Before the Battle
After the Battle
- After Edward the Confessor (the king of England) died, the space for a new king opened up and three men in particular were very willing for the role. These were Harald Hardrada, Harold Godwinson and William Duke of Normandy.
- In 1066, William tried to invade. By August William's forces were ready but the wind sent his boat off in another direction.
- Harald Hardrada managed to get to England for a battle with his army and Harold Godwinson's brother Tostig by his side.
- Harold Godwinson achieved a great victory at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, but what he didn't see coming was William who had managed to march all the way to Hastings in a short period of time.
- The battle that followed was called the Battle of Hastings. It was Harold Godwinson against William of Normandy and it would determine who would really become the king.
- The Norman army was made up of:
- Infantry (foot soldiers)
- Cavalry (horseback soldiers)
- The English army, on the other hand, were made up of foot soldiers. The foot soldiers would put all their shields together to make a shield wall which was a strong defence. The foot soldiers were made up of Housecarls which fought with two axes and the Fyrd which fought with weapons of their choice.
- Harold positioned his soldiers on the top of Senlac Hill which would mean William's soldiers would have to climb the hill to fight Harold.
- In the end, the Normans won.
- This was because:
- William was well-prepared
- The Norman army had a mix of types of soldiers.
- The fighters were skilled.
- William used clever tactics such as pretending to retreat then when the shield wall was broken, attacking.
- The English were exhausted because of the Battle of Stamford Bridge and they had lost some of their soldiers.
- Harold wasn't prepared.
- Harold was killed in the battle.
- William earned the nickname "William the Conqueror" and got crowned in Westminster Abbey, Christmas 1066.
- After the Battle of Hastings, William went around killing people.