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Essay on Why William Won the Battle of Hastings

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Why William Won the Battle of Hastings

The Battle of Hastings in 1066 saw Harold the king of England defeated
by William, Duke of Normandy. It was a great victory for William, he
became King of England and was called 'William the Conqueror.' There
were many reasons for William's victory such as religious support, a
well-prepared army, weather, more effective weapons and most
importantly superior tactics. Another important factor, which occurs
in most battles in history, is that of luck. Throughout the battle it
seemed that William was more fortunate than Harold. As much as William
earned victory, Harold made some bad judgments and serious tactical
mistakes.

Good preparation is the foundation for battle victories and in 1066 it
was William who was better prepared. He had spent months getting ready
for invasion in the safety and shelter of Normandy. Harold was not so
well prepared as he was busy sorting out his claim of kingship. Even
though he was king he had to convince people that he was the true and
lawful successor to Edward. He also had his armies already fighting at
Stamford Bridge. William built up his army and support using a feudal
system. This meant he offered land in England to Norman warriors who
joined his army to fight. He also obtained permission from the Pope,
which was a great blessing to have. It showed god was on his side and
this helped to motivate his troops. To make things worse for Harold he
was excommunicated from the Catholic Church.

"Pope Alexander II was a pupil of Lanfranc who was now a trusted
adviser to William. It was this fact that his blessing was eventually
given. William now had the papal bann...


... middle of paper ...


...ar of Destiny-
Terence Wise)

The Normans finally got to the top of the hill and could now fight the
English on flat ground. It was not long before the cavalry broke the
wall into smaller sections. They dealt with these sections one by one
until the battle was over. William's infantry and cavalry then got
through and killed Harold. His army was so shattered by the death of
their leader that their morale went down and they could no longer
fight. The fact that the entire battle only took ten hours showed the
ruthlessness of the Normans and made any Saxon retaliation impossible.

Books/Websites

1066 Year of Destiny- Terence Wise

William the Conqueror- Philip Ardagh

The Enigma of Hastings- Edwin Tetlow (English Historical Documents)

About.com- Battle of Hastings

1066.com

Britannica 2001 CD ROM


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