hiking is walkingWhy did William of Normandy win the Battle of Hastings?
It is January, 1066 and Edward the Confessor, King of England, died and he had left no heir to the throne. Three men apparently claimed to be king and therefore fought for the throne. Harold Godwineson, an English noble, secretly crowned himself king but his two contenders, Harald Hadraada a Viking king, and William Duke of Normandy, hated this decision. Harold Godwineson, after annihilating Harald Hadraada, met William of Normandy near Hastings, Kent, and after a mighty battle Harold was struck with an arrow to the eye and thus giving victory to William. In this essay I will describe and explain four main reasons why William emerged as the victor.
One of the key reasons why William, Duke of Normandy, won the Battle of Hastings was because he had made good preparations. He organised his great army of over 12,000 men very strategically. He ordered them, from front to back, crossbowmen and archers, foot infantry, mounted knights.”… The crossbowmen were qt the front. Next came the infantry, and the knights were at the back…” a Norman account by William of Poitiers who was not at the battle (Page 18 Source 7). This was tactical because when the battle commenced the archers and crossbowmen would fire a deadly storm of arrows at the front-line so as to soften up the English shield wall. The foot infantry then ran forward and the battle then really began. “… The Norman foot-soldiers then attacked, but it seemed they would be over whelmed by the English missiles. Then our knights crashed into the enemy with their shields…” William of Poitiers, page 18, source 7.
William was also a strong and brave leader and this also contributed to his success at the Battle of Hastings. During the battle a rumor was spread among the Norman side that their leader, William of Normandy, had been struck down. This thought discouraged his men. They felt as though there was no point in winning the battle...