heerskappy oor besette lande in Frankryk.

Dit sluit in Touraine, Normandië, Anjou, Vlaandere, Bretagne en Aquitanië. Om die ooreenkoms te sluit, was Henry bereid om met die jong dogter van die chronies kranksinnige koning Charles VI, prinses Catherine, te trou as hy 'n bruidskat van 2 miljoen krone ontvang. Omdat die Franse hierdie eise te hoog geag het, het die Franse teëgestaan ​​met 'n bruidskat van 600 000 krone en 'n aanbod om grond in Aquitaine af te staan. Onderhandelinge het vinnig tot stilstand gekom toe die Franse geweier het om die bruidskat te verhoog. Terwyl gesprekke vasgevang was en persoonlik beledig voel deur Franse optrede, het Henry op 19 April 1415 suksesvol om oorlog gevra. Henry het 'n leër van ongeveer 10 000 man oorsteek en op 13/14 Augustus naby Harfleur geland.


Slag van Agincourt - GESKIEDENIS

Die Engelse oorwinning in die Slag van Agincourt het 'n legende gebaar wat verewig is in William Shakespeare se Koning Henry V. Die geveg het plaasgevind in 'n modderige boer se veld in Noord-Frankryk op 25 Oktober 1415 en was een in 'n reeks ontmoetings tussen Frankryk en Engeland wat bekend geword het as die Honderdjarige Oorlog (1337-1453).

Die verhaal begin twee maande voor die geveg. Henry en sy leër het op 14 Augustus in Frankryk naby die monding van die Seinerivier geland. Die doel was om die Engelse grondgebied wat oor 'n tydperk van eeue verlore was, terug te kry. Die eerste taak was om 'n nabygeleë stad te beleër en te verower. Henry was suksesvol, maar die tydrowende inspanning het meer as 'n maand geneem. Dit was nou vroeg in Oktober. Henry besef dat sy verminderde krag en die beperkte tyd wat hy in die veldtogseisoen oorgebly het, beteken dat hy nie sy aanval op die Franse sou kon druk nie. In plaas daarvan het hy sy leër noordwaarts gelei in 'n 'quotshow of force' wat by die Engelse hawe van Calais sou eindig en terug na Engeland sou vertrek.

Henry V ten tyde van die
stryd. Sy kapsel sorg
gemakliker pas
vir sy strydhelm.
Terwyl die Engelse weermag noordwaarts opgeruk het, is 'n Franse mag agtervolg met die doel om Henry te veg. Die Franse kon voor Henry gly en sy pad na die see by Agincourt versper. Die oggend van 25 Oktober het die twee leërs mekaar gekonfronteer op 'n veld wat onlangs omgeploeg is deur 'n oornagreën wat deur weerskante verstrooi is. Die meerderheid van Henry se leër bestaan ​​uit boogskutters, die res bestaan ​​uit gepantserde ridders wat te voet geveg het. Die krag van sy teenstander bestaan ​​hoofsaaklik uit ridders wat te voet en te perd geveg het, ondersteun deur boogskutters. Alhoewel die ramings van die relatiewe sterkte van die twee leërs verskil, is daar geen argument dat die Engelse groot getalle was nie.

Die twee vyande het mekaar gekonfronteer en bespotings uitgewissel om 'n aanval uit te lok. Henry marsjeer sy mag naby genoeg om sy boogskutters toe te laat om 'n hael pyle op die Franse los te laat. Die Franse ridders beur vorentoe om net in 'n gladde modderkolom vasgevang te word. Om die saak nog erger te maak, kon die Franse aanvallers nie hul breëwoorde effektief swaai nie, vanweë die strakke dele van die slagveld en die voortgesette stormloop van hul kamerade agter hulle. Henry se boogskutters het dodelike pyle storms in hierdie digte massa van die mensdom afgevuur totdat die Franse begin terugtrek het. Die boogskutters het toe hul boë laat val, watter wapens hulle opgetel het en saam met die Engelse ridders hul vyand doodgemaak. Die ondergaande son het 'n slagveld gelaat met die lyke van duisende Franse ridders en die room van Frankryk se regerende klas. Die Engelse het hul vyand 'n rampspoedige slag toegedien.

". hul perde het tussen die stokke gestruikel, en hulle is vinnig deur die boogskutters doodgemaak."

Jehan de Wavrin was die seun van 'n Vlaamse ridder. Sy pa en ouer broer het tydens die geveg met die Franse baklei. Albei is dood. Die jong de Wavrin het die stryd vanuit die Franse linies waargeneem en ons sluit hom aan terwyl die twee leërs voorberei op geveg:

. Die Franse het hul bataljons tussen twee klein ruigtes gereël, die een naby Agincourt en die ander na Tramecourt. Die plek was smal en baie voordelig vir die Engelse, en inteendeel, baie verwoestend vir die Franse, want die genoemde Franse was die hele nag te perd, en dit het gereën, en die bladsye, bruidegom en ander het gelei oor die perde, het die grond opgebreek, wat so sag was dat die perde moeilik uit die grond kon stap. En ook die genoemde Franse was so vol wapens dat hulle hulself nie kon onderhou of vorentoe kon beweeg nie. In die eerste plek was hulle gewapen met lang lae staal, wat tot by die knieë of laer, en baie swaar, oor die beenharnas kom, en behalwe die plaatwapens, het die meeste van hulle ook helms met kappies gehad, en daarom was hierdie gewig met die sagtheid van die nat grond, soos dit gesê is, het hulle asof hulle onbeweeglik was, sodat hulle slegs met groot moeite hul dubbels kon verhoog, en met al hierdie onheilspellendes was dit die feit dat die meeste van hulle honger en slaaploos was.

. Laat ons nou terugkeer na die Engelse. Nadat die stryd tussen die twee leërs klaar was en die afgevaardigdes, elkeen na hul eie volk, teruggekeer het, het die koning van Engeland, wat 'n ridder genaamd Sir Thomas Erpingham aangestel het om sy boogskutters in twee vleuels voor te sit, volkome aan hom vertrou, en sir Thomas, om sy deel te doen, het elkeen aangemoedig om goed te doen in die naam van die koning en hulle gesmeek om kragtig teen die Franse te veg om hul eie lewens te beveilig en te red. En sodoende gooi die ridder, wat saam met twee ander net voor die bataljon gery het, siende dat die uur aangebreek het, want alles was goed gereël, 'n knuppel wat hy in sy hand gehou het, en sê: 'Nestrocq' ['Nou slaan '] wat die teken van aanval was, het toe afgeklim en by die Koning aangesluit, wat ook te midde van sy manne te voet was, met sy vaandel voor hom.

'N Eietydse uitbeelding van die geveg.
Agincourt staan ​​op die agtergrond.
Toe het die Engelse hierdie sein sien skielik begin marsjeer, met 'n baie harde kreet, wat die Franse baie verbaas het. En toe die Engelse sien dat die Franse hulle nie nader nie, marsjeer hulle haastig in 'n baie goeie volgorde na hulle, en roep weer 'n harde kreet toe hulle stop om asem te haal.

Toe sien die Engelse boogskutters, wat, soos ek gesê het, in die vlerke was, dat hulle naby genoeg is en begin hulle pyle met groot krag op die Franse stuur.

Toe sien die Franse die Engelse op hierdie manier na hulle toe kom, sit hulle in orde, almal onder sy vaandel, hul helms op hul koppe. Die konstabel, die maarskalk, die admirale en die ander prinse het hul manne ernstig aangespoor om die Engelse goed en dapper te beveg, en as dit by die benadering kom, klink die trompette en verhoor oral op, maar die Franse begin kop hou, veral diegene wat het geen bokkers gehad nie, vanweë die onstuimigheid van die Engelse pyle, wat so swaar geval het dat niemand dit durf ontbloot of opkyk nie.

So het hulle 'n bietjie vorentoe gegaan en toe 'n bietjie teruggetrek, maar voordat hulle naby kon kom, was baie van die Franse gestrem en gewond deur die pyle, en toe hulle die Engelse bereik, was hulle soos gesê , so styf teen mekaar gedruk dat nie een van hulle hul arms kon lig om hul vyande te tref nie, behalwe sommige wat voor was.

[Die Franse ridders] tref hierdie Engelse boogskutters, wat hul spel voor hulle laat regmaak het. hul. perde het tussen die stokke gestruikel, en hulle is vinnig deur die boogskutters doodgemaak, wat baie jammer was. En die meeste van die res, deur vrees, het meegegee en teruggeval in hul voorhoede, vir wie hulle 'n groot hindernis was, en hulle het hul geledere op verskeie plekke oopgemaak en hulle laat terugval en hul voet verloor in 'n land wat pas vir hulle gesaai is perde is so gewond deur die pyle dat die mans hulle nie meer kon bestuur nie.

[Die Franse] gewapende mans sonder getal begin val en hul perde voel hoe die pyle na hulle toe vlieg voor die vyand, en na aanleiding van hulle voorbeeld draai baie van die Franse om en vlug. Kort daarna het die Engelse boogskutters die voorhoede sien skud, van agter hul voorraad afgeslinger, hul boë en koker weggegooi, en dan hul swaarde, bylete, malse, byle, valkbekke en ander wapens weggeneem en na die plekke gedruk waar hulle het hierdie oortredings gesien, hierdie Fransmanne sonder genade neergeslaan en vermoor en nooit opgehou om dood te maak nie, totdat die genoemde voorhoede wat min of glad nie geveg het nie heeltemal oorweldig is, en hierdie het regs en links aangeslaan totdat hulle op die tweede bataljon afgekom het , wat agter die voorwag was, en daar het die koning hom persoonlik in die stryd gewerp met sy wapens.

Terwyl die Engelse steeds die oorhand kry, ontvang koning Henry nuus dat die Franse aan die agterkant van sy leër aanval en dat Franse versterkings nader kom. Koning Henry het beveel dat alle Franse gevangenes onder die swaard gesteek word - 'n bevel wat sy ridders huiwerig was om te volg, aangesien hierdie gevangenes 'n gesonde losprys kan bring:

Toe die koning van Engeland hulle so sien aankom, het hy laat publiseer dat elkeen wat 'n gevangene gehad het, hom onmiddellik moes doodmaak, wat diegene wat dit gehad het, nie wou doen nie, want hulle het groot lospryse vir hulle verwag. Maar toe die koning hiervan in kennis gestel word, het hy 'n heer aangestel met twee honderd boogskutters wat hy beveel het om deur die leër te gaan en al die gevangenes dood te maak, wie hulle ook al was. Hierdie versoek het sonder ophou of beswaar die bevel van sy soewereine heer vervul, wat 'n baie jammerlike ding was, want koel adel is die hele adel van Frankryk onthoof en onmenslik in stukke gesny, en deur hierdie vervloekte geselskap was 'n jammer stel in vergelyking met die edele gevange ridderlikheid, wat toe hulle sien dat die Engelse gereed was om hulle te ontvang, almal dadelik omdraai en vlug, elkeen om sy eie lewe te red. Baie van die ruiters het ontsnap, maar van die wat te voet was, was daar baie onder die dooies. & Quot

Verwysings:
Wavrin, Jehan de, Chronicles, 1399-1422, vert. Sir W. Hardy en E. Hardy (1887) Keegan, John, The Illustrated Face of Battle: a study of Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme (1989).


Het Agincourt-boogskutters werklik vloeking uitgevind met 'n twee-vingerige saluut-V-teken?

Terwyl Amerikaners met 'n enkele middelvinger 'die voël draai', het die Britte tradisioneel dieselfde met twee bereik.

Die saluut met twee vingers, of agteruit-oorwinning of V-teken, gemaak met die middel- en wysvingers, het na bewering in 1415 by Engelse boogskutters by Agincourt ontstaan.

Middeleeuse navorser en langboogkenner Clive Bartlett beweer in sy boek 'English Longbowman 1330-1515' dat dit so is. So ook die historikus Craig Taylor in die National Geographic -dokumentêr 'Agincourt: A Hundred Years of War'.

Alhoewel dit deur ander betwis is.

Dink jy dat jy die Britse Tommy ken? Ontmoet sy landgenote

Klik op die video hierbo vir 'n klankweergawe van hierdie artikel

In sy boek 'Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends', ondersoek David Wilton die oorsprong van die V-teken in 'n afdeling met die titel 'F ** k':

“Gedurende die honderdjarige oorlog het die Franse die middelvinger van die gevange Engelse boogskutters se hande afgesny sodat hulle nie meer die toue van hul dodelike takbome (die houtsoort waarvan hulle gemaak is) kon trek nie. , Sou Engelse boogskutters die Franse bespot deur hul middelvingers op te lig en uit te roep dat hulle nog steeds 'yew' kan pluk ', vandaar die woord van vier letters (f ** k.) ”

Snaaks, maar terwyl Wilton verder verduidelik: "... dit is duidelik (net) 'n grap, 'n woordspeling. Dit is te betwyfel dat elkeen wat met hierdie gehuil vorendag gekom het, bedoel het dat dit ernstig opgeneem moet word ”.

En tog het dit versprei, sê hy danksy die internet.

'N Onakkurate transkripsie van 'n NPR -program (National Public Radio, 'n Amerikaanse program) genaamd' Car Talk 'bevat 'n verhaal wat die vraag beantwoord van watter liggaamsdeel die Engelse boogskutters na die Franse by Agincourt gewaai het. Dit was, het dit beweer:

'... die middelvinger, waarsonder dit onmoontlik is om die bekende Engelse langboog te teken ... Toe die seëvierende Engelse met die middelvingers na die verslane Fransman waai, het hulle gesê:' Kyk, ons kan nog steeds yew pluk! PLUIK JAU! ’

'Deur die jare ... Aangesien' pluk taxus 'nogal moeilik is om te sê [soos' aangename moederfazantplukker ', na wie u moes gaan vir die vere wat op die pyle gebruik word), het die moeilike medeklinker aan die begin geleidelik geleidelik verander na 'n labiodentale frikatief 'f', en daarom word die woorde wat dikwels saam met die eenvingersaluut gebruik word, verkeerdelik gedink dat dit iets te doen het met 'n intieme ontmoeting ".

In werklikheid bevat die werklike episode van die program niks oor die "pluk van yew" nie en het slegs gesê dat 'n ander gebaar (vermoedelik die groet met twee vingers) by Agincourt kan ontstaan.

Wilton erken vroeër in die boek dat die verhaal van Agincourt en die groet met twee vingers ouer is as die internet. Hy sê egter ook dat dit pas by die beskrywing van hoeveel sulke groot verhale ontstaan: deur spekulasie, verwronge feite en grappe.

'Pluk yew' is snaaks, en daarom het hy beslis besluit dat hy die lewe as 'n grap begin het. Van daar af het dit byna seker sy eie lewe gekry sodra sommige mense dit ernstig begin opneem het.

Die Wikipedia-bladsy op die V-teken noem Wilton se boek in die oorspronklike afdeling, maar verwys ook na 'n Middeleeuse dokument waarin 'n Engelse boogskutter uitgebeeld word, wat moontlik die gebaar maak.

Die beeld waarna dit verwys, word gehou deur die British Library, met wie die Forces Network gekontak het vir meer inligting.

Hulle was dit met ons eens dat dit eintlik nie duidelik is of die boogskutter twee vingers ophou of na 'n boud wys nie - 'n soort heuwel met teikens wat aangeheg is wat deur boogskutters in die Middeleeuse Engeland gebruik is.

Gegewe die teenwoordigheid van die kolf, lyk dit meer waarskynlik dat dit bedoel was as 'n illustrasie van laasgenoemde. En die beoordeling van die British Library was dat daar eenvoudig nie genoegsame bewyse is om tot die gevolgtrekking te kom dat daar 'n verband is tussen Agincourt en die aanstootlike gebaar van vandag nie.

Waarom was Agincourt so belangrik?

Op soek na 'n duidelike verband met die gebaar, verduister die groter probleem waarom dit juis so is dat hierdie spesifieke stryd so gemitologiseer is dat dit korrek of nie gekoppel was aan die algemene saluut met twee vingers.

Met ander woorde, hoekom was Agincourt so belangrik? Waarom het die slag van Agincourt begin? Hoe het dit eintlik gebeur? En watter impak het dit op die geskiedenis van Engeland en Frankryk gehad?

'N Noukeurige ondersoek van die geveg self onthul nie net die antwoorde op hierdie vrae en meer nie, maar ook waarom dit so 'n belangrike deel van die Engelse geskiedenis en kultuur is.

In die Boogskutskoene

Op 25 Oktober 1415 was dit 'n goeie dag om 'n Engelse soldaat te gewees het.

Natuurlik sou 'n mens dieselfde kan sê van ander noodlottige datums: 6 Junie 1944, 1 Julie 1916 of, in die verre tye, 14 Oktober 1066.

Maar St Crispin's en St Crispian's, Day was meer as net die dinge van die Shakespeare -legende.

Want toe die son die oggend opkom, het die Engelse weermag, wat êrens tussen drie en 7000 meestal 'laaggebore' boogskutters getel het, 'n oorweldigende kans teëgekom.

Minder as 'n kilometer daarvandaan, oor die modderige, met koring gesaai lande buite die stad Agincourt, was 'n Franse weermag wat minstens drie keer so groot was.

Die Engelse het honger gely en probeer desperaat uit Frankryk ontsnap via die hawe by Calais, die pad waarheen nou deur 28 000 goed bewapende Franse soldate geblokkeer is. Baie was aristokrate, geklee in die nuutste staalwapenrusting, en sommige was op gedeeltelik gepantserde perde wat lansies gebruik het-die tenks van die Middeleeue.

Henry V was die leier van 'n goed opgeleide, gekontrakteerde mag-die begin van vandag se professionele gewapende magte. Maar teen sulke kanse moes dit die donkerste dag gewees het, nie 1 Julie 1916 nie.

Maar die Engelse was nie bang nie. Hulle was kwaad.

Hulle het die teenstanders se luidrugtige sang en geskerts gehoor en die opvallende kampvure die vorige aand sien brand. Alles was in teenstelling met die stiller heilige belydenisse van die Engelse en die verwagting dat hulle môre sou sterf.

Tog het die 29-jarige koning Henry die Franse arrogansie benut en benut en sy langboogmanne daaraan herinner dat die gerug dat as hulle nie in die geveg gedood word nie, hulle regterhand deur hulle vyande vermink sou word.

Hierdie deel van die verhaal is byna seker waar. Engelse boogskutters, met hul langboë van 6 voet, was 'n elite-korps in Middeleeuse Europa. Tog bestaan ​​hulle uit meestal 'gebore' boeren en word nie deur Franse ridders gerespekteer nie.

Koning Henry se 'band van broers' toespraak, wat hy eintlik die aand van 24 Oktober gehou het, nie die dag van die geveg soos Shakespeare se toneelstuk toon nie, was bedoel om hierdie klasverskil te oorkom.

So was die skeuring en uitputting van koninklike wapens op 25 Oktober - 'n gebaar om 'n eenheid te simboliseer wat oor klaslyne strek.

Uiteindelik was die aanroep van Saints Cripin en Crispian deel van hierdie strategie. Alhoewel Crispin en Crispian Frans was, nie Engelse heiliges nie, was hulle ook gewone mense. Tydens 'n geveg van 1414 het hierdie heiliges van Soissons hul hande laat vermink toe hul stad deur Orleaniste ingeneem is, een faksie in 'n bittere magstryd in Frankryk.

Een belangrike detail hier is dat Engelse boogskutters wat ook teen die Orleaniste geveg het, ook doodgemaak is.

Die keuse om die heiliges te vereer, het blykbaar aanklank gevind by Henry se troepe, omdat sy klein leër op die punt was om saam te smelt en goed saam te werk om 'n gemeenskaplike doel: om die Franse te laat aanval.

Of dit nou "Up yours!" groete met twee vingers, flitsende bodems soos uitdagende Skotte in 'Braveheart', of bloot 'n skyn ('n valse aanval) deur 'n paar boogskutters wat dit gedoen het, dit was alles deel van 'n slinkse plan.

Omdat die Engelse 'n dodelike strik vir hul Franse teenstanders gelê het, een wat op die punt gestaan ​​het om te jag met horings.

Die Engelse boogskutters het rustig in posisie gekruip, agter heinings en bome gelê en gereed om agter die veiligheid van hul paalmure vas te draai, en hulle was gereed om hul pylstorm los te laat.

Die boogskutters, wat gereeld by die boogskietoefeninge op die boude gebore is, en geïnspireer deur die verhale van Robin Hood, het die snare kundig oor hul boë geslinger en gereedgemaak vir aksie.

Terwyl hulle hul skouers en rugspiere buig om die gewig van 100 tot 150 pond aan te wend wat nodig is om hul boë te buig, het hulle vermoedelik 'n laaste keer gewonder: Gaan dit wees soos die massaslagting en die rampspoed van Hastings in 1066, of die verrassingsoorwinning van Crecy in 1046?

Terwyl hulle die massale geledere van die Franse kavalerie hoor en moontlik na hulle toe galop en kyk hoe die 30 plus-geledere van die Franse wapenskut hul opmars begin, moes hulle wanhopig op laasgenoemde gehoop het.

Dit was omstreeks 11:00, en die vooraf beplande jaghorings het van Engelse kant af gebulder.

Waar hulle ook al was - op die linker- of regterflank van die Engelse leër, of weggesteek en gereed om 'n hinderlaag uit 'n veld naby die dorpie Tramecourt te lanseer - het die Engelse boogskutters hul pylstorm losgemaak.


Historici heroorweeg die Slag van Agincourt

MAISONCELLE, Frankryk-Die swaar modder van modder agter die veestal op die plaas van Antoine Renault lyk net so verraderlik as wat dit byna 600 jaar gelede moes gewees het toe koning Henry V van 'n plek hier naby gery het om 'n deurweekte en uitgeputte Engelse leër te lei 'n Franse mag wat na bewering meer as vyf tot een in syne was.

Niemand kan ooit die skokkende oorwinning van Henry en sy "groep broers", soos Shakespeare hulle beroemd sou noem, op St. Crispin's Day, 25 Oktober 1415, wegneem nie. Hulle verwoes 'n mag van swaar gepantserde Franse adellikes wat vasgeval in die suigende modder van die streek, deurspek deur duisende pyle van Engelse langboogmanne en uitgemanoeuvreer deur gewone soldate met baie ligter toerusting. Dit sou bekend staan ​​as die Slag van Agincourt.

Maar die status van Agincourt as miskien die grootste oorwinning teen oorweldigende kans in die militêre geskiedenis-en 'n hoeksteen van die Engelse selfbeeld-is in twyfel getrek deur 'n groep historici in Brittanje en Frankryk wat 'n verskeidenheid militêre en belastingrekords noukeurig gekam het van daardie tyd af en neem nou 'n skeptiese beskouing van die figure wat deur die Middeleeuse kroniekskrywers oorgelewer is.

Die historici het tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat die Engelse nie meer as ongeveer twee tot een in die getal kon wees nie. En afhangende van hoe die wiskunde uitgevoer word, het Henry heel moontlik iets nader aan 'n egalige stryd gehad, het Anne Curry, professor aan die Universiteit van Southampton, gelei.

Die koue figure bedreig 'n beeld van die stryd wat selfs professionele navorsers en akademici huiwerig was om uit te daag in die lig van die Shakespeare -vers en eeue Engelse trots, het me. Curry gesê.

'Dit is net 'n mite, maar dit is 'n mite wat deel uitmaak van die Britse psige,' het me. Curry gesê.

Die werk, wat gloeiende lof en skerp kritiek van ander historici in die Verenigde State en Europa ontvang het, is die opvallendste van die revisionistiese verslae wat uit 'n nuwe wetenskap van militêre geskiedenis verskyn het. Die nuwe rekeninge is geneig om nie net meer kwantitatief nie, maar ook meer aangepas te wees vir politieke, kulturele en tegnologiese faktore, en fokus meer op die ervaring van die gewone soldaat as op groot strategieë en heldedade.

Die benadering het die siening oor alles drasties verander, van Romeinse gevegte met Germaanse stamme tot Napoleon se rampspoedige besetting van Spanje, tot die Tet -offensief in die Viëtnam -oorlog. Maar die duidelikste mate van respek vir die nuwe historici en hul voorliefde om gevestigde wysheid af te breek, is dat dit nou amper roetine geword het vir Amerikaanse bevelvoerders om hulle te raadpleeg oor advies oor strategie en taktiek in Afghanistan, Irak en ander huidige -dagkonflikte.

Die mees invloedryke voorbeeld is die 'Counterinsurgency Field Manual' wat in 2006 deur die Amerikaanse weermag en mariniers aangeneem is en in die middel van die debat gekyk het of die troepevlakke in Afghanistan verhoog moet word.

Genl. David H. Petraeus, wat toesig hou oor die oorloë in Irak en Afghanistan as die hoof van die Amerikaanse sentrale kommando, het tientalle akademiese historici en ander kundiges gebruik om die handleiding op te stel. En hy noem Conrad Crane, direkteur van die United States Army Military History Institute aan die Army War College, as die hoofskrywer.

Op grond van tientalle historiese konflikte, is die belangrikste gevolgtrekking in die handleiding die bewering dat opstandings nie verslaan kan word sonder om die algemene bevolking te beskerm en te wen nie, ongeag hoe effektief direkte aanvalle op vyandelike vegters is.

Crane het gesê dat sommige van sy eie vroeë historiese navorsing 'n vergelyking van strategiese bomaanvalle behels met aanvalle op burgerlikes deur stormende leërs tydens die Honderdjarige Oorlog, toe Engeland probeer het om uiteindelik beheer oor kontinentale Frankryk uit te voer. Agincourt was miskien die opwindendste oorwinning wat die Engelse ooit op Franse bodem tydens die konflik sou behaal.

Die Honderdjarige Oorlog het nooit in die veldhandleiding gekom nie - die naam self het moontlik 'n afskrikmiddel gemaak - maar nadat hulle baie waarskuwings uitgespreek het oor die groot verskille in tyd, tegnologie en politieke doelwitte, sê historici in die omgewing dat daar 'n paar is vreemde parallelle met hedendaagse buitelandse konflikte.

Eerstens, teen die tyd dat Henry op 14 Augustus 1415 naby die monding van die Seine beland en 'n taamlik oninspirerende beleg van 'n stad met die naam Harfleur begin, was Frankryk op die punt om 'n burgeroorlog, met faksies die Bourgondiërs en die Armagnacs bymekaar. Henry sou uiteindelik 'n alliansie sluit met die Bourgondiërs, wat in vandag se terme sy 'plaaslike veiligheidsmagte' in Normandië sou word, en hy het die ondersteuning van plaaslike handelaars en geestelikes bewerkstellig, alle praktyke wat hartlik deur die handtekening teen die opstand sou onderskryf word.

"Ek is nie iemand wat die geskiedenis sien herhaal nie, maar ek dink dat baie houdings dit doen," het Kelly DeVries, 'n professor in geskiedenis aan die Loyola -universiteit in Maryland, baie geskryf oor die Middeleeuse oorlogvoering. Mnr. DeVries het gesê dat vegters van regoor die streek begin filter na die Armagnac -kamp sodra Henry met hul vyande verbonde raak. "Net soos Al Qaeda in Irak, was daar baie verskillende magte wat uit baie verskillende plekke gekom het om te veg," het mnr. DeVries gesê.

Maar eers sou Henry sy kans op Agincourt kry. Nadat hy Harfleur ingeneem het, marsjeer hy vinnig noordwaarts en steek die Somme -rivier oor, sy leër uitgeput deur disenterie en gevegsverliese en word honger en moeg.

Terselfdertyd het die onstuimige Franse magte haastig byeengekom om hom te ontmoet.

Dit is hier dat historici self begin baklei, en verskeie maak uitsondering op die nuwe beurs deur me. Curry se span.

Op grond van kronieke wat volgens hom in die algemeen akkuraat is, voer Clifford J. Rogers, professor in geskiedenis aan die Amerikaanse Militêre Akademie in West Point, aan dat Henry in werklikheid groot getalle was. Vir die Engelse was daar ongeveer 1 000 sogenaamde men-at-arms in swaar staalwapens van kop tot tone en 5 000 liggies gepantserde mans met langboë. Die Franse het ongeveer 10 000 soldate bymekaargemaak, elk met 'n bediende wat 'n gros valet genoem is wat ook kon veg, en ongeveer 4 000 mans met kruisboë en ander vegters.

Alhoewel mnr. Rogers in 'n onlangse koerant skryf dat die Franse kruisboogskutters "heeltemal uitgesluit" is deur die Engelse boogskutters, wat dodelike sarsies verder en meer gereeld kon stuur, sou die totale totaal 'n verhouding van vier tot een tot gevolg hê, naby aan die tradisionele syfers. Rogers het in 'n onderhoud gesê dat hy die argiefrekords as te onvolledig beskou om die ramings aansienlik te verander.

Tog het verskeie Franse historici in onderhoude vandeesmaand gesê dat hulle ernstig betwyfel dat Frankryk, wat ontstaan ​​het deur faksie -twis en afkomstig is uit 'n bevolking wat erg deur die plaag uitgeput is, 'n groot leër in so kort tyd kon oprig. Die Franse koning, Charles VI, het ook gebuk gegaan onder aanvalle van waansin.

"Dit was nie die volledige Franse mag by Agincourt nie," het Bertrand Schnerb, 'n professor in die Middeleeuse geskiedenis aan die Universiteit van Lille, gesê dat daar 12 000 tot 15 000 Franse soldate was.

Mev. Curry, die historikus in Southampton, het gesê dat sy gemaklik was met iets wat naby aan die laer syfer was, gebaseer op haar lees van historiese argiewe, insluitend militêre betaalrekords, versamelrolletjies, skepe se logs, gepubliseerde roosters van gewondes en dooies, oorlogsbelasting heffings en ander oorblywende dokumente.

Aan die Engelse kant bereken me. Curry dat Henry waarskynlik minstens 8 680 soldate by hom gehad het tydens sy opmars na Agincourt. Sy noem duisende van die waarskynlike troepe, van Adam Adrya, 'n wapen, tot Philip Zevan, 'n boogskutter.

En 'n buitengewone aanlyn databasis met ongeveer 'n kwartmiljoen name van mans wat in die Honderdjarige Oorlog gedien het, saamgestel deur me. Curry en haar medewerkers aan die universiteite in Southampton en Reading, toon aan dat Henry se leër in elk geval 'n groep broers: baie van die soldate was veterane wat saam op verskeie veldtogte diens gedoen het.

'U sien 'n geweldige kontinuïteit met mense wat mekaar ken en vertrou,' het me. Curry gesê.

Hierdie vertroue moes handig te pas gekom het nadat Henry deur 'n reeks briljante taktiese bewegings die Franse kavalerie-berede manskappe-uitgelok het om die massas langboogmanne wat op die Engelse flanke op 'n relatief smal veld tussen twee stelle bos wat nog steeds bestaan, nie ver van die plaas Renault se maisoncelle nie.

Die reeks gebeurtenisse wat gevolg het toe die Franse wapenskut deur die modderige, bewerkte velde agter die kavallerie geslinger het, was vinnig en moorddadig.

Volley after volley of English arrow fire maddened the horses, killed many of the riders and forced the advancing men-at-arms into a mass so dense that many of them could not even lift their arms.

When the heavily armored French men-at-arms fell wounded, many could not get up and simply drowned in the mud as other men stumbled over them. And as order on the French lines broke down completely and panic set in, the much nimbler archers ran forward, killing thousands by stabbing them in the neck, eyes, armpits and groin through gaps in the armor, or simply ganged up and bludgeoned the Frenchmen to death.

“The situation was beyond grisly it was horrific in the extreme,” Mr. Rogers wrote in his paper.

King Henry V had emerged victorious, and as some historians see it, the English crown then mounted a public relations effort to magnify the victory by exaggerating the disparity in numbers.

Whatever the magnitude of the victory, it would not last. The French populace gradually soured on the English occupation as the fighting continued and the civil war remained unresolved in the decades after Henry’s death in 1422, Mr. Schnerb said.

“They came into France saying, ‘You Frenchmen have civil war, and now our king is coming to give you peace,’ ” Mr. Schnerb said. “It was a failure.”

Unwilling to blame a failed counterinsurgency strategy, Shakespeare pinned the loss on poor Henry VI:

“Whose state so many had the managing, That they lost France and made his England bleed.”


Inhoud

WESTMORLAND. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!

KING. What's he that wishes so?
My cousin, Westmorland? No, my fair cousin
If we are mark'd to die, we are enough
To do our country loss and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost
It yearns me not if men my garments wear
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmorland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say "To-morrow is Saint Crispian."
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say "These wounds I had on Crispin's day."
Old men forget yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words—
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester—
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd—
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Use and quotation Edit

  • During the Napoleonic Wars, just prior to the Battle of the Nile, Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, then Rear Admiral of the Blue, referred to his captains as his "band of brothers". [2] ' magazine Huishoudelike Woorde (1850-1851) took its name from the speech. [3]
  • During the First Barbary War, Lieutenant Stephen Decatur, Jr. proclaimed "the fewer men, the greater share of honor," before leading a raiding party to destroy the USS Philadelphia (1799) . [4]
  • During World War II, Laurence Olivier delivered the speech during a radio programme to boost British morale and Winston Churchill found him so inspiring that he asked Olivier to produce the Shakespeare play as a film. Olivier's adaptation appeared in 1944. [2] It is said that the radio programme inspired Churchill's famous Never was so much owed by so many to so few speech made in 1940 during the Battle of Britain.
  • The title of British politician Duff Cooper's autobiography Old Men Forget (1953) is taken from the speech. [5]
  • During the legal battle for the U.S. presidential election of 2000, regarding the Florida vote recount, members of the Florida legal team for George W. Bush, the eventual legal victor, joined arms and recited the speech during a break in preparation, to motivate themselves. [6]
  • On the day of the result of the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, as the vote to leave became clear, activist and MEP Daniel Hannan is reported to have delivered an edited version of the speech from a table, replacing the names Bedford, Exeter, Warwick and Talbot with other prominent Vote Leave activists. [7][8]

Film, television, music and literature Edit

Parts of the speech appear in films such as Die man wat Liberty Valance geskiet het (1962), [9] [10] Tombstone (1993), [11] Renaissance Man (1994), [12] Tea With Mussolini (1999), [13] This Is England (2006), [14] and Their Finest (2017). [15] It has also been used in television series such as Rough Riders (1997), [16] [17] Buffy the Vampire Slayer, [18] [19] The Black Adder, [20] [21] and Doctor Who. [22]


The Longbow

The longbow as we recognise it today, measuring around the height of a man, made its first major appearance towards the end of the Middle Ages. Although generally attributed to the Welsh, longbows have in fact been around at least since Neolithic times: one made of yew and wrapped in leather was found in Somerset in 1961. It is thought that even earlier finds have been uncovered in Scandinavia.

The Welsh however, do appear to have been the first to develop the tactical use of the longbow into the deadliest weapon of its day. During the Anglo-Norman invasion of Wales, it is said that the ‘Welsh bowmen took a heavy toll on the invaders’. With the conquest of Wales complete, Welsh conscripts were incorporated into the English army for Edward’s campaigns further north into Scotland.

Although King Edward I, ‘The Hammer of the Celts’, is normally regarded as the man responsible for adding the might of the longbow to the English armoury of the day, the actual evidence for this is vague, although he did ban all sports but archery on Sundays, to make sure Englishmen practised with the longbow. It is however during Edward III’s reign when more documented evidence confirms the important role that the longbow has played in both English and Welsh history.

Edward III’s reign was of course dominated by the Hundred Years War which actually lasted from 1337-1453. It was perhaps due this continual state of war that so many historical records survive which raise the longbow to legendary status first at Crécy and Poitiers, and then at Agincourt.

Battle of Crécy

After landing with some 12,000 men, including 7,000 archers and taking Caen in Normandy, Edward III moved northwards. Edward’s forces were continually tracked by a much larger French army, until they finally arrived at Crécy in 1346 with a force of 8,000.

The English took a defensive position in three divisions on ground that sloped downwards, with the archers on the flanks. One of these divisions was commanded by Edward’s sixteen year old son Edward the Black Prince. The French first sent out the mercenary Genoese crossbowmen, numbering between 6000 and 12,000 men. With a firing rate of three – five volleys per minute they were however no match for the English and Welsh longbow men who could fire ten – twelve arrows in the same amount of time. It is also reported that rain had adversely affected the bowstrings of the crossbows.

Philip VI, after commenting on the uselessness of his archers, sent forward his cavalry who charged through and over his own crossbowmen. The English and Welsh archers and men-at-arms held them off not just once, but 16 times in total. During one of these attacks Edward’s son The Black Prince came under direct attack, but his father refused to send help, claiming he needed to ‘win his spurs’.

After nightfall Philip VI, himself wounded, ordered the retreat. According to one estimate French casualties included eleven princes, 1,200 knights and 12,000 soldiers killed. Edward III is said have lost a few hundred men.


Battle of Crécy between the English and French in the Hundred Years’ War.
From a 15th-century illuminated manuscript of Jean Froissart’s Chronicles

Battle of Poitiers

Details concerning the Battle of Poitiers in 1356 are in fact quite vague, however it appears that some 10,000 English and Welsh troops, this time led by Edward, Prince of Wales, also known as the Black Prince, were retreating after a long campaign in France with a French army of somewhere between 20,000 – 60,000 men in close pursuit. The two armies were separated by a large hedge when the French found a gap and attempted to break through. Realising battle was about to commence The Black Prince ordered his men to form their usual battle positions with his archers on the flanks.

The French, who had developed a small cavalry unit specifically to attack the English and Welsh archers, were not only brought to an abrupt stop by the number of arrows that showered down upon them, they were by all accounts routed. The next attack came from the Germans who had allied themselves with the French and were leading the second cavalry attack. This was also stopped and it is said that so intense was the attack by the English and Welsh archers that at one point some ran out of arrows and had to run forward and collect arrows embedded in people lying on the ground.

Following a final volley of his archers’ fire, the Black Prince ordered the advance. The French broke and were pursued to Poitiers where the French King was captured. He was transported to London and held to ransom in the Tower of London for 3,000,000 gold crowns.

Battle of Agincourt

A 28-year-old King Henry V set sail from Southampton on 11th August 1415 with a fleet of around 300 ships to claim his birthright of the Duchy of Normandy and so revive English fortunes in France. Landing at Harfleur in northern France, they besieged the town.

The siege lasted five weeks, much longer than expected, and Henry lost around 2,000 of his men to dysentery. Henry took the decision to leave a garrison at Harfleur and take the remainder of his army back home via the French port of Calais almost 100 miles away to the north. Just two minor problems lay in their way – a very, very large and angry French army and the River Somme. Outnumbered, sick and short of supplies Henry’s army struggled but eventually managed to cross the Somme.

It was on the road north, near the village of Agincourt, that the French were finally able to stop Henry’s march. Some 25,000 Frenchmen faced Henry’s 6000. As if things couldn’t get worse it started to pour with rain.

Morning of the Battle of Agincourt, 25th October 1415

On 25th October, St Crispin’s day, the two sides prepared for battle. The French though weren’t to be rushed and at 8.00am, laughing and joking, they ate breakfast. The English, cold and wet from the driving rain, ate whatever they had left in their depleted rations.

Following an initial stalemate, Henry decided he had nothing to lose and forced the French into battle and advanced. The English and Welsh archers moved to within 300 metres of the enemy and began to fire. This sparked the French into action and the first wave of French cavalry charged, the rain-soaked ground severely hindering their progress. The storm of arrows raining down upon them caused the French to become unnerved and they retreated into the way of the now advancing main army. With forces moving in every direction, the French were soon in total disarray. The field quickly turned into a quagmire, churned up by the feet of thousands of heavily-armoured men and horses. The English and Welsh archers, some ten ranks deep, rained tens of thousands of arrows down onto the mud trapped French and what followed was a bloodbath. The battle itself lasted just half an hour and between 6,000 and 10,000 French were killed whilst the English suffered losses in the hundreds.

After three hundred years the dominance of the longbow in weaponry was coming to an end and giving way to the age of muskets and guns. The last battle involving the longbow took place in 1644 at Tippermuir in Perthshire, Scotland during the English Civil War.


Battle of Agincourt

In 1413 King Henry IV of England died and was followed on the throne by Henry V. The Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) continued, with English kings claiming the throne of France and its territory and the French kings seeking to expel the English. In prosecuting the war, Henry V concluded an alliance with Duke John of Burgundy, who promised to remain neutral and be Henry V’s vassal in return for territorial gains at the expense of France. In April 1415 Henry V declared war on King Charles VI of France, assembled a force of 12,000 men at Southampton, and crossed the English Channel to land at the mouth of the Seine on August 10.

Beginning on August 13, Henry laid siege to the Channel port of Honfleur. Taking it on September 22, he expelled most of its French inhabitants, replacing them with Englishmen. Only the poorest Frenchmen were allowed to remain, and they had to take an oath of allegiance. The siege, disease, and garrison duties all depleted Henry V’s army, leaving only about 6,000 men.

For whatever reason Henry V then decided to march overland from Honfleur to Calais, moving without baggage or artillery. His army departed on October 6, covering as much as 18 miles a day in difficult conditions caused by heavy rains. The English found one ford after another blocked by French troops, so Henry V took the army eastward, up the Somme, to locate a crossing. High water and the French prevented this until he reached Athies (10 miles west of Péronne), where the English found an undefended crossing.

At Rouen the French raised a force of some 30,000 men under Charles d’Albert, constable of France. This force almost intercepted the English before they could get across the Somme. Henry V’s trail was not hard to find, marked as it was by burning French farmhouses. (Henry once remarked that war without fire was like “sausages without mustard.”)

D’Albert got in front of the English and set up a blocking position on the main road to Calais near the Chateau of Agincourt, where Henry’s troops met them on October 24. Henry’s force faced an army many times his own in size. His men were short of supplies, and enraged local inhabitants were killing English foragers and stragglers. Shaken by the prospects, Henry V ordered his prisoners released and offered to return Honfleur and pay for any damages he had inflicted in return for safe passage to Calais. The French, with a numerical advantage of up to five to one, were in no mood to make concessions. They demanded that Henry V renounce his claims in France to everything except Guyenne, which he refused to do.

The French nobles were eager to join battle and pressed d’Albert for an attack, but he resisted their demands that day. That night Henry V ordered absolute silence, which the French took as a sign of demoralization. Daybreak on October 25 found the English at one end of a defile slightly more than 1,000 yards wide and flanked by heavy woods. The road to Calais ran down its middle. Open fields on either side of the road had been recently plowed and were sodden from the heavy rains.

Drawing on English success in the battles of Crécy and Poitiers, Henry V drew up his 800 to 1,000 men-at-arms and 5,000 archers in three major groups, or “battles.” The “battles,” in one line, consisted of men-at-arms and pikemen, while the archers were located between the three “battles” and on the flanks, where they enfiladed forward about 100 yards or so to the woods on either side.

About a mile away d’Albert also deployed in three groups, but because of French numbers and the narrowness of the defile these were one behind the other. The first rank consisted of dismounted men and some crossbow men, along with perhaps 500 horsemen on the flanks the second was the same without the horsemen and the third consisted almost entirely of horsemen. Each commander hoped to fight a defensive battle, Henry in particular so that he might employ his archers.

Finally, in late morning when the French had failed to move, Henry staged a cautious advance of about a half mile and then halted, his men taking up the same formation as before, with the leading archers on the flanks only about 300 yards from the first French ranks. The bowmen then pounded sharpened stakes into the ground facing toward the enemy, their tips at breast height of a horse.

Henry’s movement had the desired effect. D’Albert was no longer able to resist the demands of his fellow nobles to attack the English and ordered the advance. The mounted knights on either flank moved forward well ahead of the slow-moving and heavily armored men-at-arms. It was Crécy and Poitiers all over again, with the longbow decisive. A large number of horsemen, slowed by the soggy ground, were cut down by English arrows that caught them in enfilade. The remainder were halted at the English line.

The cavalry attack was defeated long before the first French men-at-arms, led in person by d’Albert, arrived. Their heavy body armor and the mud exhausted the French, but most reached the thin English line and, by sheer weight of numbers, drove it back. The English archers then fell on the closely packed French from the flanks, using swords, axes, and hatchets to cut them down. The unencumbered Englishmen had the advantage, as they could more easily move in the mud around their French opponents. Within minutes, almost all in the first French rank had been either killed or captured.

The second French rank then moved forward, but it lacked the confidence and cohesion of the first. Although losses were heavy, many of its number were able to retire to re-form for a new attack with the third “battle” of mounted knights. At this point Henry V learned that the French had attacked his baggage train, and he ordered the wholesale slaughter of the French prisoners, fearing that he would not be strong enough to meet attacks from both the front and the rear. The rear attack, however, turned out to be only a sally from the Chateau of Agincourt by a few men-at-arms and perhaps 600 French peasants. The English easily repulsed the final French attack, which was not pressed home. Henry V then led several hundred mounted men in a charge that dispersed what remained of the French army. The archers then ran forward, killing thousands of the Frenchmen lying on the field by stabbing them through gaps in their armor or bludgeoning them to death.

In less than four hours the English had defeated a force significantly larger than their own. At least 5,000 Frenchmen died in the battle, and another 1,500 were taken prisoner. Among those who perished were many prominent French nobles, including d’Albert. The Duke d’Orléans and Marshal Jean Bouciquan were among the captured. Henry V reported English losses as 13 men-at-arms and 100 footmen killed, but this figure is too low. English losses were probably 300 killed. Among the badly wounded was Henry V’s brother, the Duke of Gloucester.

Henry V then marched to Calais, taking the prisoners who would be ransomed. The army reached Calais on October 29. In mid-November Henry V returned to England.

The loss of so many prominent French nobles in the Battle of Agincourt greatly increased Duke John of Burgundy’s influence to the point of dictating French royal policy. Henry V returned to France in 1417 and went on to conquer Normandy by the end of 1419, with the exception of Mont St. Michel. In 1420 at Troyes he concluded peace with Charles VI, who agreed to the marriage of Henry to his daughter Catherine. The French king also disowned his son, the dauphin Charles, and acknowledged Henry as his heir. Over the next two years Henry consolidated his hold over northern France, but unfortunately for the English cause he died in 1422, leaving as heir to the thrones of England and France a son just nine months old.

Verwysings Hibbert, Christopher. Agincourt. New York: Dorset, 1978. Keegan, John. The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo & the Somme. New York: Vintage Books, 1977. Seward, Desmond. The Hundred Years’ War: The English in France, 1337-1453. New York: Atheneum, 1978. Sumption, Jonathan. The Hundred Years’ War: Trial by Battle. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988.


The Key Factor: Mud

Once the English archers were in place, the comparatively thin line of English knights kneeled awkwardly in their armor to make the sign of the cross before advancing on foot over the waterlogged field behind the archers to a point within 300 yards of the French. The sight of the smaller English army boldly advancing so excited the mounted French knights on each flank that they largely abandoned discipline to break into a ragged attack, shouting, “Montjoie! Saint Denis!” As they spurred their horses onward, the soggy ground beneath them was churned into clinging mud, which slowed the charge immediately. Nonetheless, cheers rose from the other French nobles standing behind them as they caught the excitement and moved forward as well.

As might have been anticipated, horses quickly began to slip in the mud. As this happened, the French attackers converging from both flanks were thrown into confusion by devastating volleys from the English archers, dispatched in four clouds of arrows. Although the French knights’ armor deflected many of the arrows, their less-well-clad horses were not so fortunate—they stumbled or dropped in their tracks. Some knights were pitched to the ground. Riderless mounts bolted about, colliding with advancing French foot soldiers. By now, horses and men on the field were ankle-deep in mud. The French artillery, intimidated by the first flight of arrows, had pulled back rather than face more steel-tipped projectiles.

Less than a hundred of the mounted French knights ever reached the spike-barricade placed by the English archers. The rest lay mired in the churned-up mud—dead, wounded, or stumbling about in a daze. French cavalry commander Guillaume de Saveuse was one of the dead, killed by a mallet blow or stab wound through his armor-joint after his horse impaled itself on one of the spikes. Without pause, the second line of French began to advance on foot, moving ponderously through the mud in face of flights of arrows. Although it continued to be a cool day, the knights began to sweat in their 60 pounds of armor from the exertion of trudging through the mud. As they proceeded, many could not avoid stiff-legging their way over the dead and wounded, causing any number to suffocate in the mud.

As French knights attack the English line, their horses become bogged down in the mud as English archers continue to pour deadly fire into their ranks.

The footing grew worse as the centers of both armies locked together in hand-to-hand combat. Slowly the reinforced French attack drove the English center back, and the battle lost its form in the confined area between the woods. By one account, Henry “fought not as a king but as a knight, leading the way when possible, giving and receiving cruel blows.” The English middle rallied as the right flank engaged, but the obese York was trampled under foot. He either suffocated or suffered a heart attack, since his armor-clad body was found afterward without a wound. The Earl of Oxford was killed also, but Henry called upon Robert Howard, one of the ship captains and a friend of his youth, to take the earl’s place. Howard rose to the occasion as the English archers dropped their longbows to wade into the fray, wielding their axes and short swords.

By now, the French knights were so crammed together they could barely swing their own weapons, and when they were knocked down they found it impossible to get up from the mud in their heavy armor. The more nimble English archers made many French knights lame by slashing their short axes against the backs of their adversaries’ knees. Those sprawling on the ground were helpless to protect themselves from the archers, who mercilessly thrust their daggers through the slits of visors or into the mail covering armpits or groins. The Duke of Alenon, finding himself cut off and surrounded, shouted his surrender to King Henry, who was a few yards away coming to his brother Gloucester’s aid. Before the king could intercede, however, Alenon was slashed and beaten to death by swarming English archers. The Duke of Brabant, younger brother of the Duke of Burgundy, borrowed a lesser nobleman’s armor and galloped into the fray only to be unhorsed and quickly dispatched by archers who did not recognize his worth because his borrowed armor did not mark him as a man of distinction.

In the first two hours of the three-hour battle, the French suffered a staggering 5,000 killed in a bloodbath that included three dukes, five counts, and 90 barons. By this stage, more English knights and archers were gathering up prisoners than continuing to fight. (A French noble would fetch enough in ransom to make a poor man comparatively comfortable for life.) Meanwhile, the knights in the third French line watched the disastrous scene. In a cruel mix-up, Henry ordered the French prisoners killed when he heard that a newly arrived enemy force (actually bands of local peasants) was attacking his lightly guarded rear. The order was only fitfully obeyed by the English nobles, who found it morally repugnant to kill their French counterparts after they had surrendered, and Henry had to deputize a force of 200 low-born archers to carry out the brutal and unnecessary slaughter. When it became evident that the uncommitted third French line, daunted by the fate of the first two lines, was withdrawing from the battlefield, Henry rescinded his order, but by then dozens of duly surrendered French nobles had met a most ignoble fate in the bloodstained mud at Agincourt.


Was the V-sign invented at the battle of Agincourt?

In a nutshell, no! This idea is a twentieth-century myth although so far it has proved impossible to find where and when a link to Agincourt was first suggested.

The myth is that the French had threatened to cut off the index and middle fingers of any archers they captured. But since the English won, the archers then stuck up these two fingers to show they still had them.

Two fifteenth-century narratives mention mutilation. In a chronicle written by Thomas Walsingham, a monk of St Albans, ‘the French published that they wished no-one to be spared except certain named lords and the king himself. They announced that the rest would be killed or have their limbs horribly mutilated. Because of this our men were much excited to rage and took heart, encouraging one another against the event.’

In chronicles written by the Burgundians Jean le Fèvre and Jean de Waurin they invent a battle speech for Henry in which the king is reported to have said ‘that the French had boasted that if any English archers were captured they would cut off the three fingers of their right hand so that neither man or horse would ever again by killed by their arrow fire’.

None of these texts says that the victorious archers stuck up their fingers after the battle. Nor is there evidence that archers taken prisoner ever had their fingers cut off, despite the scenes in Bernard Cornwell’s novel, Azincourt, of what happened to English archers at the attack on Soissons in 1414.

Mutilation was used as a military punishment in English armies in this period. In disciplinary ordinances issued in 1385, which were used again for the campaign of 1415, foot archers who cried ‘to horse’ without good cause or who went out foraging without permission might have their right ear cut off as punishment. If servants or pages started quarrels in the host, they might have their left ear cut off. But commanders were hardly likely to have punishment which would damage the fighting capability of their men. By contrast, military ordinances were tough on prostitutes. In set of military ordinances issued by Henry V at some point in his reign, prostitutes were ordered not to come within a mile of the army or to be within garrisons. If they violated this order a second time, they were to have their left arm broken.

Photograph of Winston Churchill famously making the v-sign for victory in 1943, taken from Wikipedia and is in the Public Domain


Against All Odds: THE BATTLE OF AGINCOURT

If you’re a fan of Shakespeare or simply a military history person, then you know about King Henry V. He was a monarch in England from 1413 to 1422. King Henry V was one of the most renowned English kings.

He led two successful of France and eventually full control of the French throne. He was known for one particular achievement, which was in the Battle of Agincourt.

French soldiers assembled onto the battlefield. Moments later they realized that the English had set up stakes guarding their location. This resulted in many riders to be stuck between the pieces of sharp wood. This made the soldiers an even easier target.

As the cavalry quickly retreated back, the first-division marched forward. Pushing through the muddy fields and turning their heads away from the winter sun, they bravely marched towards the English line.

Being on foot made it easier to climb through the stakes, but harder to march across a field full of mud. The French lost many of its soldiers during those moments, but they continued their walk toward the English.

As the French finally arrived at the English lines, they started an attack. The English soon realized that their longbows were ineffective now, due to the armies being closer to each other.

They rushed forward with axes and swords, instead. This led to a large number of wounds and deaths leaving a pile of nobles and soldiers lifeless on the battlefield.

Seeing the first-division being slaughtered, the second-division of the French army began their journey to the other side of the field. Since the first-division had not yet cleared the path it got crowded really fast.

The French retreated, deciding that they had no chance of victory. Many of the nobles gave up their lives. A few of the first-division survived, the second-division was running away and the third stood quietly on the other side of the battle-field.

Led by a living noble of the French army, some soldiers were extracted from the battlefield to attack the English camp. Henry, being alert of his surroundings, quickly sent some of his men to protect their camp.

During this time, the third-division also made a move. They tried to counter-attack the English with all they had. The raid on the camp was stopped and the third-division was also massacred. Soon, the third-division retreated, but the English still held many of their soldiers captive.

I wish I could say that the battle ended in peace, with the French running away and the hostages left alive. But this was not the case.

The French soldiers were killed. Their arms and feet were cut off, and those who resisted were stabbed in the eye.

This battle made Henry V one of the most popular English kings to have reigned. He and his army had won a heroic victory in the worst circumstances.

Sadly, his reign did not last. He died soon after, but not before expanding his kingdom. His efforts ensured that his son would be the heir to the French throne.

The English domination continued until 1429 when Jean d' Arc arrived at the siege of Orleans and signaled the return of the French, which resulted in the ultimate winner of the Hundred years war.


Kyk die video: Battles that Changed History: Agincourt (Oktober 2021).