Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle That Made England

Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle That Made England

by Juliet Barker
4.1 20

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Agincourt 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While the tactics and number of combatants are still debated, what is assured is the battle's place in history. The author does a good job of describing the personalities and politics and aftermath that Shakespeare made famous.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Great breakdown of the events and background leading up to the invasion of France and the subsequent details that you would not get it this detail.
LPMCL-44 More than 1 year ago
Juliet Barker has written a well researched history of an amazingly complex time. Reads like a novel and full of fascinating facts.
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EugeneTX More than 1 year ago
This is truly an excellent, magnificent telling of a memorable battle between the French and English. I do not understand the so-called debate about tactics when it is clear that there were none. Apparently, it was a simple frontal attack en masse with the troops arranged in ranks and files. Apparently, all the significant "leaders" wanted to be in the first rank which they called "the Vanguard" which normally refers to the lead maneuver element of a body of troops as it moves to contact. This was no "movement to contact" because they were already in contact. Where were the "leaders" when the close in fighting began? It seems likely that they were in the file following the leader. If not, they were completely separated from him which makes this a leaderless mob instead of a fighting maneuver element. There is no mention of any flanking effort or encirclement. The treeline itself which formed the battlefield by dictating where one could move constricted the battlefield into a narrow, elongated shape much like a bowling alley. I fully accept the numbers given by the author because it is obvious the French thought this was going to be easy and they would simply walk over the opposition. They were supremely over confident to the point of arrogance and their leaders demonstrated their disdain when they lined up to be a part of the spoils gathering after the battle. Instead of swooping on their prey like eagles on the kill, they lazily floated in like buzzards for a meal. Unfortunately for them, they discovered a desperate force organized into a defensive structure who had already determined they would probably die but they would exact the heaviest penalty they could on the attacker for each of their lives. Their desperation is proven by the method of killing the fallen knights (dagger through the visor) and the killing of the prisoners as the battle was winding down. This was seen as a strict "kill or be killed" situation and there was no time to discuss or debate the dainties or niceties of war. I would also suggest that they had been suffering from Amoebic Dysentary picked up from eating raw and polluted shellfish because of their area of operation in the coastal flats at the mouth of the Seine and Somme. One only has to look back to the headwaters to see where they were coming from and everything that could have been thrown into the river or existing drainage. This was a developing country. The author's research seems fantastic and she has even walked the battlefield. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it to others. It is very enlightening and very provocative when one considers what the outcome could have been if better decisions had been made. It is extremely touching when one considers the personal principles and morals that have to be suspended which lead to one soldier killing another in a moment of the other's helplessness. When you do something because you honestly believed you had to do it for your own survival. War is hell and this is part of the reason why.