(Understanding the changing landscape for real estate development strategy is a natural topic for Mike Saint, who founded The Saint Consulting Group in 1983 and has led its growth to become the world’s largest political land use consultancy. This week The Saint Report continues a series on this changing landscape)
Let’s look at Henry V and the Battle of Agincourt on St. Crispin’s Day. The year was 1415. October 24 — St. Crispin’s Day. Henry V had led an English Army to France. 5000 of his 6000 troops were carrying longbows, a weapon capable of firing arrows up to 330 yards.
The French had at least 30,000 troops, with cavalry and heavily armored foot solders leading the way into the cramped, muddy battlefield. But the longbows made victory possible even against such overwhelming odds. Henry’s troops could safely launch their missiles from 600 to 900 feet away and not be struck down by the French cavalry or foot soldiers.
In the end, as one account states: “At Agincourt they (the English) were cornered by a French army of 20,000-30,000 men, including many mounted knights in heavy armor. On a cramped battlefield where the superiod French numbers offered little advantage, Henry made skillful use of his lightly equipped, mobile arches. The French were disastrously defeated, losing over 6,000 men, while the English lost fewer than 450.”
Henry could not have won on an open field in hand-to-hand combat. He would have been overwhelmed by the superior French forces. But he used his weapons and the tight, muddy battlefield to play to his strengths. He made the French fight where he, Henry, had a chance.
Was it unfair for Henry to use longbows?
Mike Saint is chairman and CEO of The Saint Consulting Group, email firstname.lastname@example.org