Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
April 2024

Snippy Brits

In 1415, English king Henry V invaded France. After months of battle without victory, Henry decided to pack his bags. His army was tired, ill, and desperate for a proper cup of Earl Grey.

The French outnumbered the Brits four to one. They pledged to smash the invaders, then take the surviving Brits and remove certain body parts so they couldn’t fight again.

Heavy rain fell, and the French got bogged down. The Brits won! To celebrate, they displayed the parts that would have been cut off. What were they brandishing? (Hint: The gesture is now a popular symbol.)

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4 guesses to Snippy Brits

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  • Paul

    Their middle finger, which they would need to shoot an arrow with a bow.

  • Dude

    Close enough, Paul.

    The English forces consisted primarily of archers. While the French were bogged down in a valley, the English overwhelmed them with a rain of arrows from above. The French had threatened to cut off the index and middle fingers of each bowman’s right hand, which are used to pull back the bowstring. By holding up those two fingers, the English invented the “V for victory” sign.

    You are today’s winner.

  • Thumper

    Just a minor correction.
    You are correct about the index and middle fingers, but it depends on how you hold the two fingers up. If your palm is facing out, then you are correct in stating it is a victory sign(or now the peace sing). But if you hold it up with the back of your hand to them, then that is a grave insult! Still used to-day in Europe. The English had the back of their hands facing the French.

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