Anyone with even the most fleeting interest in English history knows the account afforded to this heroic battle.
Nearly everyone has either sat through some dramatisation, seen one of the several cinema offerings or read Shakespeare’s Henry V.
You can’t help but notice that everything, (and I do mean everything) relates to Henry V’s valiance and influence!
His significance and so-called leadership are sacrosanct and incontestable! He’s epitomised with that philanthropic “Band of Brothers” rhetoric that has been lauded on Henry from the biggest propaganda artist ever to sully the English written word. Shakespeare!
Thus placing him, ‘Henry V’ on the highest podium as a great King, tactician and warrior. The saviour of the day, so benevolent to his men and magnificent in his heroism?
How he cemented his troops before the onslaught of the equally ignoble French Chevaliers.
The man was an absolute arsehole. He was an awful soldier, he couldn’t have organised a leg over in a knocking shop, a dreadful warrior and tactician. A complete and utter moron! He was in fact, a walking human cataclysm.
The eve of St Crispin’s day, 25th of October 1415 was not, as depicted, spent in silence and prayer by the expected lambs to slaughter, the English.
They were also not assailed by big nose Henry V’s rendition of that band of brothers rubbish. that’s a load of crap, Shakespeare’s propaganda almost reaches the realms of the Isitibhili that has been attributed to the defenders of Rorke’s Drift singing Men of Harlech whilst awaiting the final onslaught of the amazingly brave Zulu!
Zulu’s who were, parenthetically led by another arsehole who couldn’t and didn’t listen to King Cetshwayo.
Cetshwayo had issued commands that no impi should cross the Buffalo (Mzinyathi) river and also never attack a fortified position.
Nevertheless, his half-brother Prince Dabulamanzi kaMpande, ‘who had missed out at the slaughter at Isandlwana (here another arsehole named Chelmsford was in overall charge), obviously the Prince believed that the orders didn’t apply to him and disobeyed both commands!
Then we get the full treatment; of how this face-saving glorious affair of Rorke’s Drift ensued, under the gallant leadership of Lieutenants Chard & Bromhead. That’s also a load of Quechua wanu, as the real saviour in command-wise was an acting assistant Commissary named James Dalton.
If Chard & Bromhead had had their way the whole detachment would have been massacred on a 14-mile trek to Helpmekaar!
God knows where Brevet Major Henry Spalding was, as he was supposed to be in overall command?
Not surprisingly, as it is with the hierarchy; James Dalton was the last to receive his Victoria Cross. Probably because he wasn’t a commissioned officer? Dalton commanded; Clr Sgt Bourne who unequivocally merited a VC, but never received one, inspired the men & kept everything together!
But ultimately, here, as usual, the maligned great unwashed are massively overlooked. But no matter however you weigh it up, it was the heroic buckshee squaddie that won the day. “Because we’re here lad and there’s nobody else”!
Most, if not all of the history smacks of poetic licence, or to put it another way; bloody lies!
Prosecuted to make the so-called leaders look so all inspiring and to disregard and malign the true noble warrior.
Shakespeare’s rhetoric is all fabrication, as has incessantly happened throughout history to make the so-called superior upper classes (they who must be obeyed) look good and go down in history as magnificent leaders and tacticians. Oh, and also to save face!
You only have to apply the obvious or even that basic common sense commodity in assessing all the so-called great commanders of history and the manifestly undeniable emerges! Unfortunately, but ultimately refreshingly, if you do this, the mystique is shattered as the truths are gradually revealed.
You realise that all our previous beliefs are in actuality only machination acceptances without proof’.
Have a look at the exploits of Wellington, especially at Waterloo, his positioning of the troops is absolute verification that insanity was abounding.
The battle was won by the tenacity and courage of the Sam Small’s and Tommy Atkins’s they couldn’t write their names but would fight to the death for their Regiment, pals and Sovereign.
Unfortunately, their heroism unwittingly promoted unworthy esteem to their undeserving leeching superiors and leaves the true heroes completely ignored and always denigrated. So graphically depicted by such labelling as ‘Officers and men’ or ‘other ranks’ and the mutilation of true history. To the victors, the spoils of war, when the final analysis is revealed, endorses how history is portrayed. The trouble is we don’t recognise the real enemy, they believe they’ll always be here and they have lied and will continue to lie like cheap Japanese watches.
Heading back to St Crispin’s eve.
The real events of that evening and subsequently the following days battle have now to be truthfully told. The fraud has gone on long enough The hierarchy of this sceptre’d isle has revelled for far too long in their baseless glorification, obviously promoted by themselves and their arse licking adherents.
So here goes and of course, the powers that be are not going to be any too chuffed.
Just take into consideration, Henry’s magnificent forty day siege and the eventual capture of Harfleur. This was only the prelude, to an ill-conceived spoilt brats attempt at deification.
If truth be known it was an absolute cock-up.
But it was a definite winner to what he did next.
With his forces severely weakened over the 40 days siege, ‘Henry V’, instead of leaving a garrison to defend the fortified port and returning to England for reinforcements, ‘which any two brain cell imbecile would have fathomed out as the correct action’.
This dipstick decided instead to stupidly march halfway across the length of France and try to get to Calais, a long-held English stronghold and port!
An expected distance 0f, (following the contours) well in excess of a hundred and seventy miles over some of the worst terrain in the foulest weather and conditions. They should have been so lucky, especially with the distance!
Meanwhile having been taken by surprise by Harfleur, the French quickly realised just what Henry was up to and sent out a hue and cry for all those of noble birth to rally. to forget their petty endless squabbles and unite for what was supposed to be an easy days mayhem, slaughter, revenge and ransoming.
Oh, what a jolly wheeze was to be had by all the frogs!
The French harried and blocked the English advance to Calais at every turn, but never forcing the English to fight at all.
Their reasoning was entirely down to the commander of this still assembling army. A certain, Constable of France, Charles d’Albret, Comte de Dreux. He wanted as many of the so-called elite at the finale, so as to splendour in their great-and inevitable victory. The lowly born were not to attend!
Le chant de Le Chevalier, Le paysan barre! (Or something like that, who gives a stuff)
The English managed finally to cross the river Bethune when the local townspeople were slipped a backhander and left unmolested. Reminiscent of Paris 14 June 1940.
Unfortunately and much to English chagrin the River Somme was blocked near Abbeville so they were forced to turn endlessly inland, but finally crossed near Bethencourt, just another extra one hundred miles, Then it was onward to Calais. Near a little place called Agincourt after marching an extra seventy-seven miles.
By now the English army had been reduced by another third, due to illness and ambush. Dysentery abounded!
By this time, the French had managed to get their act together and were so cocksure of themselves due to their vastly superior numbers and the utter belief of their knights latest improved armour, which was supposedly impervious to the English archer’s arrows?
There have been many assessments as to the number of French Knights at the Battle, I would guesstimate 36,900 with more avidly arriving at every minute.
Well to cut a long story short the English archers really didn’t fancy getting sliced up by these aristocratic spoilt twats, they’d had enough of this chivalry shit and also with their own commander of the Archers who was obviously respected by all the hierarchy, but known to the archers, as the latest buffoon in a long line of buffoons.
Was a certain, Sir Thomas Erpingham, a celebrated pompous arse!
So the Archers got together and elected a spokesman who had been chosen to inform Henry V that they, ‘if given their head’ could and would extricate Henry big nose and themselves out of this situation by using an ancient Archers secret. That an archer of any note was in possession of. An alternative way of loosing the arrow. It had been kept concealed for hundreds of years. They were in fact members of the oldest secret society there has ever been. It was so secret you didn’t even realise you were part of it!
The Intermediary was not to divulge this veiled ability, especially to this undeserving maniac!
So, up to ole Henry trots the elected emissary and informs the King that the boys were a bit pissed at the idea of being tomorrows chop suey and they had elected him to impart the fact that nearly all of the remaining archers were rather disgruntled but conversant and extremely adept at an alternative way of loosing the arrow. The Archer’s secret. It was portrayed as the two fingers, which would mistakenly go down in history as the V sign. Historians would and still do, argue and randomise how the V sign arose and from whence it came.
As per usual they got and still get the whole issue completely wrong!
The V sign was only recognised as such because the vast majority of the Archers appeared to be proffering the two fingers after they had released or loosed their arrows. There is no secret to the two fingers. In fact, it has proved to be a distraction. It arose by accident and is detrimental to what you see and feel. It is glibly known today as the Archers Paradox.
The archers emissary probably explained to the King that ever since the Battle of Cadsand in 1337 and up to and including that Day, the archers had always been ordered to employ a certain delivery by their sanctioned commanders, This included the battles of Crecy, Najera and Poitiers and so far all other battles of this Hundred years war.
This same delivery was again being sanctioned by Erpingham on the morrow, but the bowmen knew, that to use it on the morrow against that many knights and in that terrain would lead to certain disaster!
All the archers positively knew that the accepted arched delivery was going to be futile in tomorrow’s battle and that they wanted their head to loose the arrows as they knew they could.
The Archer’s emissary informed the King that they were fortunate because, although there were only about 6,000 archers at least 5’000 were very experienced and entirely familiar with this secret delivery.
He also explained that although these alternative delivery archers were highly accustomed to this different loosing of the arrow, very few if any understood how it worked; but they could do it.
It appeared to come with practice.
The only apparent constant similarity to most of their many descriptives was this forming of the letter V with two fingers at the termination of the release. But what they all commented on by all was that the arrow’s trajectory which would be flatter and achieve a far higher velocity that could and would easily penetrate the French armour. they also knew that the shape of the French Bascinets was detrimental to any Knights survival, in fact, they were an aid to the Archer.
He assured the King that the outcome of the battle would be far different than what was expected if the archers were given a free hand.
He was correct.
He also had two other stipulations, one being that there was never to be mention of this differing delivery technique and finally there were to be no prisoners taken, as there wasn’t the manpower to guard them. The English and Welsh archers knew that the French were not to be trusted as they’ve proved time and time again in the past, probably the future will be no different. It was also proven at this battle! Chivalry my arris.
Apparently, Henry, soon after leaving Harfleur (according to historical chronicles) had ordered the Archers to cut stakes and sharpen them at both ends. Don’t be so absurd, Archers had always done it. Although it was apparently only first chronicled from the battle of Necropolis in 1396. They are not going to carry sharpened wooden stakes all over France!
What however is interesting about the stakes involved a bit of psychology and baiting, which was brought on by the reluctance of the French Chevalier to do battle. Due to the archers already fearsome reputation. The Archers, who had now by then already cut and set their stakes in the ground and waited and waited and waited. Finally, they ambled forward about a hundred yards and unleashed a few salvos of ineffective designed Parabola arrows at the French. They then retired back to their ochey behind the stakes and awaited the onslaught. The French after receiving the impotent shower of Parabola loosed arrows quite naturally thought “is that it; is this all the great English archer has “Let’s go for it mon camarade
There is also a respected account that the French didn’t use their crossbowmen, I consider this rubbish as these Genoese mercenaries were first to receive what the French Knights were going to receive next, there is also another account that the French knights ran over and trampled what was left of these decimated retreating crossbowmen calling them cowards. This is much more feasible.
On that day, the pride of the French aristocracy charged certain of victory, latecomers didn’t even bother to don their armour; such was the arrogance, but instead of meeting a shower of arrows from the heavens, death dealt with them linearly from in front and straight into their visor, you might say they ran the gauntlet but didn’t Gage it too well.
It was an absolute slaughter, the English archers very quickly dealt with the French archers and mercenary Genoese crossbowmen, aided by the onrushing French Knights.
Then they set about the oncoming French aristocracy.
Those that were not killed outright by the withering salvos of arrows of the were either trampled by the onrushing reserves, crushed by the weight of men and horses, drowning in the churned up mud. Any survivors were dealt with by the archers and men at arms, with mace, maul, spike and dagger.
They never stood a chance in hell.
The English Archers were also correct about the prisoners, some Lords had stupidly and greedily taken some knights for ransom, but as per normal they broke their word and turned on their guards who were basically squires, women and children. Contemporaries are correct about the barbarity that ensued, but only after the unchivalrous horse eaters had broken their so-called vow. The English did slaughter these, and henceforth every fallen Knight they could get their hands on. As for Henry V, he was sent to the back and told to sit down, observe and keep quiet!
The day chivalry died, or, all that was held as chivalry was dispatched on a muddy bloody field at Azincourt on St Crispin’s day 25th of October 1415. Literally, chivalry was dragged into the mud by the conduct of the French nobility, not to what the English and Welsh did to them in reprisal. Nothing changes. The Archers had a job to do, so they knuckled down and did it. Don’t blame the English or Welsh for what ensued on the day chivalry died!
Gone in a trice was the flower of France and good riddance.
But so gradually were the Archers of Agincourt for what they perpetrated on that glorious day, hunted down and slain by order of Henry V. He didn’t want the truth to get out and anyway his authority had been usurped. He had nothing to do with Agincourt.
He was just a spoilt little brat.
Then began the lies.
It’s called history.
To the victor the spoils.
Know your enemy!
Below is a footnote to study.
The Siege of Fort William Henry. August 3-9, 1757.
Another promise of the French!
The V Sign.
All because of this almost forgotten appositeness!
But I know what it is.
It’s applicable to all sports and all champions use it.
But as with the Archer.
They know not what they do!
When you have eliminated the impossible.
No matter how improbable.
Must be the truth.
It’s also quite interesting that at the age of 16, the then to be Henry V suffered an arrow penetrating his skull just below the eye and survived after groundbreaking surgery. Earlier another English king also suffered arrow penetrating of his skull also just below the eye but didn’t survive. A certain Harold Godwinson!
Henry was hit by an arrow from a bow.
Harold was hit by a sling thrown arrow or dart.
History goes down the drain!