Agincourt redux

The Battle of Agincourt took place on St. Crispin’s Day, October 25, 1415, and the details of the victory of the English over the French has been debated since that time. In a recent article for the New York Times, James Glanz looks at the controversy which continues to this day.

Glanz writes:

No one can ever take away the shocking victory by Henry and his “band of brothers,” as Shakespeare would famously call them, on St. Crispin’s Day, Oct. 25, 1415. They devastated a force of heavily armored French nobles who had gotten bogged down in the region’s sucking mud, riddled by thousands of arrows from English longbowmen and outmaneuvered by common soldiers with much lighter gear. It would become known as the Battle of Agincourt.

But Agincourt’s status as perhaps the greatest victory against overwhelming odds in military history — and a keystone of the English self-image — has been called into doubt by a group of historians in Britain and France who have painstakingly combed an array of military and tax records from that time and now take a skeptical view of the figures handed down by medieval chroniclers.