Norman Invasion of 1066

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In winter of 1066 the king of England, Edward III died without any heirs to the throne. This sparked a bitter rivalry between Harold Godwin son, William Duke of Normandy and Herald Harridan, all of whom had claims to the throne. Eventually, Harold II was elected into power despite William’s claim to the throne. The Norman leader felt cheated because he had to have a blood tie to the throne, despite him being Norman and Edward III being Anglo-Saxon. In spring of 1066 the Normans sent a mission to Rome to seek Papal support for an invasion of England, the rivalry for the throne had escalated into a full-fledged conflict that would alter the course of history.
In the summer of 1066 William was ready for an invasion; he had mobilized a massive army that included foot soldiers and nobles from all over Northern France. Along with the impressive land force, was a naval fleet consisting of almost 1,000 warships. After months of preparation, William landed his army on September 25th in southern England. The Normans went virtually unopposed for nearly two weeks until October 14th, when Harold and his army confronted the invaders at Hastings, near the Sussex coast of England. With an estimated 12,000 Normans and 13,000 English soldiers readied for the conflict and within sight of each other, the battle began.
The conflict began on 9:00 in the morning, the English were positioned atop a small hill, and Norman archers began firing upwards, into the English ranks. The English quickly formed a shield wall which deflected the arrows that landed on target; most of the arrows missed completely or overshot the English soldiers entirely. William was growing impatient, and he sent a wave of spearmen to assault the shield wall, all of whom were pushed ...

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..., and William became known as “William the conqueror.” Despite having decent control over his newly claimed territory, he continued to clash with his eldest son during his time as king. William the II was given England after his father’s death, and brought a period of peace and influence throughout England. The battle of Hastings is now regarded as one of history’s most important conflicts, and it completely changed the English way of life and ended a long period of Anglo-Saxon rule over England.

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