Battle of Hastings: How did the Normans defeat the Saxons in 1066?

Categories: English, History

5 replies

  1. And we needed to know that because….?


  2. Ah we learnt the Harold got killed by an arrow in the eye version. Looking back at it now, yeah I think him getting chopped up may be the more realistic version of his end.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When William decided to invade England, his barons thought he was insane. Normandy was a small province compared to England. They thought it was mission impossible. However a number of factors worked to his advantage.

    Harold was not really a royal so he wasn’t really supported by all the nobility. The northern Earls did not support him. If they did and made their housecarls available it would of been game. set and match.

    After annihilating the vikings at Stamford Bridge he returned to London after hearing about the Norman invasion. His brothers pleaded with him to take time to regroup and get a bigger army to take on the normans. He refused as he was determined to take on the Normans ASAP because he was hearing about Norman atrocities in England.

    His brothers said let us do it and you remain in London because if you lead and lose then its all over for the saxons. William couldn’t believe his luck as he needed an early battle as he couldn’t live off the land for too long.

    The battle of Hastings is one thing I would love to see if I could go into a time machine (well Agincourt as well). Norman knights riding up hill into the saxon shieldwall. it was a brutal and close run thing. it was the success of the English that brought about their downfall. They were ordered by Harold to stay on top of the hill with their shield wall intact. However when they saw the Norman knights falling off and horses stumbling under the saxon volley of projectiles they chased the knights down a hill.

    If the whole saxon army had marched down they probably would have won. If they all stayed on the hill they would of won. However some of the army marched down the hill while others remained on top which allowed William and his knights to pick them off.

    Still it was a close run thing. The decisive move was when William moved his archers up to the front and rained down arrows on the fyred at the back who didn’t have shields to protect themselves.

    Of course, how can you discuss Hastings without discussing whether Harold died with an arrow in his eye.Most historians think that is Norman propaganda. it was a statement on him getting his just desserts for falsely swearing loyalty to William and reneging on the deal. Other versions are that Harold was fighting at the front to plug a gap. When William saw him at the front he sent his 4 best knights to take him out. Another version is that William himself walked up to the front line and personally killed Harold.

    If all of the nobility of England was united behind Harold history would of been very different.


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