Today in History, October 25: 1415 –
600 years ago, The Battle of Agincourt. During the Hundred Years War, English King Henry V had invaded France. On this date, Saint Crispin’s Day, his army was exhausted after a 250 mile march, sick and vastly outnumbered by a well rested French Army which included many noblemen (Knights).
Henry decided that waiting would only make things worse, and began the battle. He protected his Archer’s, armed with Longbows, and they once again proved their worth, cutting down the French knights and the majority of the French Army. At the end of the day, there were 6,000 French casualties to 400 English.
Shakespeare’s play included a rousing speech by Henry V, now famous of course, for “And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered- We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!” Among so many that can, in the time since, share in the Brotherhood of St. Crispin’s Day, are the Cavalry of the “Charge of the Light Brigade” during the Crimean War (1854) and the Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Soldiers who fought in the largest Naval Battle in History at Leyte Gulf (1944).