Sometimes the high and mighty aren’t as high and mighty as they think they are, and sometimes the betting favorite doesn’t win. From Hardscrabble Farmer at theburningplatform.com:
In the autumn of 1415 the English army under command of Henry V were making their way north towards the English held port of Calais. He had arrived only two months earlier and after a single minor victory the French King ordered his forces to assemble in order to expel Henry and his forces from French soil. Although the actual count of his forces are still in dispute his army numbered less than 9,000 men, over 80% of them serfs, armed only with longbows and a heavy mallets for weapons.
They were not only disadvantaged by their numbers but by a full week of poor weather, dysentery, and steady rain slowed their advance. Just south of the village of Agincourt they found themselves within a mile of the French forces that had blocked their path and forced them to prepare for battle. Most people do not realize that this particular engagement would alter not only the course of the Hundred Years War but the future landscape of armed conflict. The French King had been experiencing a form of mental illness that led him to believe he was made of glass (an occupational hazard of potentates it would seem) and so he was absent from the engagement, hidden in his castle while his army marched on the English invasion force.
To his credit he had arrayed one of the most technologically advanced military forces ever assembled. They outnumbered the English cohorts by as much as 6:1 with nearly 10,000 knights clad in the latest steel armor which the iron tipped arrows of the English could not penetrate. By modern standards this was roughly equivalent to having Taliban go up against the top of the line fighting dogs produced by Boston Robotics. The English forces were clad in their farm wear, only a small number with any kind of armor, on foreign soil with no supply lines, after several days of hard travel in bad weather.