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Thread: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

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    Camel Lord Senior Member Capture The Flag Champion Martok's Avatar
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    Default What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    I know this'll sound a little odd, but I've never been entirely clear on exactly how William of Normandy defeated Harold and the English. Depending on the source, there seems to be several different theories as to how the Duke won. I've heard/read all of the following:

    That William ordered his archers to fire at a higher angle, thereby nullifying (at least partially) the advantage of Harold's shieldwall;

    That part of his cavalry contigent broke and ran, thereby drawing off a significant number of Harold's men, who followed in persuit;

    That William deliberately ordered said cavalry contingent to "retreat", but that it was in fact a trap for the English Fyrdmen who chased after them;

    That none of these things actually happened -- and/or that they were mostly irrelavent to the final outcome -- and that the battle wasn't really decided until a Norman archer got a lucky shot and put one right in Harold's eye (after which his troops broke and fled).


    So which one is the truth? Did William win because he was a good commander and made the right tactical decision (ordering his archers to fire a a higher angle, ordering a feigned retreat, etc.)? Or was his victory more due to dumb luck (Harold getting shot in the eye, his cavalry retreated for real but the Normans were simply quick to exploit their mishap)? Or is it something else entirely? I've never had a truly coherent picture of what exactly happened at the battle, and would like to rectify this.
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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    The sources aren't terribly clear on how the battle went in general. Anyway, I've read one theory that suggested the cavalry contignent that "broke" were in fact Bretons, who are known to have stuck to Late Roman style hit-and-run skirmish tactics for the whole "Dark Ages" and Carolingian period and sometime into the Middle Ages proper. Seeing how they managed to draw some of the Anglo-Saxon infantry after them (who then got mobbed out in the open - although when it comes down to that, scholars disagree if even this happened since the primary sources can be interpreted in many ways) William then had the rest of his cavalry carry out similar maneuvers (which might in at least one case turned into a genuine flight, as the Norman cavalry wasn't quite used to this kind of thing) which further weakened the shieldwall a bit before the Anglo-Saxons realized what was going on. I've also seen it theorized the infantry that broke from the phalanx in pursuit were a sort of light infantry specifically detailed to pursue retreating foes; the military system apparently included such "outrunners".

    Similarly, I don't think there's a very solid consensus on if Harold in fact got an arrow in his eye and was then slain by a Norman cavalryman; the Tapestry can certainly be interpreted in this fashion, but then the man with an arrow in his face may just as well be one of his bodyguards with Harold himself shown already down for the count...
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    a big factor is that harolds army were knackered having just marched down from the batle of stamford bridge by newcastle- i.e the entire length of england.

    on a side note does anyone know what happened to harolds body? was he given a burial etc?

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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Quote Originally Posted by KARTLOS
    a big factor is that harolds army were knackered having just marched down from the batle of stamford bridge by newcastle- i.e the entire length of england.
    AFAIK that was only the elites (who had horses for transport). Otherwise it was mostly local forces called to duty while those mobilized for Stamford Bridge were still plodding along the roads as fast as they now could.

    Which is probably one reason William needed to press for a decisive battle ASAP - he couldn't afford to wait until Harold got all of his potential posse together, nevermind now his own supply issues. Harold, conversely, couldn't really afford to let the invaders pillage the southern parts of the country at will - there was no telling when some provincial strongman might get into his pointy head funny ambitious ideas, especially if the king was busy elsewhere and not looking impressive. Plus of course the fyrd militias had a fixed quota of service time; once it was up they usually just went home, so he couldn't afford to dawdle lest his army start melting into thin air...
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    Member Member Oleander Ardens's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Medieval cavalry was far more sophisticated and controllable than most people think. There are some examples of feigned retreats, some of them preplanned in medieval battles.

    Various regions provided natural light horse such as the Bretagne. But it could also have been the mercenary part of the Norman cavalry, which was quite likely to employ such tactics, considering the amount of warfare against the Magyars.
    So it could have been a ploy but perhaps it was a true flight. In any case it seemed to have disordered the Saxons enough to be open for a counterattack...

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    Awaiting the Rapture Member rotorgun's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    From the readings and documentaries I have seen about the battle, it is fairly clear that the initial retreat of the Bretons, wether fiegned or not, did illicit a crisis on the left flank of the Norman force. Almost all the accounts mention that William felt he had to rally his "retreating" flank with his personal presence. It was in dong so that the pursuing Anglo-Saxon infantry were then cut down. It is my surmise that the Bretons were really retreating, but this is only conjecture.

    After seeing the success of this unforseen result, William came to the conclusion, as astute leaders are apt to do, that he might be able to induce part of Harold's army to do so again. In this he was successful, as more and more of the shield wall began to lose its cohesion, especially on Harold's right. At some point he had to shift himself and his housecarls to shore up this area. It was then that the archers were able to add to the confusion, causing casulaties to the ever thinning infantry line by altering thier trajectory to a high angle. To this was added combined arms forays to keep up the pressure all along the line.

    Finally the line started to break up from the pressure as it became too thin at some points. It was then that the cavalry could, much as modern day mounted police do, move into the gaps created and further separate and isolate individual groups. It was such a situation that Harold and his housecarls found themselves in near the end of the battle. The "arrow" incident is indeed an uncertainty. Some scholars believe that it was added to the figure of Harold in the famous Bayeau Tapestry as a kind of "propaganda" device to show how Harold deserved his fate. Others think that it was one of his bodygaurds as previously mentioned. I believe this myself, as the tapestry agrees with the written accounts of how he was so badly mauled that his body was unidentifiable except to his widow who knew how to identify him by some other means.
    Last edited by rotorgun; 06-05-2007 at 03:05.
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    Bopa Member Incongruous's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Recently, a theory has arisen that the Senlac was a merging point for the variuos local fyrds of the South. That Harold had no intention of fighting when he did, or perhaps where he was (possibly). The area that william had chosen to land seems at first to have been a grave mistake, criss crossed by muddy streams and damp marsh. However, it may have become a boon for William, making his landing spot impervous to a quick attack (again only speculation).

    As the Senlac was meeting place, it is suspected by some that during the day a number of fresh contingents re-enforced Harold's position.

    The battle was well matched. Ultimatley a battle of two wills, Harold's and William's. However this deadlock was not settled by some freak accident, the arrow in the eye. A very symbolic death indeed. The Tapestry is the only evidence in support of this event, and it is the most unreliable. Having gone under variuos repairs over the centuries it has inevitably changed. One of these changes occured when sometime in the mid 18th century, a spear was removed, and an arrow replaced it. Luckily an indsutriuos Englishman had at the turn of the century ( I think) recorded the tapestry (or at least this section). Harold Rex is placed just above the infamous character, thus it is most likeley to be Harold. But originally the weapon in question was a spear. It also faced away from Harold, as if he was throwing it at the aproaching horsemen.

    There is another story. That William, realising that the battle could only be decided by either his or Harolds death created a hit squad of knights. It is recorded that they cut him through the heart and head and such, but also cut of his leg. Leg being a polite medieval replacement for the male genitals. I tend to accept this version.

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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Well, the way the primary sources (chiefly William of Poitiers, who was formerly a knight and later chaplain to William I, and was therefore in a position to get his information from those were there) describe it it was up in the air practically until the very end.

    It's often speculated that Harold marched south before collecting his army because he wanted to duplicate the success of surprise at Stamford Bridge; William of Jumieges stated that he planned on a night attack. In any case his army had far fewer fyrdmen than it would have if it he had waited a while, but it did have the housecarles from the households of Harold, and his brothers earl Gyrth and Leofwine. If Harold did have to form up his army unexpectedly, he picked a reasonably good place for it- it wasn't exactly on a cliff but it does seem to have been anchored by slopes, and a creek and forest on either side. As far as new English contingents arriving goes, well it can't be ruled out but it certainly doesn't accord with the contemporary descriptions. Florence of Worcester said that many English left during the day. One of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles said that Harold "fought with the men who would stand with him", which suggests that there was not universal determination.

    In any case, the initial Norman attack was ineffective. Their archers (Jumieges also refers to slingers, and the Carmen de Hastingae, though now considered rather dubious, mentions crossbows) didn't make much have much effect against the English shield wall, so the Norman infantry advanced and were met, so William of Poitiers said, with a very wide and very nasty assortment of things thrown by the English. Anyway the Norman infantry had no luck either so the Norman cavalry waded in awkwardly with their swords but also made no impression. Eventually upon a rumour that William had been killed the Normans seem to have routed, and were pursued by at least some English. Historians disagree on exactly what the English did, the greater part seem to think that this was an impetuous action by a minority in Harold's army and that it contradicted a supposed defensive plan- as long as Harold stopped William advancing down the Senlac Road William would eventually have to leave. On the other hand some think Harold ordered a pursuit which was thwarted by the inopportune deaths of his lieutenants Gyrth and Leofwine (their deaths in the Bayeux Tapestry seem to correspond to this point in time).

    In any case, when William rallied his forces his cavalry caught those English, who had broken from their shield wall, in the open and disarrayed, and charged them down. Apparently the Normans thought this was a good tactic and spent many hours whittling the English shield wall down by variously riding up and chucking lances at it, drawing some of the English out and charging them down, interspersed with attacks by the Norman missile troops. However, according to Poitiers, even at the end of the day the English were still quite numerous and formidable. Evidently putting it all on the line William ordered his whole force to attack. The fighting seems to have been quite hard and the way that Poitiers and other sources (the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, the Bayeux Tapestry) describe or depict it, the remaining English seem to have kept fighting until, one way or another, Harold was killed, at which point the army largely dissolved. The Bayeux Tapestry's depiction of this juncture shows the Norman cavalry charging while in the lower margin the archers fire at a 45 degree angle. This, and some much later medieval poetry is the basis for the idea that the shield wall was wrecked by the Norman archers. I guess that is possible. Personally I think it was at least as important that by the end of the day the Norman infantry, who had spent the whole of it sitting around, would have been well rested while the English, who had been fighting continuously, were very tired. There is additional speculation that the casualties among the English by the afternoon's skirmishing were concentrated in one part of the line, making it liable to break and open up a gap in the shield wall. This is altogether possible but not certain.

    "That William, realising that the battle could only be decided by either his or Harolds death created a hit squad of knights. It is recorded that they cut him through the heart and head and such, but also cut of his leg. Leg being a polite medieval replacement for the male genitals. I tend to accept this version."

    To be honest although it's possible it's based on sources much later than the battle (the poetry of Maistre de Wace I believe) and in historiographical terms was greatly played up by nationalist Whigs like E A Freeman, for whom it represented the ultimate in Frankish deviousness.
    Last edited by Furious Mental; 06-05-2007 at 11:27.

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    Bopa Member Incongruous's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Well, as the arrow myth has been disproved, I'll go with the other circulated story, which I do believe has far more grounding in fact.

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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    It isn't necessary to go with one if not the other. It is altogether possible that Harold was simply cut down in a rather random melee. To conclude that he wasn't struck by an arrow does not lead automatically to the conclusion that William specifically ordered a squadron of knights to go and kill him. Its grounding in fact is quite weak; it is something which emerged in a literary tradition some considerable time later, and all the accounts of the battle that were actually written soon after, including those which make specific reference to the orders which William gave in the battle, say only that Harold was killed, not that William had his archers, knights or anyone else attack him specifically. It is a theory which can't be totally discounted, but it is far from being affirmatively proved.
    Last edited by Furious Mental; 06-05-2007 at 14:26.

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    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    This is what i know quick.

    Harold was eager to fight so he forced marched his troops to the place instead of waiting for men to join under his banner. So he arrived at the place of battle with less men he hoped for.

    He made a shieldwall with his elite in the middle. William ordered his cavalry in after his archers fired their volleys. But the cavalry went uphill and against a wall of spears and shields so they didnt fared well. So they feigned a retreat.

    This caused some or alot of harolds men to break ranks and follow the norman warriors. Then William send in his infantry and they slaughtered those who left formation. But harold rallied his men again on the hill, so nothing really changed. After a while the normans panicked because they thought William had fallen before the onslaught. But william did something to convince his troops he was still alive... he lifter his helmet or something.

    The battle continued and Harold wouldve won if he just couldve hold out untill nightfall because the normans were loosing slightly. But when harolds left flank, if recall correctly, was falling under the pressure he moved with his household to aid his left flank. There he was deadly wounded and the army fled because they had nothing left to fight for...

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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    That (the moving to the left flank) is one of the theories, originally posited by JFC Fuller. It isn't based on any actual account of the battle, but rather on the fact that historians have a pretty good idea of where the battle took place and it appears that due to the topography the English right would have been much harder to approach on horseback, so presumably the Norman attacks and hence English casualties in the afternoon should have been concentrated on the English left. It is a perfectly logical explanation but like most things about the battle is essentially conjecture.
    Last edited by Furious Mental; 06-05-2007 at 17:04.

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    Clan Clan InsaneApache's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Quote Originally Posted by KARTLOS
    a big factor is that harolds army were knackered having just marched down from the batle of stamford bridge by newcastle- i.e the entire length of england.

    on a side note does anyone know what happened to harolds body? was he given a burial etc?
    Stamford Bridge is in Yorkshire. Only a few miles outside of York, a good 90 miles south from Newcastle.

    The remains of Harold are a contentious issue. It is thought that he was buried in the Abbey nearby but there is some evidence that he was cut up and buried in several places. This was done to prevent a place of focus for the Anglo-Saxons. Also remember that the battle itself was just the beginning of the invasion. There were terrible things done in the north by William and his henchmen.
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    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Easy. A makeshift rabble of French and Norman nobles destroyed the entire forces of England, subjected the country to their will, plundered and extorted the Anglosaxon peasantry for pleasure, and thereby centralised and civilised England.
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    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Martok
    I know this'll sound a little odd, but I've never been entirely clear on exactly how William of Normandy defeated Harold and the English.
    Your guy got clobbered.
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    "a big factor is that harolds army were knackered having just marched down from the batle of stamford bridge by newcastle- i.e the entire length of england."

    Frankly that's rather overdoing the fatigue factor at the start of the battle. First of all, because Harold only waited for a portion of the English fyrd to assemble, there were a disproportionately large number of housecarles in the army, and being elite troops they were naturally tough as old boots. Second of all, the march up to Stamford was much, much faster and less co-ordinated than the march down to Hastings, and yet Harold had no problems there. Third of all, all of the housecarles, and a large number if not all fyrdmen rode horses between battles rather than marched on foot. Harold's haste was probably more important in so far as it meant he eschewed the massive numerical advantage which he could have had if he had raised the whole fyrd and assembled the military households of the earls besides Gyrth, Leofwine, Edwin and Morcar (the latter two had been defeated by Harald Hardraada).
    Last edited by Furious Mental; 06-06-2007 at 17:38.

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    Awaiting the Rapture Member rotorgun's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Furious Mental
    "a big factor is that harolds army were knackered having just marched down from the batle of stamford bridge by newcastle- i.e the entire length of england."
    How far is that anyway?

    Frankly that's rather overdoing the fatigue factor at the start of the battle. First of all, because Harold only waited for a portion of the English fyrd to assemble, there were a disproportionately large number of housecarles in the army, and being elite troops they were naturally tough as old boots.
    Second of all, the march up to Stamford was much, much faster and less co-ordinated than the march down to Hastings, and yet Harold had no problems there. Third of all, all of the housecarles, and a large number if not all fyrdmen rode horses between battles rather than marched on foot. Harold's haste was probably more important in so far as it meant he eschewed the massive numerical advantage which he could have had if he had raised the whole fyrd and assembled the military households of the earls besides Gyrth, Leofwine, Edwin and Morcar (the latter two had been defeated by Harald Hardraada).
    Some good points made, but consider this:
    Have you ever force-marched 30 miles a day on foot or rode 30 miles a day riding a horse? I have, and my fatuigue factor was considerable. (Oh my aching.....) Had I to fight a battle after doing this for four or five days in a row, assuming I could even walk well enough to do so, I would probably not be swinging my battle axe all that well either. Harold's men were probably happy to be at the top of the ridge and on the defensive.

    I don't entirely agree with you that Harold had no problems at Stamford Bridge-indeed the battle was a close run thing despite the surprise he gave Hardrada. That was probably the only reason he was able to win at such otherwise even odds. I think that he was trying to achieve the same sort of physcolgical advantage over the Normans that he achieved against the Norwegians by appearing sooner than expected. He was partially sucessful in that he gained the positional advantage again. That he sacrificed his army's physical superiority in doing so is arguable. I say that it certainly contributed to their defeat, as the long day's battle went on, and the Normans proved to just as stubborn as the Anglo- Saxons.
    Last edited by rotorgun; 06-07-2007 at 04:04.
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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Quote Originally Posted by rotorgun
    ...and the Normans proved to just as stubborn as the Anglo- Saxons.
    Well, it's not like they really had much choice anyway - smack in the middle of hostile territory and no reliable way to get home if things went sour. "Deadly ground" as Sun Tzu would term it.
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Weren't William's archers useless since, they were shooting up such a high hill, that either the arrows would not even reach the target, or hurt the target in their shield wall.

    Got it from a historical t.v source; it was even showing the actual hill.

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    Awaiting the Rapture Member rotorgun's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman
    Well, it's not like they really had much choice anyway - smack in the middle of hostile territory and no reliable way to get home if things went sour. "Deadly ground" as Sun Tzu would term it.
    I suppose I never thought of it in this way, but you're right. Like Cortez burning his ships in the New World, William put his men in a "do or die" situation indeed. I appreciate your reference to Sun Tzu-very astute.
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    Bopa Member Incongruous's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Furious Mental
    "a big factor is that harolds army were knackered having just marched down from the batle of stamford bridge by newcastle- i.e the entire length of england."

    Frankly that's rather overdoing the fatigue factor at the start of the battle. First of all, because Harold only waited for a portion of the English fyrd to assemble, there were a disproportionately large number of housecarles in the army, and being elite troops they were naturally tough as old boots. Second of all, the march up to Stamford was much, much faster and less co-ordinated than the march down to Hastings, and yet Harold had no problems there. Third of all, all of the housecarles, and a large number if not all fyrdmen rode horses between battles rather than marched on foot. Harold's haste was probably more important in so far as it meant he eschewed the massive numerical advantage which he could have had if he had raised the whole fyrd and assembled the military households of the earls besides Gyrth, Leofwine, Edwin and Morcar (the latter two had been defeated by Harald Hardraada).
    Isn't it also possible that, Harrold could not raise the entirety of the Fyrd (or at least as he had wanted it)? Due to dissafection among the Englisc Elite?

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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Well, one of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles said Harold fought "with the men who would stand with him", which suggests that but is also rather vague. All of the English earls were Harold's allies or at least under his thumb and whether or not he had made some oaths to William (probably a Norman invention) they didn't care, they and most likely his predecessor put him on the throne. And according to the same chronicles Harold was able to raise a large coast guard and navy (which one would assume was done on the basis of fyrd service and other rights attached to landholding) before the invasion, but which he dissolved after a while. It's generally taken as a given that Harold could have raised a much larger force than he did had he waited.

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    Clan Clan InsaneApache's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Except he couldn't wait, could he? The dastardly Normans were raping and pillaging along the south eastern coast in a tactic designed to lure Harry into a battle.

    Also a large part of his army left him to gather in the harvest when he struck camp in York.

    It took another 400 years for democracy to recover to the level at which it existed during Harolds time.
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Quote Originally Posted by rotorgun
    How far is that anyway?



    Some good points made, but consider this:
    Have you ever force-marched 30 miles a day on foot or rode 30 miles a day riding a horse? I have, and my fatuigue factor was considerable. (Oh my aching.....) Had I to fight a battle after doing this for four or five days in a row, assuming I could even walk well enough to do so, I would probably not be swinging my battle axe all that well either. Harold's men were probably happy to be at the top of the ridge and on the defensive.

    I don't entirely agree with you that Harold had no problems at Stamford Bridge-indeed the battle was a close run thing despite the surprise he gave Hardrada. That was probably the only reason he was able to win at such otherwise even odds. I think that he was trying to achieve the same sort of physcolgical advantage over the Normans that he achieved against the Norwegians by appearing sooner than expected. He was partially sucessful in that he gained the positional advantage again. That he sacrificed his army's physical superiority in doing so is arguable. I say that it certainly contributed to their defeat, as the long day's battle went on, and the Normans proved to just as stubborn as the Anglo- Saxons.
    i doubt you are trained for such a trip, not mattering on or off horseback. I also think most men those days were way tougher than most men nowadays.

    And also the reason Harold lost the battle wasnt because his men were tired, they lasted trough the day and harold would've won but he didnt for one single reason.

    HAROLD DIED

    robbing his men of leadership, reason to fight making them suffer a heavy morale blow after which they fled...

    We do not sow.

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    Awaiting the Rapture Member rotorgun's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Stranger
    i doubt you are trained for such a trip, not mattering on or off horseback. I also think most men those days were way tougher than most men nowadays.

    And also the reason Harold lost the battle wasnt because his men were tired, they lasted trough the day and harold would've won but he didnt for one single reason.

    HAROLD DIED

    robbing his men of leadership, reason to fight making them suffer a heavy morale blow after which they fled...
    Well....I actually am trained for such a trip, on either foot or astride a horse. I do admit that it would be difficult, as I am no spring chicken, but I have done such things. I agree that the men of those days would be much more inured to hardship, but they were no less human than you or I, and therefore subject to the same limitations.

    Yes HAROLD DIED, but I say the reason that he died was in part because of the LOSS OF COHESION of his army due, also in part, to their exaustion. Modern studies of sleep deprivation have shown that the decision making process is highly curtailed while resistance to stress is greatly reduced. The ability of Harold's men to react to the collapse of their right flank while still maintining a proper shield wall was reduced by the fatuige of the various individual members of his army. I only claim that this is a reasonable deduction from my experience as a soldier for over thirty years.
    Rotorgun
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    Second-hand chariot salesman Senior Member macsen rufus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Originally Posted by rotorgun
    How far is that anyway?
    Using modern roads, it works out at 273 miles (assuming the Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire today was the site of the battle of that name). That would be a pretty hard march or ride on 11th century roads, I guess...
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    Clan Clan InsaneApache's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    BTW I've been to Stamford Bridge a few times. Nice village but not a viking in sight.
    There are times I wish they’d just ban everything- baccy and beer, burgers and bangers, and all the rest- once and for all. Instead, they creep forward one apparently tiny step at a time. It’s like being executed with a bacon slicer.

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    Second-hand chariot salesman Senior Member macsen rufus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    but not a viking in sight
    what do you expect, look at the welcome they got last time

    But is it the same Stamford Bridge?
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    Clan Clan InsaneApache's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Quote Originally Posted by macsen rufus
    what do you expect, look at the welcome they got last time

    But is it the same Stamford Bridge?
    Yes. The bridge might be a bit newer though. The area's a bit flat for my tastes coming as I do from the Pennines, but worth a diversion if you're on the way to Whitby or Scarborough.
    There are times I wish they’d just ban everything- baccy and beer, burgers and bangers, and all the rest- once and for all. Instead, they creep forward one apparently tiny step at a time. It’s like being executed with a bacon slicer.

    “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.”

    To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise.

    "The purpose of a university education for Left / Liberals is to attain all the politically correct attitudes towards minorties, and the financial means to live as far away from them as possible."

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    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    Quote Originally Posted by rotorgun
    Well....I actually am trained for such a trip, on either foot or astride a horse. I do admit that it would be difficult, as I am no spring chicken, but I have done such things. I agree that the men of those days would be much more inured to hardship, but they were no less human than you or I, and therefore subject to the same limitations.

    Yes HAROLD DIED, but I say the reason that he died was in part because of the LOSS OF COHESION of his army due, also in part, to their exaustion. Modern studies of sleep deprivation have shown that the decision making process is highly curtailed while resistance to stress is greatly reduced. The ability of Harold's men to react to the collapse of their right flank while still maintining a proper shield wall was reduced by the fatuige of the various individual members of his army. I only claim that this is a reasonable deduction from my experience as a soldier for over thirty years.
    sorry, i already figured you'd be a soldier :P

    please don't talk about sleep deprivation... i know all about it...


    We do not sow.

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