Once more unto the breach

In the 15th century, the heavily armored knights and men-at-arms were the masters of the battlefield.  Years of training and expensive equipment were required to be an effective soldier.  As such, it was the domain of the nobility only.  Ordinary people could not compete against their might nor did they have the resources acquire the weapons.

On October 15, 1415, in Agincourt France, the English and French armies met.  The French were numerically superior and had a greater force of heavily armed cavalry and infantry.  The English monarch, Henry V introduced a new tactic at this battle, the mass use of the longbow.

The longbow had existed since bow and arrows were created.  In the 15th century, the Welsh had improved upon the design and technique of use.  Henry V brought a significant number of longbow archers with him to France.  Utilized primarily by men of the lower classes, the longbow devastated the noble French cavalry.  The archers then slaughtered the French men-at-arms.  The cheaply armed English commoners defeated the powerful French nobility.

The introduction of new technology is a source of constant change.   Equally important are the unexpected ways people apply the technology like Henry V did. Information technology, in particular, has wrested information control from the grip of a few.  Entire industries have changed radically or will disappear all together as a result.

The longbows are out there, waiting to be used.  Better to pull the string than be the target.

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