Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Wikinfo - Battle of Hastings

Wikinfo - Battle of Hastings. This is an encylopedia article about one of the most important battles in world history.

From the site:

The Battle of Hastings was the first major Norman victory in the Norman conquest of England in 1066 A.D.

On September 28, 1066, William of Normandy, bent on asserting by arms his right to the English crown, landed unopposed at Pevensey. King Harold, who had just destroyed the invaders of northern England at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire, on hearing the news hurried southward, gathering what forces he could on the way. He took up his position, athwart the road from Hastings to London, on Senlac Hill some six miles inland from Hastings, with his back to the great forest of Anderida (the Weald) and in front of him a long glacis-like slope, at the bottom of which began the opposing slope of Telham Hill.

The town called Battle in the modern county of East Sussex was named to commemorate this event.

The English army was composed almost entirely of infantry, and had just been through two forced marches and a battle. The shire levies, for the most part destitute of body armour and with miscellaneous and even improvised weapons, were arranged on either flank of Harold's guards (huscarles), picked men armed principally with the Danish axe and shield.

Before this position Duke William appeared on the morning of October 14. His host, composed not only of his Norman vassals but of barons, knights and adventurers from all quarters, was arranged in a centre and two wings, each corps having its archers and arbiasters in the front line, the rest of the infantry in the second and the heavy armoured cavalry in the third. Neither the arrows nor the charge of the second line of footmen, who, unlike the English, wore defensive mail, made any impression on the English standing in a serried mass behind their interlocked shields.

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