I loved the article in The New York Times the other day about the new ideas about the Battle of Agincourt, the mythic victory that the English under Henry V enjoyed over the French on St. Crispin’s Day, Oct. 25, in 1415, and that gave rise to Shakespeare‘s stirring “Band of Brothers” speech. “They devastated a force of heavily armored French nobles who had gotten bogged down in the region’s sucking mud,” writes James Glanz, “riddled by thousands of arrows from English longbowmen and outmaneuvered by common soldiers with much lighter gear. . . . But Agincourt’s status as perhaps the greatest victory against overwhelming odds in military history — and a keystone of the English self-image — has been called into doubt by a group of historians in Britain and France who have painstakingly combed an array of military and tax records from that time and now take a skeptical view of the figures handed down by medieval chroniclers. The historians have concluded that the English could not have been outnumbered by more than about two to one. And depending on how the math is carried out, Henry may well have faced something closer to an even fight.” The painstaking detective work undertaken by the hsitorians is truly impressive. I also enjoyed seeing a mention in the article of the historian Conrad Crane, who made news in recent months as the lead writer of the Counterinsurgency Field Manual that mapped out the successful strategy adopted by General Daniel Petraeus in Iraq. I will always be grateful to Dr. Crane, who as Col. Crane, West Point instructor, led me on a privileged tour of the cemetery at West Point, which turned into a pretty damn good piece for Time magazine 12 years ago.