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100 YEARS WAR-THE BATTLE OF AGINCORT

Author: Mark Pernia
World War Stories -During the Medeaval Age, the known world and civilization in western view was merely in Europe. It was also during this time that the type of government they created was absolute monarchy, which meant that King ruled the entire kingdom and the nobles, who were part of the Kings council, were given portions of land that they’ll oversee and administer.

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 These kingdoms kept an army composed of ordinary infantrymen or unmounted knights, archers and different medieval artillery weapons, and lastly, the cavalry of mounted knights. Undeniably, during this time, quarrels and war between kingdoms were not a rare or unheard of occurrence. Their reasons may range from an action interpreted as an insult to their honor to a desire for territorial gain. The later reason is otherwise known as imperialism, which can also be linked to their constant battle for supremacy and prestige. Furthermore, this act own land grabbing is really based on the idea that having more land leads to more resources at their disposal and thereby gaining more power.
As such, European monarchial kingdoms inevitably be pitted against each other. Amongst all the kingdoms in Europe, there are only two countries who are said to be historically seen as “mortal enemies” and they are namely England which was (ruled by Henry V) and France (ruled by Charles d'Albret). They were recognized as such because of their hostilities against each other, whether intended or unintended. Such animosity between them can be seen in the battles both nations engaged in the annals of history. In fact, according to Mr. George Marasigan of DLSU in one of his discussions in the subject INTSTUDI, that such relationship between the two nations lingers even up to this day, there is still a certain subtle level of distrust and rivalry between them. One of the most notable battle during the 15th-century between England and France was the Battle of Agincourt that occurred on October 25, 1415 at Agincourt, northern France.

 This battle came about when King Henry V of England invaded France following the failure of negotiations with the French regarding his claimed the title of King of France by virtue of his royal lineage through his great-grandfather Edward III.  In heeding the advice of the nobles, King Henry agreed to use diplomacy and negotiations. The negotiations King Henry said that he would give up his claim to the French throne if: 1) the French would pay the 1.6 million crowns outstanding from the ransom of John II who was captured at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356 and 2) concede English ownership of the lands of Normandy, Touraine, Anjou, Brittany and Flanders, as well as Aquitaine and lastly, that he would marry Princess Catherine, the young daughter of Charles VI, and receive a dowry of 2 million crowns. The French responded with what they considered the generous terms of marriage with Princess Catherine, a dowry of 600,000 crowns, and an enlarged Aquitaine. This was then viewed by the English as an insult to England itself. On 19 April 1415, Henry again asked the great council to sanction war with France, and this time they agreed. Eventually, after King Henry arrived and started attacking some areas in France, this eventually led to the battle itself in Agincort. This battle was is quite famous and historically notable because of the decisive English victory over the French army despite beings numerically out numbered in both infantry and knights. In fact according to the numerical fact stated by the internet site Wikepedia, their data of the strength of both rival armies are the following: the English only had 6,000 to 9,000 men and about 56 longbow archers, 16 dismounted knights and men-at-arms in heavy armour, while the French had 36,000 (outnumbering the English 6–1) to 12,000 (outnumbering the English 4-3). And about 10,000 knights and men-at-arms (of which about 1,200 were mounted), unknown thousands of other infantry, crossbowmen and archers. It can be said that the win was due to superb battle tactics and placement of troops and the right placement in the battlefield and most important factor in their victory were the Longbow men. The reason being is because the usual bow used by most medieval armies at the time were either crossbows or a short bow, but in comparison to the English Longbow, they are truly outclassed in a lot of areas. These advantages are the following: 1) the type of wood used to make a long bow is not ordinary timber but a certain type of wood that is durable and can be bent a lot farther and, 2) that in turn gives the long bow more power, and range which is a lot less when it comes to the short bow and crossbow, 3) unlike the crossbow its rearming time is half of what it takes to rearm a crossbow and strike. The casualties of the French were grave reaching 7,000–10,000 (mostly killed) and about 1,500 noble prisoners due to their overconfidence and lack of real battle tactics. This also gave way to the fame and fear of the English long bow men because it was because of them and the advantage in positioning in the terrain of the battlefield the Knights of the French army was decimated even before they reached the position held by the Englishmen. Those Knights that weren’t killed in their cavalry charge either retreated or were captured. Henry V’s victory started a new period in the war, during which Henry married the French king's daughter and his son, Henry VI, was made heir to the throne of France. This was clearly a case that it’s not always having superior numbers that solely dictates the battle, but just as equally as important is having a superior weapon and positioning in the battlefield as part of your battle tactics.

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