The Battle of Azincourt – Part 3
After days of raining, the field between the two armies was deep bog with a thicket an both sides. The two armies stood there, around 900 metres or 2500 feet of free space between them, but after 3 to 4 hours, Henry had to make a move. He advanced until he closed the distance to about 200 to 300 metres or 650 to 980 feet. This was a very critical time, because to move forward, the archers had to lift their stakes and that made then vulnerable to cavalry. I think, if the french had attacked at this moment, when they were on the move, they might have won the battle. But there was no charge and the reason why is disputed by contemporary sources, but they all agreed that the french cavalry was not in position. This may have had several reasons, for example the chronicler Gilles le Bouvier said, that nobody expected English movement, so the riders would bait their horses. Another reason may have been that the warhorses could simply not stand still side by side because they all were aggressive stallions.
Therefore, the english could move closer and had time to fortify their position again. After that the archers shot their first volley, although it didn’t pierce the armour of the men-at-arms, it wounded some of the horses and caused them to charge. The failure of this charge was inevitable. Only half of the designated cavalry was in position, in the muddy field they could not even reach their full speed, they were under fire from the archers and they ran into the stakes. They panicked and turned just to crash into their own infantry, which was advancing on the english army. Many of their own men-at-arms fell on the ground, were trampled by their following comrades and suffocated in the mud. The soldiers were pushed into the english lines, without enough space to neither attack nor defend themselves. And all this under the constant fire from the archers.
I’m really sorry, that I wasn’t able to write this in one post, but I have to lock out for the maximum of signs. I hope you liked it nevertheless and feel free to write a comment.
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