Your RDA of Irony

A Crecy Way to Fight

On this day in 1346, the French thought that they had caught the English army near the village of Crecy. For a trapped army the English had placed themselves in an excellent defensive position, astride a ridge. The English had a lovely view, one that wouldn’t be wasted on archers with excellent eyesight and a remarkable new weapon called the longbow. For some reason, the English did not seem to mind that they were outnumbered three-to-one.

The French confident in their numerical superiority and–no doubt–better sense of fashion–did not really bother to organize their plan of battle. They simply charged. Unfortunately, the French knights first had to ride over the French infantry. The aristocrats certainly didn’t mind and the commoners were used to it, but the horses actually were upset. (Of course, they would be more liberal than the knights.) It created quite a chaotic traffic jam, which the English archers further aggravated by perforating everyone within their considerable range.

With the horses so uncooperative, the French knights decided to dismount and, in full armor, attempted to march up the hill to attack the English. The English may have been in more danger of asphyxiation from laughter. The Oxford graduates would have enjoyed the farce, but the archers–being Benny Hill types–missed the irony and simply continued to slaughter the French. In the few hours of the battle, the French casualties were in thousands, the English casualties in the dozens.

You would think that the French would have realized that they were doing something wrong. In fact, ten years later, they used the same “tactics” at the battle of Poitiers. At Poitiers, however, they added the innovation of letting the French king be captured.

In time, the French would master the techniques for winning a battle.
1. Be led by a mad, cross-dressing shepardess.
2. Be led by an Italian whose megalomania compensates for shortness.
3. Let the Americans do it.

  1. From the Incorrigible Pundit Dave Traini:

    You might say that, for the French, the
    battle of Crecy was quite an ‘arrowing experience;
    while the English were anything but cross at the

    Frere Dave

  2. Alan says:

    4. March thousands of soldiers into machine gun fire, hoping there are more French bodies than German bullets.

  3. Peggles says:

    Monty Python’s Spamalot, based on their MP and the Holy Grail, gave the French their best defense against the English
    K-niggets: “I fart in your general direction!” About as effective as most French defense plans.

  4. Dear Peg,

    Never underestimate the power of French filth. In my graduate school, there was a French student who truly deserved the nickname “Pepe le Pew.” Sitting next to him, I was horrified to discover that the smell came off on me.

    And his personality was worse. He actually was a belated Petainist and told me how terrible the Americans were in World War II.

    (My life never lacks for satire.)

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