Book Review – ‘Henry V’s Navy: The sea-road to Agincourt and conquest 1413–1422’ by Cheryl Fury

By Cheryl Fury, published November 2020

Abstract

Author Ian Friel argues that the king was a medieval monarch who recognized the importance of sea power and utilized it: Henry’s sponsorship produced a ‘shortlived navy, one of England’s most effective, but least-remembered fleets’.

Friel believes we should study the brief but important period in England’s naval history for a number of reasons. Henry was an innovator who nurtured his navy and made it into a first-rate weapon of war. The author argues that Henry was forward-thinking when it came to maritime technology and shipbuilding as well: the navy was reborn during Henry’s reign from virtually nothing to a potent force of over 30 vessels which included not only oared vessels but four of the biggest ships ever built in England. For maritime history buffs interested in ships and rigging, Friel provides details on everything from the evolving nature of the fleet to minutiae such as how many ropes were lost in a given engagement …

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Filed under: Late Middle Ages | English Channel
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

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