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Agincourt, October 1415

After Henry V accession to the throne of England in 1413 he began to press his claim to the French throne. After negotiations failed between England and France , Henry prepared for war.
In 1415, Henry landed in France and laid siege to the town of Harfleur .
This siege lasted longer than Henry had planned and it also took its toll on his men, many dying of disease and the remnants were suffering from dysentery and fever.
Henry decided to march from Harfleur to Calais , ignoring his advisers and the fact that a large powerful French army had gathered to finish Henry off. Henry's army marched out towards Calais , being shadowed by the French.
On 24th October 1415 , the English and Welsh army was about 30 miles away from Calais , near the village of Agincourt , found their way blocked by a massive French army. Henry's army was probably around 5,000 knights, men-at-arms and archers. The French army numbered at least 30,000 or even more.
The battlefield was in a narrow valley with ploughed fields which, because of heavy rain, had become very boggy and unsuitable for heavy cavalry. However the French were confident of victory.
The French lined up but did not charge so Henry ordered his men to advance toward the French and once in range of the French he ordered them to halt. The archers set their staves in the ground creating an impregnable pointed hedge.
The French knights charged and Henry's archers opened fire. Because of the narrow valley and also the thick mud the French knights soon began to flounder, horses panicked and men were trampled. It was a disaster for the French, many knights were dismounted and the English and Welsh archers downed their bows and moved in for hand to hand combat.
The battle was won by midday with the French sustaining at least 8,000 dead including many noblemen, Henry's losses are thought to be in the hundreds.
| King Henry returned to England for the celebrations to mark the victory at Agincourt . The French King Charles descended into insanity on hearing the terrible news of the defeat and France's losses at Agincourt.



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