Battle of Hastings Facts

Battle of Hastings Facts
The Battle of Hastings was fought on October 14, 1066 between William the Duke of Normandy and his Norman army and King Harold Godwinson of England near the village of Hastings in southeast England. The battle was the final phase of a war that began when King Edward the Confessor died on January 5, 1066, which set off a succession crisis and brought claimants to the English throne from France and Norway. The war for the throne was between what were essentially Christianized Vikings, especially in the case of Harald Hardrada of Norway, who invaded northern England with his army to lay a claim to the throne. Harold was at an extreme disadvantage when he met William on the field of battle because he had just defeated Harald and his army five days earlier, so his army was not fully recovered. The battle began in the morning and lasted all day, ending with the death of Harold. Although the English continued to resist William after the battle, William was finally proclaimed king on Christmas Day 1066. The Battle of Hastings was historically important for several years. First, it marked the last time England was successfully invaded by a foreign power. Second, the conquest marked the beginning of the period where the English and French nobility were mixed: because of that mixing the English kings made claims on French land into the early Modern Period. Finally, the Battle of Hastings marked the end of the Viking Age. Many scholars see the Battle of Hastings as the last great Viking battle.
Interesting Battle of Hastings Facts:
The Bayeux Tapestry, which is believed dated to the eleventh century, recounts the battle in vivid detail. The scenes are embroidered with some Latin text. The figures are notable for wearing Viking Age clothing and it also shows William and his men crossing the English Channel in Viking style long ships.
William and the royal House of Normandy were descended from the Viking Rollo/Rolf, who settled the region in the early tenth century.
Although Harold Godwinson was elected king by English nobles after Edward's death, both Harald of Norway and William of Normandy claimed they were promised the throne.
Besides the Bayeux Tapestry, there are few primary sources that documented the Battle of Hastings. The Heimskringla, which was a chronicle of the Norwegian kings written in the early thirteenth century, follows the events from Harald Hardrada's perspective, but ends when he is killed.
It is believed that William's and Harold's armies were nearly equal in size.
Haley's Comet appeared over Europe in April 1066. The claimants to the English throne used it as a sign to justify their military campaigns.
The Norman army landed in England on September 28.
The Norman army used a number of archers and cavalry.
The English army was almost entirely infantry who fought with two-handed Viking style battleaxes.
The English took the high ground on a slope with trees to protect their flanks.
The fighting began around nine a.m. but then possibly stopped in the early afternoon to allow both sides rest and to reconfigure their strategies.
After an afternoon of heavy fighting, Harold was killed, possibly by a Norman arrow, which gave the victory to William.
It is believe that William's combination of infantry, cavalry, and archery tactics helped carry the day against Harold's more rigid use of more traditional Viking fighting techniques.

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