October 25th, 1415. The Hundred Years War had been dragging on forever. With the English and French kings both claiming authority over the other, the English King Henry V invades France. He kind of gets himself in a pickle, outnumbered 5 to 1, which leads to the best war speech ever, as remembered by Will Shakespeare.
A small excerpt from Wikipedia’s article of the speech:
“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”
However, in a New York Times article, historians seem to think that Henry wasn’t outnumbered at all, that the battle was an even fight and winning it wasn’t that big a deal. Well I think the speech was a big deal, and being involved in any battle and winning it is a good thing.
The most stirring speech I heard in Vietnam from General Abrams was to get our hair cut…. Just saying…
From the movie, Henry V (Patrick Branagh) in 1989
Then there is Sir Laurence Olivier’s version from 1944 (Made in Ireland with a few G.I.’s for extras)