It has long been stated, as fact, that English forces were overwhelmingly outnumbered at the Battle of Agincourt.
It would appear, that ‘we happy few, we band of brothers’, to which William Shakespeare refers in Henry V, may not have been true, but a piece of English, and importantly Elizabethan, propaganda.
Apparently it is a complete myth that English forces were outnumbered five to one by the pride of France, and in fact it was more like a ratio of three to two, in terms of the combatants.
According to Professor Anne Curry of Southampton University claims that the English were severely outnumbered is, “just a myth, but it’s a myth that’s part of the British psyche.”
It is true that the English forces had superior position, and the French were forced to charge on sodden and muddy ground, but what do you expect at the end of October!
It was St Crispin’s Day on Sunday, read more here in the Sunday Telegraph. I’ve never found out if Lord Cardigan knew it was St. Crispin’s Day when he led the Charge of the Light Brigade, at Balaklava, in 1854, but it’s certainly an interesting coincidence.