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UK_Widowmaker

Happy Crispin Day

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That was an inspiring speech I must admit. I didn't know much about the battle they were about to fight but then I looked it up and this is what I found. Thanks for posting Widow.

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Ah yes, 'We few, we happy few, we band of brothers'. The Bard knew how to write a good speech or two. I hope they still teach this stuff in schools, some of them anyway, if they can find time in between lessons on parenting, how not to offend anyone etc etc.

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Ah yes, 'We few, we happy few, we band of brothers'. The Bard knew how to write a good speech or two. I hope they still teach this stuff in schools, some of them anyway, if they can find time in between lessons on parenting, how not to offend anyone etc etc.

 

Agincourt is one of the battles dissected by John Keegan in 'The Face of Battle', quite an interesting read if you haven't already.

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They certainly do Lima..(at least in my Son's school)...and like most Schoolboys...he utterly hates it! :grin:

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Great Speech.... as to the French as an Englishman it is my duty to annoy them, I do believe that its written somewhere... :rofl::drinks:

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Well, it's good to see that the dear old BBC isn't letting itself get carried away by any of this patriotism business:

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk...gazine-15428024

 

They seem to have forgotten or left out a couple of other corrective pieces, like the one about Genghis Khan's conquests actually being a a sight-seeing trip that just got mis-reported, but I'm glad to see they didn't forget to point out that it was actually Stalin that saved Western Civilisation and not really anything the UK did. Worth every penny of the licence fee, they are, God bless their little cotton socks.

 

Edited by 33LIMA

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Well, it's good to see that the dear old BBC isn't letting itself get carried away by any of this patriotism business:

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk...gazine-15428024

 

They seem to have forgotten or left out a couple of other corrective pieces, like the one about Genghis Khan's conquests actually being a a sight-seeing trip that just got mis-reported, but I'm glad to see they didn't forget to point out that it was actually Stalin that saved Western Civilisation and not really anything the UK did. Worth every penny of the licence fee, they are, God bless their little cotton socks.

 

 

They're so Liberalised in the BBC...makes you wanna puke!...they are PC personified!

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A while back, there was a most excellent History Channel program on the Battle of Agincourt. Two guys set themselves the problem of determining whether or not the English longbow was as deadly to knighthood as was claimed. They went out to the field of Agincourt, and discovered that it is very, very much the same as when the battle took place. With metal detectors they looked for arrow heads and found two badly rusted and corroded "bodkin points": the typical military issue point common at the time. The bodkin point was four-sided (a long, skinny pyramidal shape) that necked down and had a cup-like socket that took the shaft of the arrow. (Russell Crowe's 'Robin Hood' has a brief shot of armorers with a crimping tool making fresh arrows for the fight) After a spectrographic analysis of the steel (a relatively soft steel at that) they proceeded to make some repilcas. I won't detail the makings of a yew longbow, but they did and shot several arrows to determine how many foot pounds of energy arrived on target. With that known, they did a 'drop-test' with the arrow head and tested it against a typical piece of steel that would have been used in French armor. The arrow point bent over every time because the arrow points were soft steel to facilitate mass production (government contract, and not intended to be retrieved and reused) and armor was finest quality purchased by wealthy individuals There was not a hope in hell of penetrating good quality plate armor and taking a knight off his horse. Suddenly, the legend of English archers sweeping the field of French knights goes out the window. So, how did the English win, and more to the point, how did the French lose so badly?

 

Henry positioned his army with their backs to a wooded area that acted as a funnel; Henry and his knights at the center with archers and men-at-arms on both wings protected by sharpened stakes driven into the ground just as Shakespeare had it. Our investigators looked up contemporary French accounts of the battle of which there were many (by medieval standards) A few very interesting facts came to light. First, the vast majority of French knights fought on foot as dismounted infantry. (Probably because the English were also on foot) In front of the French was a large company of Venetian mercenary cross-bow men. These were steel, crank-it-to-cock-it bows and lethal to armored knights. The cavalry went in first and accomplished little against the defensive stakes. After one charge, they retired behind the main formation. Now the French knights decided to wait no longer. They had been standing around all morning in their armor. It had rained, and while the sun was now out, it was probably very humid. They'd had enough. They shouldered the Venetian bow men aside before they'd unloosed the first volley. (bad mistake) and hurled themselves at Henry. Not at Henry's army as a whole, but at the exact center of the line where Henry and his household knights stood.

 

At this point, the investigators give us a small digression: the reasons for going to war in medieval times were (apart from vassal obligations) (1) Money and (2) Reputation. If you unhorsed a knight on the field, or otherwise defeated him, your squires escorted\dragged him back to your tent and after the battle you exchanged pleasantries, fed him dinner and released him to go home and raise his own ransom, while you kept his armor. So there was money in fighting. (and plunder) Secondly, the knighthood class in Europe at that time wasn't all that big. Everybody knew everybody else (or close to it) and certainly knew who the heavy hitters were. Everyone wanted to climb that "right stuff" pyramid.

 

As a result, the whole of French knighthood was fixated on Henry and his knights, each man hoping to do some great feat of arms. The ground was muddy and the mud had a very high clay content. It was the sort of mud where you sink to mid-calf and then the mud sucks your shoe off. In no time at all, they were packed shoulder to shoulder, each trying to jostle his way to the front. Soon people were falling down, and once down, it was impossible to get up. Others walked right over the fallen. Knights had their heads pressed down into the gooey mud and drowned in their helmets. Then the real fun started.

 

Both wings of Henry's army closed in on the French. Each man carried one of two things (sometimes both). First was a long handled lead sledgehammer for driving tent pegs, and, of course, those big sharpened stakes. The second was a knife about 18" long used for everything from cutting up fire wood to cutting meat on the plate...and sharpening those big stakes. Archers, yeomen and men-at-arms fell on the French who were ignoring them. (second big mistake) Men with hammers shattered bone and collapsed skulls. Men with knives probbed armor for chinks and slaughtered people on the ground. These commoners did not have the option of taking knights prisoner and collecting ransom. (they'd probably be hung if they tried) So they killed everyone, and in one afternoon decimated the flower of French knighthood.

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The Genoise Crossbowmen apparently suffered a worse fate than you mentioned...they were cut down by their own French Allies, in their bloodlust to get at the English

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John Keegan's account of Agincourt is pretty good too, including Henry's controversial 'kill the prisoners' order, prompted by a French raid on the baggage train after the main engagement and signs that the French line (what remained of it) was about to attack again. Apparently Henry's knights refused (chivalry or reluctance to lose the ramson?) so the archers got the job but hadn't finished it when the order was cancelled. The next morning the victors advancced over the battlefield and killed any French wounded who had survived thru the night, which was probably customary, if not an act of mercy in those days.

Edited by 33LIMA

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The Genoise Crossbowmen apparently suffered a worse fate than you mentioned...they were cut down by their own French Allies, in their bloodlust to get at the English

Now that's cold!

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Hi guys,

 

the longbow was a fearsome weapon that could indeed penetrate armor.

 

I found: Longbow: A Social and Military History, by Robert Hardy a most enlightening read.

 

Penetrative power apart, I think rate of fire was key. A trained archer could shoot 10 aimed arrows per minute.

There were approx 5000 archers in the English army (total 6000) at Agincourt, so there could be be up to 50000 arrows per minute falling on the French.

With such devastating firepower combined with battlefield topography and weather, the French never really stood a chance and most were shot to pieces before they even came to the hand to hand stuff.

 

Quite similar, in some respects, to what transpired in roughly the same area of northern France 500 years later.

 

My edition of "Longbow" is by Sutton Publishing.

 

And +1 for "The Face of Battle" mentioned above.

 

Cheers

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:drinks: One more time Dear Friends into the OFF Breach . :grin: Luv the Writings of the Bard . In my old neighborhood, we had Bard in the Park during Summer. I remember many enjoyable times Laying on the Grass and enjoying a Picnic Basket, A little Wine, and watching the Plays of a true Master . :clapping:

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Agincourt was an expensive lesson, bleeding for long the French and Burgundian nobilities. But it was a well-learnt lesson, as proved in the three decisive battles that closed the Hundred Years War, on a French strategic victory that confined the English language to one side of the Channel (safe for summer holidays). In 1453, safe for Calais, all of the possesions England had on the continent at the time of Edward III (Normandy, Aquitaine...) had been lost once and for all to the Valois kings, who 25 years before were confined to a small area along the Loire.

 

At Patay (1429), the French mounted knights could surprise Fastolf's army before it could build field fortifications, and slaughtered the bowmen in the open ground (100 casualties to 2500). At Formigny (1450) and Castillon (1453), the French knights fought dismounted on a dry ground against Kyriell's and Talbot's armies, bypassing the wooden pickets and fighting the bowmen hand to hand. The newborn French artillery also played a role, marginal at Formigny but decisive at Castillon, the first decisive intervention of artillery in European History (100 casualties to 4000, a reversed Agincourt). If France suffered from backwardness in technology and tactics between Cressy and Agincourt, she had gained by large the upper hand at the time of Castillon. Year 1453 marks the end of the Middle Ages, not only for the Fall of Constantinople, but also for the end of the Hundred Years War and the entry into the Age of Powder.

 

None of these battles are known as well in France as Cressy, Poitiers and Agincourt are in England, as no king participated there. But they proved to be more decisive in the long term in drawing the present map of Western Europe.

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Credit where it's due to the analyists doing the testing, but when the population is required by law to practice archery, you cannot dispute that archers made a valuable contribution to the fight whatever their capacity to penetrate armour. Even if a knight was largely protected, his nerves weren't, his horse wasn't (much), and neither was the lowly serf handing him his lance. Since 1252, Englishmen between 15 and 60 was required by law to maintain a bow and arrow. Even 100 years after Agincourt, all Englishmen under 40 were still required by law to practice archery every Sunday. They wouldn't have been doing that unless archers were still considered a powerful and effective component in any army.

 

I don't think the specialism of the longbow was any spectacular mythical performance in terms of being a "knight killer", but archery was one of the biggest reasons why knights in armour were in that armour in the first place. A longbow was a stronger shot, adding ultimate range to the shot, and adding more power to the arrow yard for yard compared to a conventional arrow. The shot would also be more accurate over a longer distance too. The devastation from a shower of arrows would be much the same as that caused by conventional arrows, but I expect the range at which it happened was the killer punch.

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I was a member of an Archery club for some time.

We used standard Target Bows...but one of the guys had a Longbow....after seeing him use that..I sure as hell wouldnt want Arrows raining down on me..whether I had Armour on or not

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You won't catch me in York. :grin:

 

Damn!...I've been waiting for you My 'Northernmost' friend! :lol:

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Damn!...I've been waiting for you My 'Northernmost' friend! :lol:

 

 

Correction, you won't catch me within 400 yards of York. :cool:

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Correction, you won't catch me within 400 yards of York. :cool:

 

York is a lovely City though

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Yes it is. I nearly worked there after training. There was a stonecarver firm, Dick Reid's I think it was called, that offered me a job. I was still green, it was a superb opportunity, but I just couldn't afford to live on the wage they offered. If I'd had the choice, I'd say I'd taken the wrong choice not to take the job, but the money side of things just wasn't workable. I couldn't even have stuck it for a year, it just didn't add up. I believe Dick Rieds was one, if not the best stone carving firms, and I'd have learned such a lot working there.

 

I believe when the London Opera house was refurbished with the first UK lottery money, Dick Rieds carved the huge coat of arms in Portland Stone. I was miles away, shovelling lime into buckets instead.... but paying the rent.

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