This essay will look at my sources and conclude if William of Normandy was influenced by luck, tactics or Harold’s mistakes.
Two battles took place prior to the Battle of Hastings. Harald was declared victorious in the first battle, 1066. He surrendered after only 30 minutes. The battle at Stamford Bridge on the 25th of September 1066 was the second significant battle. Harald orders York citizens to surrender their food, livestock and valuables on the 25th September 1066 after a triumphant victory over FulfordGate. Harald brought a third of Harald’s fighting soldiers to Stamford Bridge. Harold Godwin arrived at Stamford Bridge several days earlier than anticipated. The Vikings were given a chance to defeat Harald, but Fyrd and the Housecarls refused. Harald had received a fatal injury to his throat. Tostig was then killed. Harold Godwinson’s defeat-26th September. After King Edward died (5 January 1066), preparations for their arrival began in Spring 1066. Harald Hadrada, his claim to the English throne, was based on King Harthacanute’s promise of the throne for his predecessor King Magnus. King Edward the Confessor had given Harold Godwinson the name Subregulus. This was also supported by the Witan. William of Normandy is related to several old English Kings. All three of these men are well-known for having experienced warfare, as well as their battle-winning tactics. The period 1066 is also notable for many important battles.
Harold and two hundred Housecarls embarked on their journey towards London on the 26th of September. William, the very next day, set sail to Pevensey-not Dover as Harold had hoped. After many hours of deliberation, Harold Godwin’s Fyrd andHousecarls launched an attack. Harold set up the Fyrd and Archers as well as Housecarls upon Senlac hill. Williams men were below.
The Battle of Hastings was already underway. William and Harold displayed their strengths and weaknesses during battle.
William won Battle ofHastings thanks to his one strength. William was a skilled leader who could quickly adapt to new strategies. This is evident when he saw that the fyrd was lacking in discipline and launched two-track retreats, taking advantage of the weak organization. He created cracks in the wall by doing this. Williamsinfantry, the cavalry, as well as archers, were able tactically to retreat and quickly took control of battle. Williams’s skill and ability to think quickly is a key factor in his victory.
Williams’s strengths are another reason he won the battle. William, as demonstrated, was confident but didn’t become blinded. Consider what would have happened if William didn’t win. He was ready, and not just because he was on the hill. However, these were his backup plans. If all else fails, he could have safely retreated to the sea with his Cavalry and Infantry. This is proof of his ability not being overconfident and still winning the battle.
Williams’s strength was another, which enabled him to win battle. William was a veteran soldier. It has been proven numerous times that he was a skilled soldier. His philosophy was to keep his troops safe and not be afraid. This can be seen in his long-term cause. While Harold would have expected Harold to be there at Dover he decided to land at Pevensey. What if this didn’t happen? Harold might have won Battle of Hastings. Harold won the Battle of Hastings by landing in Pevensey. Harold wasn’t sure where he was. William’s Infantry and Cavalry andArchers fought on farms, burning down houses and stealing livestock. He did this without anyone thinking about stopping him. Williams’ strength is evident in his ability to make the most of his surroundings.
Many of his strengths helped William win the Battle ofHastings. William did not make the same mistakes as many great leaders. He made sure that his plan was clear and unambiguous. An example of this: William expertly placed a watchman who told him of Harold’s midnight arrival- not making the same mistake as Hadrada.Consequently, a short-term cause of Williams ability to devise a perfect plan.
Harold’s weaknesses were one of the reasons William won Battle of Hastings. William was a skilled leader who exploited the weaknesses of his opponents to his advantage. Harold saw that Harold’s Fyrd had lost discipline. Harold had not-strategically set up his Housecarls to stop him from giving in to Williams’s plan. William had won the battle because of his inexperience. An example of Harold’s weaknesses in battle.
Harold’s insatiable need to hurry was another reason Harold lost the battle. Harold didn’t wait for Fyrd and Archers to regroup. Harold might have been able, if he did this, to stop his Fyrd foolishly running into Williams’s scheme. He may even have won the great war of 1066. Harold’s inexperience was evident.
Bad luck is a long-term factor in Harold’s defeat at the Battle of Hastings. William had to defeat William and Hadrada, but fortunately, Harold was able to use his exhausted Archers and Housecarls as well as many Ford. It was therefore more difficult for Harold than the other battles. Harold could have won had it been the other direction.
Luck was the main reason William won Battle of Hastings. One example is that if Williams had not left in the right weather, he might have reached Pevensey. If Harold had ordered his Navy to sink Williams vessels, Harold would have a very good chance of becoming king. Some might argue that William’s victory was purely luck.
I’ve concluded that William won the battle because of his adapted tactics. All of the above reasons have been considered. I believe that William won Battle ofHastings by his own strength. He displayed core leadership skills throughout the battle, and despite being disadvantaged at Senlac Hill, maintained his confidence to win the 3rd Battle of 1066.