William's invasion

  • Created by: mrevv
  • Created on: 26-12-19 09:36

William's background

  • His father went on pilgramage and died, leaving him the dukedom.
  • 3 of his regents were murdered and Norman lords took too much power.
  • 1047, first battle at Val-es-Dunes, fought with Henry I against his cousin Guy and rebels.
  • Alencon rebelled, hanging out hides to mock his mother Herleva's family and his illegitimcay.
  • William cut off thier hands and feet so neighbouring Domfort surrendered.
  • Geoffrey of Martel and Henry invaded Normandy in 1054, William beat them by dividing his men and stopping them from reaching supplies. 1057, invaded again but they were defeated. 
  • 1060, both Geoffrey and Henry died leaving William safe. 
  • Philip I was a minor and ruled by the Count of Anjou, William's father in law.
  • 1063, William invaded Maine and 1064, Brittany. Campainged a lot, but not on set battles.
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Invasion preparations

  • William promised rewards to the nobles and sent Lanfranc to the Pope.
  • Stressing Harold's perjury and oath, and Stigand's corruption of the church, the Pope sent a banner. Soldiers from Ponthieu and Flanders joined William.
  • He gathered men, food, fuel, war horses, food for men and horses and water.
  • This stopped the army pillaging his own countryside.
  • 28th September, the army set off. He harboured in Hastings.
  • He tried to tempt Harold into battle by attacking his land in Wessex.
  • Harold marched 300km from York in 8 days, not letting his men plunder (unpopular, deserted.)
  • He spent 5 days in London then recklessly marched on without reinforcements. 
  • Archers, Edwin and Morcar did not fight at Hastings. 
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Hastings battle

  • The Saxons were spotted by scouts, so they could not attack by suprise.
  • Harold occupied the hight ground on Senlac Hill wiht 7-8k men. 
  • He fought using a shield wall of thegns and housecarls and fyordmen at the back.
  • This would stop Norman cavalry. William had archers at the front, professional fighters behind and the cavalry at the back. William led from the front, not behind a shield wall.
  • 9 o clock, the battle began. Shield wall protected the cavalry for several hours. 
  • The Normans ran down the hill since William died/feigned attack.
  • Harold broke formations and the fjordmen charged, allowing the Norman knights to cut them down. Feigned retreats followed until Harold was killed by an arrow or 4 knights.
  • The English lost morale and Godwine earls Gyrth and Leofwine died fighting. 
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Hastings assessment

  • William was prepared, with support from locals, Frenchmen and the Pope.
  • He planned his logistics and battle tactics (feigned retreat) and had experience.
  • He stayed in a defensive region and provoked Harold, stopping Harold's home advantage.
  • His troops were loyal and motivated to gain booty and land. 
  • He had heavy cavalry and archers and commanded on horse, not foot. 
  • Harold rushed to attack William, losing his preferred time and place for battle.
  • He could have raised a larger army but did not wait- many were already dead.
  • His housecarls were not as experienced as Norman mercenaries. 
  • Untrained and undisciplined peasants broke the shield wall. 
  • Harold lacked inspiration and did not stay on the hill's defensive position. 
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