The Battle of Agincourt

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Today in history —> The Battle of Agincourt

It was on this day, 25th October in 1415 when one of the most significant battles of the Hundred Years War took place, the Battle of the Agincourt.  The English had renewed their war effort in 1415 following several decades of relative peace and had marched 260 miles in two and a half weeks only to face a considerably larger French army.  

The English were unable to withdraw to Calais as the French blocked their path, so instead they fought and even their King, Henry V, participated in hand-to-hand fighting.  The English numbered around 8,000 knights, but around 80% were archers armed with English longbows.  The French outnumbered the English considerably, but they were weighed down by heavy armour and their cavalry were slowed down by the heavy clay soil on the battlefield that day.

The English army won the battle, largely due to the military superiority of the longbow.  It is estimated that around 6,000- 8,000 French soldiers were killed, and only around six-hundred English soldiers died.  The Battle of Agincourt is one England’s greatest military victories.

Norman Conquest: Battle of Hastings

On this day in 1066 the Norman conquest of England begins with the Battle of Hastings.

Here’s the Battle of Hastings as depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry, supposedly embroidered only a few years after the battle. This bit is supposed to depict the death of Harold II, the last Anglo-Saxon King of England. He was supposedly done in by an arrow in the eye, and the Latin above him says, “Harold the King has been killed”.

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