Date registered: Apr 2006
Vehicle: A red Vimana
Location: the pale blue dot
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Agincourt 1415 changed the view on POW's, and was the end of chivalry.
Both armies rose before dawn and assembled for battle, the English numbering 5000 archers and 900 men-at-arms and the French between 20-30,000. The rules of chivalry dictate that the field of battle should favor neither side but the French freely took up a position that was disadvantageous to them. They assembled perhaps 1000 yards apart, separated by a recently ploughed field. A slight dip between them ensured that the armies were in full view of each other. Either side of the field was bordered by forest that narrowed from 1200 yards where the French assembled to only 900 where the armies could be expected to meet. This greatly restricted the free movement that the French would require to exploit their far greater numbers, preventing them from outflanking and enveloping the smaller force.
As French prisoners were moved to the rear, in greater numbers than the whole English army, simultaneous reports came to Henry's attention. A mob of peasants with three knights under the command of the Lord of Agincourt attacked the baggage train to the rear. As the English could afford no more than a token guard, they were quickly overwhelmed and the attackers made off with their plunder, including one of Henry's crowns. This may, in fact, have been a poorly timed flanking attack, based on the French plan to cause disruption to the rear of the English position. As this occurred, the Counts of Marle and Fauquemberghes rallied 600 men-at-arms for a counter attack which ended as disastrously as the others. In response, to the ensuing panic, Henry ordered the killing of the prisoners. The English men-at-arms refused, probably not so much on moral grounds (killing an equal after their surrender was dishonorable) as financial. They stood to lose the ransom from the prisoners. As a result, 200 archers were given the job as they were tough, professional soldiers outside the bounds of chivalry.
There are many possible reasons for this order. It may simply have been revenge for the attack on the baggage train. It has also been suggested that it may have been used as a terror weapon to control the prisoners. As between one and two thousand prisoners were returned to England, those on the field would have greatly outnumbered the archers, at least 10-1 so it may have been an effective, even if brutal method of moving them quickly to the rear and knocking the last bit of fight out of them. More importantly, there were more prisoners than the English, all still in armor on a battlefield littered with weapons. With the third French line threatening to attack, Henry would have been worried about this threat from the rear. How many were killed is unknown but contemporary observers say it was more than were killed in battle. Modern scholars have roundly condemned Henry for this action but it is interesting to note that no observers of the day, even the French, have done so. In fact many argued it was justified and even went so far as to criticize the third French line for acting in a was as to force it. From the viewpoint of a 15th century knight, it was seen as necessary, the French also having done similar previously. The attack never materialized, and the killing of prisoners stopped as the threat evaporated. With the two first lines destroyed and the third slinking away, the battle of Agincourt was won.
BW TOU (Terms of Usage) sort of like the BW Geneva Convention rules
Fuck off !
Last edited by Von Vorschlag; 01-27-2008 at 01:14 AM.