The Battle of Hastings was fought on the 14th October 1066 (shortly after King Edward the confessor had died) between Harold Godwinson and William of Normandy. The battle was fought on Senlac hill 10 kilometres away from Hastings. The battle started because when King Edward died, he left no heir to the throne. The men who claimed to be king were Harald Hadrada, Harold Godwinson and William of Normandy. This essay will decide why William won the battle of Hastings by looking at the tree following factors: William’s skill, Harold’s poor leadership and Harold’s bad luck. The first argument as to why William won the battle of Hastings, is that he had the bet army. The Normans had 7500 men, all fully trained compared to the 4500 village workers and only 500 professionally trained soldiers that made up Harold’s army. Also, William had many archers that could kill from 100 meters way.
The Normans were also equipped with blacksmiths, carpenters, medics and cooks as well as a few mercenaries, who were professional soldiers that fought for whoever paid them the most amount of money, on his side. Williams’s men also had better weapons and armour, for example: the cavalry were all equipped with mail hauberk, there is some evidence some of the archers used crossbows in addition to bows and arrows, some battle maces were also used along with spears and swords, round and kite shaped shields mean that the Normans were more protected from the English. Another benefit that William had was his great leadership skills. Another line of reasoning that a lot of people believe Harold Godwinson the battle was the trick the Normans very cleverly played on the English.
This crafty trick was about half way through the battle, the Normans realised that when they retreated, the English would follow them. So they made the ‘fake retreat.’ This is where when the English would chase the Normans down the hill, and then circle around slaughtering them in the process. Harold did not fall for this once, but twice, losing him a great deal of his army. Furthermore, quite a few of Harold’s men abandoned him before The Battle of Hastings. They did this for two reasons; the first, after he broke the promise he made to them of sharing the rewards with them if they won against the Norwegians at Stanford Bridge. This resulted in the English that were remaining being annoyed and uptight about their so called ‘trustworthy’ king, as well as fighting somewhat half-heartedly.
Courtney from Study Moose