Hundred Years War

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1415 Oct 25

Battle of Agincourt

Azincourt, France

After taking Harfleur, Henry V marched to the north, the French moved to block them along the River Somme. They were successful for a time, forcing Henry to move south, away from Calais, to find a ford. The English finally crossed the Somme south of Péronne, at Béthencourt and Voyennes and resumed marching north. By 24 October, both armies faced each other for battle, but the French declined, hoping for the arrival of more troops. The two armies spent the night of 24 October on open ground. The next day the French initiated negotiations as a delaying tactic, but Henry ordered his army to advance and to start a battle that, given the state of his army, he would have preferred to avoid, or to fight defensively. King Henry V of England led his troops into battle and participated in hand-to-hand fighting. King Charles VI of France did not command the French army as he suffered from psychotic illnesses and associated mental incapacity. The French were commanded by Constable Charles d'Albret and various prominent French noblemen of the Armagnac party. Although the victory had been militarily decisive, its impact was complex. It did not lead to further English conquests immediately as Henry's priority was to return to England, which he did on 16 November, to be received in triumph in London on the 23rd. Very quickly after the battle, the fragile truce between the Armagnac and Burgundian factions broke down.

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