• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why Did William Of Normandy Win the Battle of Hastings?

Extracts from this document...


Why Did William Of Normandy Win the Battle of Hastings? James Sweeney In my essay I will be assessing the key factors and series of events that led William of Normandy to triumph in the Battle of Hastings. On the other hand; why did Harold Godwinson lose; was it bad luck or bad tactics? I will also be answering key points such as: Who was better prepared for the battle? What advantages and disadvantages did each have? In 1066 Edward the Confessor; the king of England at the time- unexpectedly died on the 4th January - with no heir to the throne. Of course that sparked a huge problem and chaos erupted and all the powerful earls and lords claimed to be king. Eventually three candidates arose for the claim to the English throne they were: Harold Godwinson- the Earl of Wessex, Harald Hardraada of Norway and William Duke of Normandy. However, Edgar the Aetheling was the rightful heir to Edward the Confessor and should have been crowned King of England. Unfortunately he was only ten years old when Edward the Confessor died and couldn't manage to rule an entire country. Harold Gowinson's claim to the throne of England was: Harold was Edward the Confessor's brother-in-law, who had married Harold's sister, Edith. ...read more.


Slowly Harolds men were killed but the reason Harold won in the end was all down to good tactics. Harold knew that he would have to kill the Viking on the bridge but how? Very cleverly he sent a man in a barrel down the river with a hole in the top. Once the barrel was directly underneath the man with the axe the man inside rammed a sword up through his legs and right up into his body. Without hesitation Harold's army ran over the bridge and attacked. In the end Hardraada was killed with an arrow to his throat. Hardraada's army had come with 350 ships and only left with 24... I think Harold was weaker after the battle of Stamford Bridge because he had lost a lot of men and the ones that survived were exhausted if not injured. Also very irresponsibly in celebration of victory he allowed his men to get drunk which in due course led to his defeat at the battle of Hastings. William in the meantime had been preparing for the forthcoming battle and had been gathering a huge army and lots of weapons and horses. William tried everything he could think of to raise the spirits of his men, as a last and desperate attempt to lift morale he had the body of the patron Saint of St. ...read more.


Unlike Harold, William had cleverly assessed his opponent's tactics and Harold's tactics were the same as in previous battles so William had a huge advantage against Harold. At this stage William's army was tearing Harolds apart. Harold's exhausted army couldn't simply fight back strongly enough. Eventually Harold died when he was shot with an arrow that pierced his eye which ; then knocked off his horse and his body was well and truly hacked to pieces. He was also allegedly disembowelled. Once the Anglo-Saxon king had died; his remaining men immediately began to run in fear of their lives. In my opinion the main reason William won the battle was that his men were better prepared and had arguably the better weapons. Also Harold's men were still exhausted from the Battle of Stamford Bridge and the trek of marching from Stamford Bridge to Hastings. Finally after the battle many people had criticised Harold for not taking onboard the feedback from previous battles but regardless of that William had still had great tactics and was blessed with a bit of good luck. In the end William of Normandy was crowned king of England on Christmas Day 1066; although he still had many ongoing problems such as rebellions which would challenge his position as king of England. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE History Projects section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE History Projects essays

  1. Battle Of Hastings

    William removed his helmet to show them he was alive and breathing. When William and his army landed on the south coast, William also burned the boats so the Normans had to win the battle, showing he was confident that he was going to be the one to claim victory.

  2. Why did William the Conquerer win the battle of hastings

    Secondly, William had a strong army of about 10,000 men, this consisted of: well trained and fully armed knights which rode strong war horses, foot soldiers and archers. Harold had fewer men and most of them were poorly trained, local peasants or fyrd; he did have archers and well-armed housecarls, but no horses.

  1. Knightly Warfare. The knights primary and considered most well known weapon was the ...

    A buckler was a small shield that came before the kite shield and was used by knights and soldiers alike before plate mail came about. A buckler was a small shield, 15 to 45 cm in diameter that was gripped to the wrist and generally used in companion with a short sword or a variation of the short sword (Med.

  2. The battle of britain and the battle of the atlantic project.

    The Spitfire was probably the best fighter of its time. It was faster than the ME 109 and had a more effective firepower. But the German fighter was faster and easier controlled than the Hurricanes which made up two-thirds of the RAF.

  1. Why did King Henry V win the Battle of Agincourt?

    the terrain, then the longbow archers would not have had as much success. The terrain, along with the weather, played an integral role in the outcome of the war. The fact that it was on a flat plain helped the French as most of their army was made up of men-at-arms on horseback.

  2. Why did William win the battle of Hastings?

    He had also gotten the pope, Alexander II to support him. William was given a banner from the pope saying that William's attack on England was a holy crusade. Harold Godwinson had also shown great skill because he had positioned his men on Senlac hill, which made it harder for

  1. The Tactics of William Wallace and Andy Murray in Scotland's Wars Against England.

    This was one of several rebellions taking place across Scotland, including several Scottish nobles and Andrew Murray in the north. The uprising suffered a blow when the nobles submitted to the English at Irvine in July. Wallace and Murray were not involved, and continued their rebellions.

  2. Why did William duke of Normandy win the battle of Hastings ?

    As Edward was dying he pointed his finger towards Harold so people believed that Edward had given the throne of England to Harold. The throne was given to Harold Godwinson.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work