A Stirring Battle, A Great listen

If you are looking for a great audio book listen, may I recommend “Agincourt” by Bernard Cornwell.

In the annals of impossible victories against all odds, the British victory of 6,000 men against perhaps 30,000 French at Agincourt ranks high, and although this is a highly personal novel it is historically accurate when measured against BBC and other available YouTube videos.

Not only were the British vastly outnumbered, they were also starving, and suffering from deadly dysentery. All the British wanted was to get to Calais, 30 miles away, for food and to sail home.

But the British Forces were almost all Longbowman, and although short of arrows — they had not expected to be intercepted while trying to leave France, their shortage of arrows did not stop them from creating a sky black with arrows for a short time.

As the first line of the French advanced, they were met by 60,000 arrows a minute, from what were the finest bowmen in Britain, and by law, all sports except archery had been, banned in Britain for decades. These Archers were the professional athletes of Britain, the local tournament champions, able to send from 12 to 20 arrows a minute each, and as far as 300 yards!

This novel accurately depicts the horrors of war in graphic detail, but at least in those days as in this battle, the King of England, Henry V, stood at the front of his men and personally took the blows from the enemy. (His helmet was dented, and his tunic slashed!)

It was not just in this battle. Kings were expected to lead, not just send the youth of the country to war. In this battle, alone, the French lost 98 members of their nobility, and 1,500 Knights, plus is thousands of infantry. (The British lost only 100 or so, total, and only one Archer!)

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