Friday, October 25, 2013

st crispin's day

October 25, St. Crispin's Day,  marks the high and low in British martial history. I nominate as high the Battle of Agincourt, recounted in Shakespeare's  Henry V (did you watch The Hollow Crown?).
As Shakespeare wrote the story, Henry imploring his men to battle, before outlandish odds, is perhaps the most inspirational speech ever given.  The English victory impressive, the gains short lived.

The British military does not have a monopoly on stupid, but bad things happen when leaders look upon their fighting men as DNOK, the other.  On St. Crispin's Day, four hundred forty odd years after the Battle of Agincourt, the British army was back on the field, this time fighting Russians at Balaclava in the Crimea.  Misunderstanding their muddled orders, a sabre armed  light cavalry brigade was sent headlong into battle against entrenched Russian artillery. The results predictable.

The BBC tells the story surprisingly well in this video.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, wrote the best known chronicle of the battle



MK said...

Happy St Crispin's Day! That is such a wonderful speech. And I encourage any viewing of 'Horrible Histories'; we are big fans.

Toad said...

Horrible Histories was one of my favorite recent finds.

Anonymous said...

The speech made me cry, the horrible history made me laugh, the Tennyson made me sit up straight and recite [said poem memorized in high school, still hanging on in places] right along with.

Think kids today are required to complete "memory work" as we were expected to do?

I can hear the 3 ruffians coming through the door: "Can we go to the train again!!!!!"


Toad said...

The train is on. Last fall with only 2 this year 3. Th boys are getting too big too fast.

LPC said...

It's such a compelling speech. Sometimes I look it up just to kick myself into high gear.