Wills Harold

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Why did William win the Battle of Hastings?








What happened before the battle?

Read the account below and highlight anything that shows the two leaders (Harold Godwinson or William of Normany) were / were not LUCKY / SKILL FUL / WELL PREPARED

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After the death of Edward the Confessor on January 1066, Harold Godwineson went to London and was crowned King Harold II. In April Halley’s Comet was seen in the sky and many people believed that it was a sign that God was displeased. Harold knew that both Harald Hardrada and William, Duke of Normandy were both waiting to invade.
He decided to wait on the south coast for William but the weather meant that he was stuck in Normandy. By the summer, therefore, Harold had to send his troops home to get in the harvest. Just after he had done this Harold Hardrada and 500 ships sailed into the River Tyne in the North East of England.
On 20th September Hardrada landed and defeated the English important Earls Edwin and Morcar. Harold now had to gather his army and march to the north to meet Hardrada. On the 25th September the two armies fought at Stamford Bridge and Harold Hardrada was killed. Only 24 Norwegian ships returned home. Harold had just won a great victory at Stamford Bridge and this gave his men confidence but Harold had lost some of his best men at Stamford Bridge.
Then on the 27th September the wind suddenly changed direction and William and his fleet set sail for England. They landed in Pevensey the next day and marched to Hastings and prepared for the battle. William´s troops were able to relax and have a feast before the battle and William was able to get his armour and weapons ready. William had horsemen, slingers, archers and foot soldiers and had help from all parts of France.

On 2nd October Harold began to march south by forcing his soldiers even though they were tired. He covered 50 miles in a day and left some of his archers in the north. Four days later he reached London and got together a new army of foot soldiers. Harold´s men were exhausted after first marching north and then south again.

He remained in London until the 11th October and marched to Hastings. He arrived at Hastings on the night of the 13th and prepared for the battle which started the next morning. Harold did not have all his troops ready for the battle.

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