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The Battle of Agincourt on 25 October 1415

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Battle of Agincourt

The Battle of Agincourt in Northern France

The Battle of Agincourt was fought between the English and the French near the little village called Agincourt in the north of France. It was fought on 25 October 1415 and was won by the English army under King Henry V even though they were outnumbered 4 to 1. The battle was the result of long standing arguments between the English and the French over lands in France. It was King Henry's intention to claim the throne of France afterwards.

Before the battle, the English army had captured a French town called Harfleur but had then run short of food and many of the soldiers became ill. It was decided to return to England via Calais which also belonged to the English. On the way to Calais they suddenly found a large French army standing in their way, in a narrow space with woodlands on either side. It was the eve of Saint Crispin's day and was raining heavily.

In the morning the English army formed three groups and placed their men-at-arms in the centre and their archers on both sides. The English advanced first then the French moved forward with their heavily armed soldiers who soon became tightly packed in the narrow space between the woods. When the battle started the French horsemen were quickly stopped by a shower of arrows by the English so retreated, riding back through the crowded ranks of their own men. The French then repeatedly attacked again but the English stood firm. Finally, the French army, after seeing so many of their comrades slain, broke and fled the battle. The Battle of Agincourt cost the French nearly 10,000 dead, including many great nobles, while the English lost only 500 men.

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