The Battle of Agincourt

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Two months earlier, Henry and 11,000 men had laid siege to Harfleur in Normandy and even though the town surrendered after five weeks, half the English army were lost to disease or killed in battle.  He headed towards Calais to meat up with his fleet and head home, however when they reached Agincourt a French army consisting of 20,000 men were there to meet them.

The battle started at 11 am and took place on a relatively narrow piece of open ground which prevented large scale manoeuvres, which worked to the advantage of the heavily out numbered English.  As the French knights advanced across the field, they were met with volleys from the English archers, whose longbows had a range of 250 yards.

More and more French joined the battle, and found their mobility decreased as a result of a lack of room to manoeuvre, many were so squashed in they could not even raise their arms.   At this point, Henry got his men to charge and the unencumbered English massacred the hapless French.  Just over 400 of Henry’s men lost their lives at Agincourt, while the French loses totalled in the region of 6,000.  The victory at Agincourt is seen by many historians as one of the greatest victories in military history.

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Henry continued to win battles in France and in 1420, was recognised as the heir to the French throne and the regent of France.  However before he could achieve the goal of the One Hundred Years War and unify France and England under one monarch, he died in 1422 of camp fever near Paris.

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