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Agincourt: The sensational truth

El Reg calculates the true strength of Henry's forces

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The news last week that a group of historians had calculated that Henry V's forces at Agincourt weren't actually outnumbered four to one by the French caused a certain amount of dismay here at Vulture Central.

Well, we weren't going to take this highly suspect piece of revisionism lying down, and immediately set about re-evaluating the facts.

An exhaustive trawl of contemporary records and eyewitness accounts of the battle have now enabled us, with the aid of modern technology, to offer today what is without doubt the most accurate representation of the opposing forces on 25 October 1415 (click on pic for a bigger version):

The Battle of Agincourt as recreated by our revisionist history department

What we have here are around 374,000 heavily-armed French knights bearing down on Henry's modest Band of Brothers: two messengers, two longbowmen and a dog called Rupert.

Henry is delivering a rousing "happy few" speech in the style of Kenneth Branagh*, which is not actually going down too well with the lads since they're on their tea break.

The messengers have just hotfooted it to belatedly tell the king: "The sentries report Frenchies to the south west. Thousands of them."

The late arrival of the news is of little concern, because the French are already bogged down in heavy mud - a sorry state of affairs prompted by their heavy armour and insistence on riding in battle after a gut-busting breakfast of stuffed songbirds washed down with calvados.

The rest is history. Those of you inclined to doubt our version of events are referred to the blog of the Duke of Orleans, who survived the battle, albeit with severe testicular damage sustained at the jaws of Rupert.

He wrote on 26 October: "Les anglais - une force formidable du roi Henri, avec quatre hommes et un petit chien diablolique - nous ont asswhuppé. Merde." ®

Bootnote

*Without the horse, you'll note, due to royal defence department budget cuts. Plus ça change...

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