Harald Hardrada had landed an invasion force two weeks earlier and King Harold was forced to march his army north to battle the invaders. While in London, Harold met an envoy from William. Gyrth argued that if he lost and was killed, Harold could gather another army and attack but if Harold was killed, the kingdom would be lost.
Harold refused and insisted on leading the forces himself. Harold was also counselled to wait and spend more time preparing for the battle. If Harold had waited an extra week or so, he would have had a larger army as well as a number of archers which his present army was lacking , but again Harold refused. Scholars are not quite sure why Harold refused to follow these suggestions but he may have been hoping to surprise William with a quick attack—the same tactic that worked in the battle with Harald Hardrada.
This hill which became known as Battle Hill would give whoever controlled it a strategic advantage. Harold moved his forces to the hill and set up a defensive position. Harold then ordered that the area be fortified by putting up sharp stakes and digging a ditch around his forces. Harold then ordered that no matter what, his forces were not to leave their fortified position.
The actual battle took place on October 14, Although it is debated by scholars as to whether it is true or not, it is claimed that William gathered his men together and then asked for a volunteer to challenge a Saxon to combat. A man named Taillefer volunteered and rode forward. Taillefer challenged a Saxon and won the battle. He then charged the shield wall where he was immediately killed.
Once the Normans reached the shield wall, they were cut down. The next assault was by the cavalry. The Norman warhorses raced up the hill and although the Saxons took some casualties, the Normans were not able to do much damage and suffered the loss of a number of men and horses. Harold orders an advance and, still keeping in a shield-wall formation, the forces advanced. At this point, William was thrown from his horse. Leofwine may have been leading the advance and this could have been the reason why it stopped.
Newsround takes a look at what exactly happened and why it was so important to England's history. What happened? Like many battles in history, it was fought because one person wanted to be king of another place. Edward was was his distant cousin and William said he'd promised him the job. William was furious. At the end of September , he sailed over to England from France with around ships and a very large army.
When King Harold II learned about this, he marched with his army straight down to Sussex to meet the invaders. The march meant they were exhausted when they arrived. The battle lasted all day and thousands of men were killed and injured.
The army from France were much better-trained than the English, and had better weapons and horses. The English army were tired from the journey and also because they had recently had a battle with a Norwegian army, whose leader wanted Harold's crown too. Eventually, King Harold II was killed. It is thought he was struck in the eye with an arrow, although historians are still arguing over whether this is actually true.
Some believe this embroidery shows King Harold II being killed by an arrow - although some historians are still debating if this might be a different soldier The Normans had conquered England. William became known as William the Conqueror - and he soon became King of England. Why is it important? The Battle of Hastings was extremely important for the history of England as it completely changed who was in charge.
During the battle the Normans believed that William had been killed. That mixture would eventually become the English we know today. Once they had lost their King, many of the English ran away. Why is it important? Test your knowledge of the Battle of Hastings with our quiz.
The Normans made a winning move when they pretended to retreat.
PA A new 50p coin which marks the th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings It is fitting as the Royal Mint has been making money for over 1, years, so soldiers at the time of the Battle of Hastings would have used money made by them. This blended with Anglo-Saxon English and over many centuries became the English language we use today.
Taillefer challenged a Saxon and won the battle. The Normans were victorious, beating the Anglo-Saxons the English to you and me. The battle took place on a steep hill with the Anglo-Saxons at the top and the Normans attacking from down below. PA A new 50p coin which marks the th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings It is fitting as the Royal Mint has been making money for over 1, years, so soldiers at the time of the Battle of Hastings would have used money made by them. The bloody battle took place on the 14 October Once the Normans had broken through Harold's ranks they overcame his men easily.
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