The sick and desolate men marched with grim and sickened futility.
Rancid wounds festered under sticky, putrid bandages. Hot and bubbling feces ran unwiped down their legs, for dysentery was rampant in the ranks and there was no time to halt. The enemy army outnumbered them four to one and marched in tandem with them, driving them desperately on.
The men soiled themselves in their own armor and kept going without rest. Their enemy kept pace, preparing for a brutal, savage orgy of mass murder.
The men were driven ahead of them, fully aware that their adversaries intended total massacre and annihilation without mercy.
And so the exhausted English marched for nearly three hundred miles in horrific condition. Cut off from resupply, there was not nearly enough food to keep the men alive. Starving, stinking and desperate, they were finally blocked by French forces from reaching the port of Calais and safety.
The only choice was to fight.
The only option was to win the day or die with their lord and master amid terrible and appalling butchery, delivered by armored men swinging cruel and pitiless steel.
It was a hard decision of survival that faced the king.
He made it with savage royal passion, and with the full prerogative of the sovereign.
He was the dread lord under a bloody banner that day, and he did not hesitate nor tremble.
He and his band of brothers made devastating work of it.
“We few, we happy few… we band of brothers.”
William Shakespeare thus immortalized the words of Harry the king, the moment when grim and exhausted desperation was transformed into one of the most decisive and glorious feats of arms in history.
Into a sea of French mud the men drove their stakes, and that autumn day was filled with the incessant and deadly whine of English arrows.
The clang of iron on steel, the gallop and scream of horses, the din of blade and axe upon armor and the horrible hacking thud of bitter edges into meat and bone was the resounding work they accomplished.
At the close of battle, the English had lost barely over a hundred men out of the 9,000 that held position, including the Duke of York, killed in action in defense of the king.
Ten thousand French lay dead upon the field out of 36,000 that had chased and harassed, then attacked the English with thundering cavalry and malevolent men of war.
They died, slaughtered and humiliated on their own native soil of France, under the steel of the English king and his countrymen. Fatal casualties included the Constable of France himself.
They died in consequence of the pivot of fortune that accompanies terrible transformation from desperation to victory, born out of ferocious determination in the hearts of men to survive.
When facing certain death, know that you can achieve not merely survival, but undying fame and glory.
King Henry V halted his men on desperate ground.
He entrenched his men into position from which there was no escape.
He provoked the start of the battle, and won it with overwhelming competence.
That is the Law of Survival.
It is the tumble and turn of expectation.
It is the extraction of preposterous victory against utterly untenable odds.
Henry did not die in hacking blood under the unstoppable army of France.
He defeated it, and he and his men now live forever.
They live forever in the annals of glorious honor, because of this.
There is always a way out, a way to turn impossible odds into infinite glory.
It may be through bitterly fighting where you stand.
Horatio at the bridge, piling the bodies of his adversaries in horrible and dripping piles.
The British Army at Rorke’s Drift, outnumbered forty to one, securing victory against a sea of incoming warriors who screamed in the drunken lust of killing.
It may be through dying with such profoundly noble ferocity that the story of your last stand is a tale of martyrdom that inspires men for countless generations.
Leonidas and his 300 at the Hot Gates, fighting to the last and bloody man in defense of Sparta.
Fight like mad. Win and live in glory, or die and be remembered forever.
It is the Way.
This excerpt from The Nine Laws is my gift to you.
Read through the full edition, and put the First Law to full use.
Your survival is your responsibility. Win the day, brother.
Much love, honor, and respect,