El Reg revisits Battle of Agincourt on 600th anniversary
What really went down on 25 October 1415? We have the answer
Today is St Crispin's Day, and the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt.
On 25 October 1415, the scant forces of Henry V administered a righteous shoeing to a numerically superior French army, in the process securing immortality in the annals of British military legend.
Disagreeably, some historians have attempted to suggest that Henry's troops were not actually outnumbered four to one by the French. Back in 2009, we reported on "painstaking research of military and tax records" which allegedly proved Henry boasted "at least 8,700 troops" who faced no more than 12,000 Frenchmen.
This outrage prompted our own probe which came to a very different conclusion. We reprint the results here today without further comment:
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 diabolique - nous ont asswhuppé. Merde." ®
*Here you go: