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Thread: The Middle Finger

  1. #1
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    Default The Middle Finger

    Hi

    From the archives of the Leica Users Group, i found this gem of a post.....

    In the days of Agincourt during the war between France and England, which was fought with bows and arrows, the English Archer with his longbow built out of yew was supreme. The art of archery was called Plucking the Yew. But the French had a cunning plan. They planned to cut of the middle digit off the right hand from captured English Archers so they could never again draw a bow (or pluck the yew).

    This plan came to nothing so to taunt the French, the English Archers would raise their middle finger and shout "We can still pluck the yew".

    Owing to distance and the wind and the language barrier the French thought the English were saying PLUCK YEW. The dimness of time, and American vulgarism, has since wrought havoc with this historical
    gesture.

    There is a web site somewhere that explains all this.
    David Teo
    View my work and blog at http://www.5stonesphoto.com/blog

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Middle Finger

    Originally posted by Red Dawn
    Hi

    From the archives of the Leica Users Group, i found this gem of a post.....

    In the days of Agincourt during the war between France and England, which was fought with bows and arrows, the English Archer with his longbow built out of yew was supreme. The art of archery was called Plucking the Yew. But the French had a cunning plan. They planned to cut of the middle digit off the right hand from captured English Archers so they could never again draw a bow (or pluck the yew).

    This plan came to nothing so to taunt the French, the English Archers would raise their middle finger and shout "We can still pluck the yew".

    Owing to distance and the wind and the language barrier the French thought the English were saying PLUCK YEW. The dimness of time, and American vulgarism, has since wrought havoc with this historical
    gesture.

    There is a web site somewhere that explains all this.

  3. #3
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    Default

    hahaha

    that's very funny

  4. #4
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    Default

    The Ang Moh Killjoy speaks

    It's a good tale, shame there's no historical reference to it ever occuring. The fact is that common soliders weren't spared in most battles. You either stood and fought to the death or fled the field if your side lot it's leadership during the battle. The rules of chivalry only applied to those with the rank of Knight and above for the most part and archers, though highly trained were common soldiers and not worthy of being held to ransom.

    Somewhere many years ago I do recall seeing some evidence that after the battle of Crecy the French proposed removal of the index and pointer fingers from any common soldiers who escaped the battle field and were later caught. However as far as I know the French never carried out the threat in any organised manner.

    Anyway just for fun ...

    1346: The Battle of Crecy: The English army of Edward III won the first major battle of the 100 Years War. The English numbered between 12,000 and 19,000 men, of which 7,000 to 10,000 were archers. The French Army, under Philip IV was made up of 12,000 mounted Men-at-Arms, 6,000 Genoese
    Crossbowmen, and up to 60,000 Foot Soldiers. The English were aided by a shower that morning,
    making a charge up a muddy hill, with the sun in their eyes and arrows raining down on them -- most
    difficult for the French. The opening shots were loosed by the Genoese Crossbowmen, which fell short. The English answered with five times as many arrows, which did not fall short. The Crossbowmen broke ranks and tried to flee the field. The French commander, however, was displeased with the apparent lack of courage and ordered that the Crossbowmen be ridden down by the Heavy Cavalry on their way to the English line. After 16 charges and 90 minutes, the French had lost 4000 knights, including 2 Kings, 2 Dukes, and 3 Counts. English losses were estimated at only 50 men.

    1356: The Battle of Poiters: Edward III, The Black Prince of Wales, with 6,000-8,000 men defeated a
    French host 3 times as large. This time the French fought largely on foot, and this time, much hand to hand fighting took place, with the archers attacking the rear and flanks of the French charge. In the end, the results were much the same as at Crecy. Two thousand French Knights and Nobles, including the Constable of France, 2 Marshals, The Bearer of the Oriflamme, along with thousands of common foot soldiers were killed. One Arch-Bishop, 13 Counts, 5 Viscounts, and 21 Barons and Bannerets were killed or captured.

    1415: The Battle of Agincourt: In what was perhaps the greatest victory of the Hundred Years War, a
    small, sick and exhausted English army under King Henry V, won an astounding victory over a seasoned
    French host at least three times as large. The composition of the English forces was 1,000 Men-at-Arms and 5,000 Archers divided into the traditional three "battles" with the archers in a wedge pattern flanking each "Battle". When the battle was over, between 7,000 and 10,000 French had been killed. Among those killed or captured were the Constable of France, a Marshal, 5 Dukes, 5 Counts, and 90 Barons. Fewer that 500 English had been lost during the fighting.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

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