The Symbol of Agincourt

Jul 23, 2011

RAY: In 1415, English king Henry V invaded France. After months of battle without victory, Henry decided to pack his bags. His army was tired, ill, and desperate for a proper cup of Earl Grey.

The French outnumbered the Brits four to one. They pledged to smash the invaders, then take the surviving Brits and remove certain body parts so they couldn't fight again. (Not those parts, you sicko!)

Heavy rain fell, and the French got bogged down. Sonja Henie's tutu! The Brits won! To celebrate, they displayed the parts that would have been cut off. What were they brandishing? (Hint: The gesture is now a popular symbol.)
The English forces consisted primarily of archers. While the French were bogged down in a valley, the English overwhelmed them with a rain of arrows from above. The French had threatened to cut off the index and middle fingers of each bowman's right hand, which are used to pull back the bowstring. By holding up those two fingers, the English (not Richard Nixon) invented the "V for victory" sign.

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