David Zabecki’s “Hallowed Ground: Agincourt, France”

The author, David Zabecki, details an English victory at Agincourt during the Hundred Years’ War when King Henry V defeated the French troops despite fewer men. According to how Zabecki described the French troops to be in a “party mood,” and how the French intended to hold the English noblemen for rather high ransoms, it is obvious that the French believed that they were going to win. Although they did claim victory at the end of the war, they suffered a humiliating defeat at the Battle of Agincourt.

One of the main points that Zabecki attempts to get across to the reader would be how effective the English longbow was. Henry V had much fewer troops than the French, but his men were primarily composed of archers equipped with the aforementioned longbows, which Zabecki noted had “far greater range, rate of fire and penetrating power” than the crossbows predominantly used by French troops. The strategy used by Henry V is also detailed in the article in order to allow the reader to understand the English victory besides the use of the longbow.

Henry V had realized that if he wanted a chance at victory he would have to force the French to attack first. He went about this by advancing his men and commanding them to fire arrows at the French, which made the French troops charge towards the English. As previously noted, the excellent penetrating power and range of the longbow allowed the English bowmen to easily knock down the French knights, although they were heavily armored.

Both sides sustained heavy casualties relative to their starting size, and so the English army carried on their way to the port of Calais as they had previously intended.

After some online research, I found the following link rather interesting as it details the Battle of Agincourt like Zabecki has done, but it places special emphasis on the role of the longbow in the battle:


2 Replies to “David Zabecki’s “Hallowed Ground: Agincourt, France””

  1. Nice article! Your summary gives a clear idea of David Zabecki‚Äôs piont in the orignal article. Thankyou for the link, it’s really interesting and detailed.

  2. Aziz,

    Great summary of the article. I like how the author tells the story of the longbow through the specific case study of a battle between the English and French. You did a great job finding more specific information about the longbow with the article you included at the end.


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