Channel 4 / Arté
The Battle of Agincourt was a major English victory against a numerically superior French army in the Hundred Year’s War. The battle occurred on Friday, 25 October 1415. Agincourt was England’s greatest victory, immortalised by Shakespeare and fair game for theorists ever since.
But what was it like to be there? The drama doc used eyewitness accounts from the English and crucially, French sources to paint a vivid picture of their lives and their journeys to the battlefield.
Their stories – personal, vivid and compelling – form the backbone of the film.Far from being the glorious victory of myth this was a brutal battle.
It marked the day chivalry died with Henry forced to flout the conventions of the time by ordering the killing of thousands of French prisoners. The French subscribed to an outmoded chivalric code, which was eradicated at Agincourt.
Ironically it was the high point of English success in a war that lasted l00 years.
The programme reveals how Henry V’s victory gave rise to the rebirth of French confidence and the triumph of Joan of Arc twenty years later.