Your RDA of Irony

Sunday Sundries

October 25, 1415:  The Battle of Agincourt

On this day in 1415, a beleaguered CEO offered these team-building thoughts to his “stakeholders”:

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother …

Stirred by such speech, you too might well overlook the fact that your newfound brother makes 300 times more than you, and that he is the buffoon who put you in such a desperate plight.

In fact, the battle of Agincourt was decided by French incompetence, not English poetry. Outnumbering the English by approximately five-to-one, the French could have used any number of tactics to win the campaign: flanking, envelopment, siege….There was only one possible way that the French could have lost the battle of Agincourt. That would be a full-frontal cavalry assault in constricted terrain, leading to an impassable traffic jam of horses and easy shooting for English archers.

Of course, who would be that stupid? Oh, oui.

October 25, 1760:  More of Queen Elizabeth’s Embarrassing Ancestors

On this day in 1760, George III because King of Great Britain. It could have been worse.

But for the quality of 18th century medicine, the 13 colonies would have revolted against King Frederick I. He was the oldest son of George II and the father of George III.

Hanoverian fathers and sons tended to hate each other: George I vs. George II, George II vs. Prince Frederick. (George III was the exception. He didn’t know his father well enough to loathe him–but everyone else did.)

Whereas as George II was a lethargic figurehead content to entrust policy to his capable Whig ministers, Prince Frederick had given ample evidence of being a dynamic dolt.  Out of pure spite, the Prince allied himself to the Tories. Had he ascended to the throne, his rule would have been a series of tantrums.

George III was a man of personal virtue–which evidently wasn’t hereditary–and he was the first in his dynasty who didn’t have a German accent. (After forty-six years of ruling Britain, someone had finally learned English.) However, George did have his father’s politics and obstinacy. In 15 years, he drove America to rebellion. Perhaps Frederick could have done it in 8.

  1. Michele says:

    Hi Eugene,

    Take a look at this blog. The person behind it seems as interested in visual history as you are in historic events. It’s fascinating.

    • Eugene Finerman says:


      That was interesting, especially the illustrations from the 13th century. Thank you. I just wish that I could read the text that goes with those illustrations. What a story that would be!


  1. There are no trackbacks for this post yet.

Leave a Reply