Batalla de Stamford Bridge, 25 de septiembre de 1066

Batalla de Stamford Bridge, 25 de septiembre de 1066



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Batalla de Stamford Bridge, 25 de septiembre de 1066

Segunda de las tres batallas de 1066 que terminaron en Hastings, y la única victoria inglesa. Habiendo derrotado a las tropas de los condes Morcar y Edwin en Fulford (20 de septiembre), el rey Harald Hardrada de Noruega y su aliado Tostig aceptaron rehenes de York y comenzaron las negociaciones con los habitantes de Northumbria, con la esperanza de obtener su ayuda contra Harold. Esta era una posibilidad real: York había tenido un rey vikingo en el siglo anterior, mientras que Swegen Forkbeard, rey de Dinamarca, estableció una dinastía que gobernó Inglaterra de 1013 a 1042. Harald y Tostig se retiraron de York a Stamford Bridge, a siete millas al este de la ciudad, para esperar a sus rehenes.

Harald y Tostig parecen haber estado planeando una invasión del sur. Al parecer, no se les ocurrió que el rey Harold podría moverse hacia el norte para atacarlos, sino que esperaba que se quedara en la costa sur para protegerse de William. Sin embargo, Harold ya había despedido a su ejército en la costa sur cuando sus suministros comenzaron a agotarse y estaba libre para marchar hacia el norte. Al enterarse de la invasión noruega, marchó hacia el norte, reuniendo un ejército mientras marchaba. Presumiblemente, algunos de estos soldados eran los mismos hombres que recientemente habían estado custodiando la costa sur, pero muchos debían haberse reunido en el camino hacia el norte, desde áreas demasiado distantes de la costa sur para que elementos importantes del ejército hubieran regresado a ellos. El reino anglosajón había demostrado repetidamente ser capaz de reunir un gran número de tropas, y 1066 no iba a ser una excepción.

Harold llegó a Tadcaster (ocho millas al suroeste de York) el domingo 24 de septiembre. El ejército de la costa sur había sido destituido el 8 de septiembre, por lo que Harold había tenido poco más de dos semanas para formar un ejército y llevarlo a York. Este fue un logro significativo por derecho propio y no lo desperdició. Al día siguiente, Harold marchó a través de York hasta Stamford Bridge, donde encontró al ejército noruego completamente inconsciente de su aproximación. Siguió una gran matanza en la que murieron tanto Tostig como Harald Hardrada. La victoria de Harold fue total. los Crónica anglosajona registra que los supervivientes solo necesitaron veinticuatro barcos para regresar a casa, después de haber llegado en 300.

Es posible que el incidente más famoso de la batalla de Stamford Bridge no haya ocurrido. Según el relato, un solo héroe vikingo bloqueó un puente sobre el Derwent que Harold y los ingleses debían cruzar. Al principio nadie pudo derrotar a este héroe. Las flechas no lograron moverlo, y fue solo cuando alguien entró al río y lo apuñaló desde abajo que lo mataron y los ingleses pudieron cruzar el puente. Ciertamente, es posible que el puente sobre Derwent en Stamford Bridge fuera muy estrecho, pero las fuentes contemporáneas no mencionan este incidente. La versión C del Crónica anglosajona contiene el cuento, pero solo en una adición agregada en algún momento durante el próximo siglo. No aparece en las versiones D o E.

Más significativo es el debate sobre el impacto de Stamford Bridge en la batalla de Hastings. ¿Una parte significativa del ejército originalmente tenía la intención de derrotar a William y marchó hacia el norte hasta Stamford Bridge y nunca regresó? ¿Harold cometió errores en sus acciones contra William después de su rápida marcha a York y de regreso? Lamentablemente, las fuentes no son adecuadas para respaldar argumentos tan detallados. De lo que podemos estar seguros es de que Stamford Bridge vio la derrota del último ataque serio de los vikingos contra Inglaterra. Se realizaron otras redadas, pero nunca más fueron una amenaza seria. Harold había ganado una de las mayores victorias anglosajonas.


Stamford Bridge: la última victoria anglosajona

La batalla de Hastings en 1066 no solo fue un evento fundamental en la historia británica, sino que también se considera un punto de inflexión en la historia militar: el momento en que una forma de guerra de la 'Edad Oscura' basada en la infantería pesada dio paso a una 'guerra medieval'. 'forma de guerra basada en la caballería blindada.

En la historiografía británica tradicional, "la era de la caballería" comenzó cuando los séquitos de los caballeros normandos destrozaron el muro de escudos anglosajón en Senlac Hill. En nuestro especial de este número, desafiamos esta concepción de frente. Los conflictos anglosajones anteriores revelan una historia diferente, como la campaña que culminó en la batalla de Stamford Bridge cerca de York el 25 de septiembre de 1066, cuando el rey Harold II, al frente del principal ejército de campaña anglosajón, derrotó a lo que resultó para ser la última invasión vikinga de Inglaterra.

Tan pronto como se cambia el enfoque de Hastings, los eventos adquieren un nuevo aspecto. El ejército de Harold logró dos fenomenales marchas forzadas, en cada ocasión con un promedio de 17 millas por día durante aproximadamente dos semanas, y libró dos batallas campales a gran escala contra enormes ejércitos extranjeros de invasión, un vikingo y otro normando.

Al final de esta campaña, Hastings, que luchó el 14 de octubre de 1066 cerca de la costa sur, estuvo excepcionalmente reñido. La muerte del rey anglosajón parece haber sido decisiva. Hay muchas razones para creer eso, de no haber sido por este accidente, el muro de protección anglosajón podría haberse mantenido firme.

El argumento aquí es que no había nada "al revés" en la forma de guerra anglosajona, con su énfasis en la lucha a pie, en línea, en formación defensiva, lo que las fuentes contemporáneas llamaron un "escudo-fuerte". En efecto,
A pesar de todo el revuelo en torno a la caballería feudal, no hay ninguna buena razón para pensar que el caballo pesado es más predominante en el período medieval que en cualquier otro.

La falta de buena infantería era a veces un problema. Pero los gobernantes medievales lo suficientemente sabios como para criarlos y desplegarlos, o simplemente para emplear a sus nobles hombres de armas a pie, invariablemente los encontraron tan capaces de soportar cargas de caballo pesado como sus pares en otros períodos.

Los piqueros escoceses de Falkirk y Bannockburn, los garrotes flamencos de Courtrai, los arqueros y hombres de armas ingleses de Crécy y Agincourt no representaban tanto un regreso de la infantería al predominio del campo de batalla como una continuación de una tradición de infantería ininterrumpida oscurecida por mito feudal y romántico.


Batalla de Stamford Bridge, 25 de septiembre de 1066 - Historia

Rey Harold II, habiendo abandonado su espera por la esperada invasión normanda en el sur de Inglaterra debido a un aterrizaje inesperado en el norte de un enorme brazo veterano de vikingos al mando de su temido Rey, Harald Hardraada, marchó velozmente con sus enormes huscarls, en su mayoría montados. , el ejército fuertemente armado al norte 180m hasta York en solo 4 días y noches con una breve parada nocturna en Tadcaster, se movió directamente a través de York, colocando guardias huscarls en cada puerta de la ciudad para evitar filtraciones de su presencia.

Su objetivo era sorprender y masacrar por completo al feroz ejército nórdico (solo unas horas antes de que York, ¿por lo tanto, todo el norte? - se derrumbara en Hardrada, ¿y también aprendió de los magnates locales dónde estaba el ejército nórdico?) Y luego regresar al sur antes de que William pudiera hacerlo. tierra- y luego esperando en la costa de Normandía un viento favorable del sur. Los escandinavos pasaban tiempo ociosos esperando a los VIP de York / rehenes y descansando, DESARMADOS, en el calor de finales del verano a ambos lados de las riberas del río Derwent.

Hardraada había estado tan entusiasmado con la victoria en Fulford Gate solo cinco días antes, que fatalmente no envió exploradores lejos del campo para reconocer enemigos inesperados (y permitió que sus guerreros dejaran sus armaduras con su flota en Riccall). ¿Un veterano tan experimentado y astuto, tal vez?
En consecuencia, lo primero que supieron de los sajones en la localidad fue una enorme nube de polvo de la carretera y metal reluciente en la distancia hacia York en Gate Helmsley a 1 m de distancia (como una "capa de hielo" según Sturlasson) - ¿Podría ser la embajada de York acercándose?

Con horror, Harald y Tostig se dieron cuenta de que casi habían sido emboscados por el propio rey Harold, quien pensaban que estaba a 180 metros de distancia al SUR y, al ordenar a los pasajeros que se apresuraran a avisar a su guardia de flota a algunas millas de distancia para unirse a él lo antes posible, Hardrada también ordenó las tropas en la orilla oeste para luchar en una acción dilatoria (¿o simplemente fueron atrapadas después de robar ganado para comer y luego relajarse?), mientras él formaba apresuradamente su ejército principal de la orilla este en un enorme círculo listo para los temibles huscarls de Harold, arqueros y fyrdsmen.

Cargando directamente contra los vikingos de la 'orilla este' (formando un semicírculo tosco flanqueado por el Derwent en sus extremos), los huscarls de Harold usaron (o se les ordenó usar) su ventaja montada y la vanguardia inglesa los atacó (como creo) , cortando a muchos y luego apuntó a apoderarse del puente (luego un cruce de tablas de madera, lo suficientemente ancho solo para dos hombres) y cortando a la mayoría de ellos, hasta que la infantería sajona alcanzó a sus enemigos, los nórdicos e ingleses se desintegraron en un hirviente masa de hombres que luchaban y, con el puente ahogado por hombres, muchos nórdicos fueron obligados a retroceder al río donde se ahogaron.

Un gran noruego encadenado estaba solo en el extremo occidental del puente (según la leyenda escandinava, pero no en fuentes inglesas, curiosamente), matando a cualquier inglés con su hacha que se le acercaba, deteniendo el avance de Harold.
Si esta historia es cierta, entonces Harold, tal vez admirando momentáneamente su valentía, debió haber ordenado a sus arqueros, infantería y caballería que se abstuvieran de matar a este 'héroe' allí y entonces, tal vez viendo que Hardraada / Tostig ya había formado una feroz defensiva. formación a través del río cuesta arriba de todos modos, por lo tanto, ¿demasiado tarde para atraparlos expuestos incluso si mató a este guerrero solitario de inmediato?
Al ejército principal de Hardrada se le había ganado suficiente tiempo, y seguían rugiendo a su único camarada, pero el héroe finalmente fue derribado por un sajón emprendedor que usó un cubo de agua en la orilla del río (¿escondido debajo de las copas de los árboles colgantes?
Su hazaña se celebra incluso hoy en día en York "Spear Pies") y empaló a este héroe entre las piernas a través de los estribos de madera del puente. El ejército de Harold luego cruzó el puente y se formó (¿caballería al frente, infantería detrás?) Mientras los arqueros "cubrían" su avance y retaguardia.

Se supone que tuvo lugar una parlez con el ejército principal nórdico desde el río cuesta arriba: Harold ofreció personalmente a su hermano su vida (¿y el condado de Northumbrian?) Si cambiaba de bando (debe haber sido tentado, pero no pudo enfrentarse a la vergüenza de traicionar a Hardrada, que había patrocinado esta invasión, más de lo que no podía confiar en su hermano, a quien todavía quería vengar).
Pero entonces, ¿qué pensarían los condes Edwin y Morcar sobre eso, cuando ellos y sus seguidores se enteren de esto más tarde?
Tostig rechazó su oferta, ya sea que lo dijera en serio o no, y los desafiantes nórdicos gritaron sus negativas a los hombres de Harold, por lo que la batalla comenzó de nuevo. huscarl contra vikingo.

¡Harold debió haberse dado cuenta de que su ejército ahora estaría luchando un poco cuesta arriba de espaldas al río!
Solo una carga vikinga como la inglesa en Fulford cinco días antes y. desastre para él?

Huscarls montados de Harold (si Sturlasson--escribiendo mucho más tarde-- ¿no confunde a Stamford con Senlac?) cargaron contra la densa pared circular nórdica de escudos cerrados y lanzas de empuje hacia arriba y descargaron sus propias lanzas y rápidamente giraron, luego repitieron, para desgastar a sus enemigos (los nórdicos las dos filas delanteras se agacharon detrás de escudos entrelazados, apuntando sus propias lanzas al pecho del jinete, haciendo muy imposible atacarlos, mientras que los que estaban detrás apuntaban con las suyas a los cofres de los caballos) mientras los arqueros y los lanzadores de lanzas lanzaban proyectiles sobre la caballería desde el interior del círculo de Hardrada.

Esto continuó indeciso, los nórdicos pensaron que era un poco poco entusiasta de los sajones, pero siguió enfurecido. Hardrada, que había estado dentro del círculo para tapar cualquier brecha en su muro de hombres, dirigió una feroz carga con una fuerza de sirvientes (como en Fulford) que buscaban la eterna fama heroica (?) Rompió filas y cargó contra los sajones cuando se retiraron para reagruparse. , al igual que esa táctica, derribó a muchos sajones, mientras que el resto de su ejército mantuvo la formación y luchó detrás.
Cuando quedaron expuestos a la intemperie fuera de su "círculo" con su feroz asalto de contraataque, la caballería inglesa y los arqueros a los que se precipitaron a través de ellos los arrojaron con lanzas desde todas las direcciones, matando a un gran número.
Podría haber parecido como si los ingleses estuvieran a punto de ser derrotados, pero justo en este punto ... Hardrada fue alcanzado en la garganta por una flecha casual entre muchas, derribándolo junto con la mayoría de los hombres que lo acompañaban.

¿Un segundo parlez? Quizás otra oferta de paz de Harold durante la pausa cuando los ejércitos se reformaron nuevamente (¿desmontaron ahora los houscarls?), ¿Quién necesitaba a todos sus hombres vivos y sanos para regresar al sur lo antes posible?
Pero los nórdicos rugieron con desafío, impulsados ​​por el nuevo líder Tostig, quien también fue asesinado poco después cuando los huscarls y fyrdsmen se enfrentaron a pie con los desafiantes nórdicos. Una fase aún más feroz ahora rugió, más sangrienta que antes, los nórdicos sin armadura fueron masacrados por los 100, los sajones sufrieron grandes bajas mientras lo hacían, mientras el día sombrío dio paso a la masacre en 'pisos de batalla'.
"Tormenta de Orri". En este punto, el guardia de la flota nórdico acorazado pero exhausto, liderado por Orri Eystein (futuro yerno noble de Hardrada) llegó y se estrelló fuertemente contra los enredados sajones / vikingos del Este (muchos nórdicos colapsaron y murieron de agotamiento simplemente corriendo a la batalla, otros arrojaron su cota de malla solo para ser asesinados), casi golpeando a los sajones de Harold hacia atrás / hacia los lados con su gran impulso inicial de fuerza y ​​ferocidad, los ingleses solo mantuvieron sus líneas y detuvieron al nuevo ejército nórdico para que se detuviera.
Se libró una nueva y amarga lucha. "Tormenta de Orri" (Las fuentes nórdicas afirman que este fue "el más feroz de todos"), la espantosa carnicería a corta distancia continuó "hasta el anochecer", ambos bandos lo golpearon con un feroz golpeador, los sajones asesinaron en gran número, pero finalmente los mermados nórdicos finalmente se rompieron. y enrutados todo el camino de regreso a sus barcos (y localmente, ¿por la 'caballería' de Harold?) en la oscuridad.
Muchos fueron asesinados con hacha y espada mientras huían durante la noche, muchos otros quedaron atrapados y quemados vivos en graneros donde se escondieron, etc. A un gran costo para el ejército de Harold, habían obtenido una victoria asombrosa.

Secuelas. Tan fuertemente masacrados habían sido los escandinavos que solo 24 barcos de sus 300 originales navegaron a casa(¡más del 90% de su ejército!) -después de que el hijo de Hardrada, el príncipe Olaf (en realidad se convirtió en un gobernante nórdico pacífico), juró la paz y entregó rehenes y saqueos, luego los lastimosos 1000 supervivientes conmocionados por los proyectiles zarparon hacia el norte hacia las Orcadas, recogiendo a los nórdicos en Holderness, Scarborough y Cleveland en ruta.
& # 8226 Orderic Vitalis señaló que incluso en su época (siglo XII) todavía se podían ver montones de huesos.
& # 8226 Geoffrey Gaimar, escribiendo en ese momento, dijo & # 8220 nadie podía contar la mitad de los que quedan en el campo & # 8221


En la batalla de Stamford Bridge el 25 de septiembre de 1066, Harold, el rey de Inglaterra, derrotó a su hermano Tostig y al rey noruego Harald. Aunque Harold & rsquos 15.000 hombres de la fuerza obtuvieron una victoria decisiva ya que ambos líderes enemigos murieron en la batalla, perdió hasta 5.000 soldados. Como resultado, se debilitó significativamente y finalmente sufrió la derrota en la Batalla de Hastings poco después de que Harold muriera en esa batalla.

La batalla de Stamford Bridge también se conoce como el escenario de uno de los mejores puestos de un solo hombre jamás visto en un campo de batalla. El ejército nórdico quedó atónito por la repentina llegada de las fuerzas sajonas de Harold & rsquos y no estaba preparado en absoluto. Harald de Noruega intentó reagruparse y formar una línea defensiva para dar a sus hombres una oportunidad de luchar. Un endeble puente de madera era todo lo que se interponía entre los sajones y el vulnerable ejército nórdico. Un berserker nórdico gigante tripulaba el puente y desafió al enemigo a cargar, lo hicieron y se encontró con la muerte a través del hacha y la espada del defensor y rsquos.

Docenas de guerreros sajones intentaron pasar al Berserker, pero todos fallaron ya que mató al menos a 40 de ellos sin ayuda de nadie. Al parecer, se mantuvo firme durante casi una hora lo suficiente para que sus compañeros vikingos se reagruparan. Por desgracia, no vio a un sajón inteligente que remaba hasta el fondo del puente y emergía para apuñalar al berserker en la ingle.

El sacrificio del gran guerrero & rsquos fue en vano cuando los sajones asaltaron el puente y derrotaron al ejército vikingo. El rey Harald de Noruega murió con una flecha en la garganta, y con la pérdida en Stamford Bridge, la influencia de los vikingos en la corona británica murió. A pesar de su derrota, la leyenda de los Berserker sigue viva, ya que durante un breve período el poderoso ejército sajón fue desafiado por un solo hombre.


La batalla de Stamford Bridge

El 5 de enero de 1066, el rey (y más tarde santo) Eduardo el Confesor de Inglaterra murió sin heredero, iniciando una lucha de un año por el poder en Inglaterra. Según la Vita Ædwardi Regis, justo antes de la muerte del Rey Eduardo, colocó el Reino en la & # 8216protección & # 8217 de su cuñado, Harold Godwinson.

Godwinson fue coronado rey de Inglaterra el 6 de enero de 1066 en la Abadía de Westminster. Cuando Guillermo el Bastardo, duque de Normandía, se enteró de la noticia, empezó a planear una invasión de Inglaterra. William creía que era el heredero legítimo y Godwinson le robó el trono. Hay evidencia que sugiere que William visitó al rey Eduardo en la década de 1050 & # 8217 y durante la visita, Edward pudo haberle prometido el trono a William. William estaba decidido a asegurarse de que se cumpliera la promesa. Reunió un ejército y más de 700 barcos, listos para zarpar hacia Inglaterra.

William no era el único aspirante al trono. En Noruega, el rey Harald Hardrada también tenía el ojo puesto en el Reino de Inglaterra. Harald era un feroz guerrero vikingo, pasaba tiempo en la Guardia Varangian y luchaba batalla tras batalla para reclamar el trono danés. Incapaz de conquistar Dinamarca, Harald renunció a su derecho al trono danés en 1064.

En 1066, Tostig Godwinson, el hermano del nuevo rey Harold Godwinson, juró lealtad a Hardrada y le aconsejó invadir Inglaterra y reclamar el trono. Tostig fue conde de Northumberia entre 1055 y 1065, pero nunca fue un gobernante popular. Estuvo implicado en el asesinato de varios miembros de familias prominentes de Northumberian. Su hermano Harold, consejero del rey Eduardo el Confesor, convenció al rey de que le quitara el título a Tostig y lo proscribiera. En 1065 el rey Eduardo siguió el consejo y exilió a Tostig.

Tostig intentó hacer una alianza con William the Bastard pero no tuvo éxito y pasó el verano de 1066 en Escocia. Luego se puso en contacto con el rey Harald Hardrada y lo convenció de que derrocara a su hermano, el rey Harold Godwinson.

Harald estuvo de acuerdo y presentó planes para invadir Inglaterra. En septiembre de 1066, Hardrada navegó a Inglaterra con 10.000 hombres y 300 barcos. La primera gran batalla tuvo lugar el 20 de septiembre de 1066. La batalla de Fulford fue una clara victoria para Hardrada y sus hombres. Derrotaron fácilmente a los hombres de Northumbria y Mercia. Debido a la gran derrota, el rey Harold se vio obligado a marchar con sus hombres hacia el norte para detener a las fuerzas invasoras de Hardrda.

Godwinson llevó a sus hombres de Londres a York a una distancia de 310 millas (190 millas) en menos de una semana. El ejército inglés dirigido por el rey Harold Godwinson se enfrenta a la fuerza invasora noruega, dirigida por el rey Harald Hardrada, el 25 de septiembre de 1066 en Stamford Bridge. El ejército del rey Harold tomó por sorpresa a los noruegos. Hardrada y sus hombres esperaban una ligera resistencia de la población local. No llevaban armadura y la mitad de su fuerza custodiaba los barcos.

Según el historiador islandés Snorri Sturluson, antes de que comenzara la batalla, un hombre subió a caballo por Harald Hardrada y Tostig. Habló con Tostig y le ofreció la devolución de su condado si se volvía contra Hardrada. Tostig preguntó qué le ofrecería el rey Godwinson a Hardrada por sus molestias. El jinete respondió: & # 8220 Siete pies de terreno inglés, ya que es más alto que otros hombres & # 8221 Tostig rechazó la oferta. Cuando el hombre partió de Hardrada le preguntó a Tostig quién era el hombre, Tostig respondió: Rey Harold Godwinson.

La batalla comenzó y los noruegos parecían tener la ventaja, bloqueando el puente de los ingleses. Según las Crónicas anglosajonas, un solo hombre sostenía el puente:

Luego estaba uno de los noruegos que resistió al pueblo inglés, para que no cruzaran el puente ni obtuvieran la victoria. Entonces un inglés le apuntó con una jabalina, pero no sirvió de nada y luego vino otro por debajo del puente, y lo atravesó terriblemente por dentro bajo la cota de malla.

-Crónicas anglosajonas

Una vez que el hombre fue asesinado, los ingleses cruzaron el puente y asesinaron a los noruegos. Hardrada murió al principio de la batalla cuando una flecha le atravesó la garganta. Se registró en las sagas, cuando Hardrada fue asesinado estaba en un estado berseker, luchando ferozmente, tratando desesperadamente de derrotar a los ingleses.

La fuerza de los noruegos que custodiaban los barcos corrió para reforzar a Hardrda. Las tropas fueron dirigidas por Eystein Orre y los hombres estaban completamente armados y armados para la batalla. El contraataque, apodado & # 8220Orre & # 8217s Tormenta & # 8221 por su ferocidad, detuvo brevemente a los ingleses. Pero pronto se sintieron abrumados y derrotados. Orre murió durante el contraataque. Al final, el rey Harald Hardrda murió y su ejército fue derrotado. Tostig también murió en la batalla.

La muerte de Harald Hardrada se considera el final de la era vikinga en Inglaterra.

Dijo que tantos hombres murieron en un área tan pequeña que el campo estuvo lleno de huesos de muertos durante más de 50 años.

La batalla de Stamford Bridge fue la primera gran defensa del rey Harold de su corona, pero no sería la última. Tres días después de Stamford Bridge, la fuerza de invasión de William the Bastard aterrizó a 260 millas al sur en Pevensey Bay, Sussex. Harold Godwinson reunió a sus tropas y se dirigió al sur para detener otra invasión.


Secuelas

El rey Harold aceptó una tregua con los noruegos supervivientes, incluido el hijo de Harald, Olaf, y Paul Thorfinnsson, conde de Orkney. Se les permitió irse después de haber prometido no volver a atacar Inglaterra. Las pérdidas que habían sufrido los noruegos fueron tan graves que solo se necesitaron 24 barcos de la flota de más de 300 para llevarse a los supervivientes. [1] Se retiraron a Orkney, donde pasaron el invierno, y en la primavera Olaf regresó a Noruega. Luego, el reino fue dividido y compartido entre él y su hermano Magnus, a quien Harald había dejado para gobernar en su ausencia. [19]

La victoria de Harold duró poco. Tres días después de la batalla, el 28 de septiembre, un segundo ejército de invasión dirigido por William, duque de Normandía, desembarcó en Pevensey Bay, Sussex, en la costa sur de Inglaterra. Harold tuvo que hacer girar inmediatamente a sus tropas y forzarlas a marchar hacia el sur para interceptar al ejército normando. [20] Menos de tres semanas después de Stamford Bridge, el 14 de octubre de 1066, el ejército inglés fue derrotado de manera decisiva y el rey Harold II entró en acción en la batalla de Hastings, [21] comenzando la conquista normanda de Inglaterra, un proceso facilitado por el grandes pérdidas entre los comandantes militares ingleses. [ cita necesaria ]


La batalla de Stamford Bridge

Hubo varios aspirantes al trono de Inglaterra tras la muerte del rey Eduardo el Confesor de Inglaterra sin hijos, a quien sucedió su cuñado, Harold Godwineson, quien fue elegido por el Witan, en enero del accidentado año de 1066. Estos demandantes incluyeron a Harald Hardrada, ("harðráði" en nórdico antiguo, que significa "gobernante duro") Rey de Noruega, quien reunió una flota de 300 barcos, probablemente con alrededor de 15,000 tropas, para invadir Inglaterra y hacer valer su reclamo.

Harold Hardrada

Harald Hardrada, un guerrero de renombre, fue descrito por Snorri Sturluson como "más grande y más fuerte que otros hombres". Se decía que tenía cabello claro y barba y bigote, una de sus cejas estaba situada algo más alta que la otra. También se informó que tenía manos y pies grandes y se rumoreaba que medía dos metros y medio.

Hardrada llegó a la costa inglesa en septiembre, donde su ejército fue reforzado por Tostig Godwineson, el rebelde y descontento hermano de Harold, al frente de las fuerzas de Flandes y Escocia.

Tostig se opuso amargamente a su hermano mayor Harold, luego de una revuelta en 1065 contra su gobierno como conde de Northumbria. Harold lo había destituido de su cargo y lo había exiliado. Tostig se había refugiado con su cuñado, el conde Balduino V de Flandes, suegro de Guillermo de Normandía y ahora estaba decidido a vengarse. Había viajado a la corte de Harald Hardrada y lo había persuadido de invadir Inglaterra.

A finales del verano de 1066, Hardrada y Tostig aterrizaron en Tyne, procedieron a saquear y quemar la ciudad de Scarborough y navegaron río arriba por el río Ouse antes de avanzar hacia la ciudad de York. Derrotaron a un ejército anglosajón enviado a su encuentro bajo el mando de Edwin, conde de Mercia y su hermano Morcar, conde de Northumbria en la batalla de Fulford el 20 de septiembre, tras lo cual York se rindió y se exigieron rehenes a los habitantes de Northumbria. Luego navegaron por el Humber y desembarcaron en Riccall.

El rey Harold estaba esperando en el sur de Inglaterra, a la espera de la inminente invasión de Guillermo de Normandía, Guillermo afirmó que el trono le había sido prometido por su primo Eduardo el Confesor. Llegaron noticias del ataque vikingo y Harold se apresuró hacia el norte con sus sirvientes y tantos thegns como pudo reunir.

Continuando viajando tanto de día como de noche, Harold marchó con su ejército sin descanso desde Londres a Yorkshire, una distancia de aproximadamente 185 millas, en solo cuatro días, lo que le permitió tomar a los noruegos completamente por sorpresa.

Al enterarse de que se había ordenado a los habitantes de Northumbria que enviaran rehenes y suministros a los vikingos en Stamford Bridge, a siete millas al este de York. Harold avanzó para atacarlos en este punto de encuentro. No habían quedado fuerzas en York, lo que permitió a Harold marchar hasta Stamford Bridge. Hardrada, posiblemente asumiendo que el rey Harold no dejaría el sur de Inglaterra bajo la amenaza de una invasión normanda, dejó con confianza a un tercio de sus hombres y armaduras en su campamento base en Riccall, en el río Ouse, antes de acercarse a Stamford Bridge.

En un parlamento antes de la batalla, Harold le ofreció a su hermano, Tostig, la devolución de su condado si deponía las armas y se unía a él, Tostig preguntó qué tierras inglesas podía esperar Harald Hardrada si despedía a su ejército vikingo. El rey Harold respondió que "le ofrecería a Harald dos metros y medio de buena tierra inglesa, o todo lo que necesitara, ya que era más alto que otros hombres".

El ejército vikingo, sorprendido por los ingleses, se dividió, con algunas de sus tropas ubicadas en el lado oeste del río Derwent y el grueso de su ejército en el lado este. El 25 de septiembre de 1066, era un día cálido, para la época del año, que había llevado a los vikingos a dejar sus byrnies (una cota de malla que llegaba hasta la mitad del muslo) en sus barcos, colocándolos en clara desventaja en la siguiente batalla. .

La batalla de Stamford Bridge

Para cuando el principal ejército inglés llegó al lugar, los vikingos del lado oeste del río habían muerto o estaban huyendo por el puente. Los ingleses intentaron seguir a través del puente, pero se retrasaron por la necesidad de que el ejército pasara por el cuello de botella que presentaba el propio puente.

Un enorme berserker vikingo que empuñaba una enorme gran hacha de doble hoja bloqueó este estrecho cruce, sosteniendo por sí solo a todo el ejército sajón. La Crónica anglosajona registra que mató a hasta 40 ingleses. Finalmente fue derrotado cuando un soldado anglosajón flotó bajo el puente en medio barril y clavó su larga lanza a través de los listones del puente, hiriéndolo de muerte.

El retraso creado por el beserker había dado tiempo para que la mayor parte del ejército vikingo formara un muro de escudos, en forma de triángulo, contra el ataque inglés. El ejército anglosajón cruzó el puente y formó una línea justo antes de los vikingos, luego bloquearon los escudos y cargaron. La batalla fue feroz y sangrienta y se prolongó durante horas.

Finalmente, el ejército vikingo comenzó a fragmentarse y fracturarse, lo que permitió a los ingleses atravesar el muro de escudos. La feroz lucha continuó durante toda la tarde. El enorme rey vikingo Hardrada, que, según las sagas, vestía una túnica y un casco azules y empuñaba una espada a dos manos, avanzó por delante de su ejército y con un verdadero estilo beserker, asestó golpes devastadores a todos los que lo rodeaban. Cuando se acercaba el anochecer, fue asesinado por una flecha en la tráquea. Tostig tomó la Bandera del Cuervo Vikingo caído, "Land-Devastador" y continuó reuniendo a las tropas y luchando, pero él mismo fue asesinado.

Monumento a la Batalla

Los vikingos que se quedaron para proteger los barcos en Ricall, liderados por Eystein Orri, el prometido de la hija de Hardrada y completamente armados para la batalla, llegaron a la escena y se sumergieron en el tumulto. Su contraataque, descrito en la tradición vikinga como "La Tormenta de Orri", detuvo brevemente el avance inglés, pero pronto fue abrumado y el propio Orri fue asesinado por un guerrero sajón cuando la oscuridad cayó sobre el campo de batalla.

Sin un líder alrededor del cual reunirse, los maltrechos restos de la fuerza de invasión nórdica se rompieron. El ejército vikingo derrotado fue perseguido por los ingleses, algunos de los escandinavos que huían se ahogaron en los ríos.

La ubicación de la acción inicial, para el control del puente, se ha ubicado de forma segura. Sin embargo, la ubicación exacta del campo de batalla principal en Stamford Bridge es difícil de determinar, dada la falta de descripción del paisaje en las fuentes disponibles. El área llamada 'Battle Flats' al sureste de la ciudad se acepta generalmente como la ubicación correcta.

Tantos murieron en un área pequeña que se dijo que el campo todavía estaba blanqueado con huesos blanqueados 70 años después de la batalla. Harold aceptó una tregua con los supervivientes, que incluían al hijo de Hardrada, Olaf, y Paul Thorfinnsson, conde de Orkney. Se les permitió irse pacíficamente después de prometer que no volverían a atacar Inglaterra.

De los aproximadamente 200 barcos con los que llegaron los vikingos, solo se necesitaron alrededor de 25 para devolver a los supervivientes a Noruega. Se retiraron a Orkney, donde pasaron el invierno, y en la primavera Olaf regresó a Noruega. Se cree que el cuerpo de Tostig fue llevado a York y enterrado en York Minster. Un año después, el cuerpo de Hardrada fue trasladado a Noruega y enterrado en la Iglesia de María en Nidaros (Trondheim).

La victoria de Harold fue, sin embargo, de corta duración, mientras celebraba su victoria en un banquete en York, recibió la noticia de que Guillermo de Normandía había aterrizado en Sussex en la costa sur de Inglaterra y se apresuró hacia el sur para encontrarse con él, donde fue derrotado y asesinado. en la batalla de Hastings el 14 de octubre. El hecho de que Harold tuvo que hacer una marcha forzada para luchar contra Hardrada en Stamford Bridge y luego moverse a gran velocidad hacia el sur para enfrentarse a la invasión normanda, todo en menos de tres semanas, es ampliamente visto como un factor principal en la victoria de William en Hastings.

Después de su muerte en Stamford Bridge, se cree que el cuerpo de Tostig fue llevado a York para ser enterrado en York Minster. Sus dos hijos se refugiaron en Noruega, mientras que su esposa Judith se volvió a casar con el duque Welf de Baviera.


Contenido

En el 911, el gobernante carolingio Carlos el Simple permitió que un grupo de vikingos se estableciera en Normandía al mando de su líder Rollo. [1] Their settlement proved successful, [2] [b] and they quickly adapted to the indigenous culture, renouncing paganism, converting to Christianity, [3] and intermarrying with the local population. [4] Over time, the frontiers of the duchy expanded to the west. [5] In 1002, King Æthelred II married Emma, the sister of Richard II, Duke of Normandy. [6] Their son Edward the Confessor spent many years in exile in Normandy, and succeeded to the English throne in 1042. [7] This led to the establishment of a powerful Norman interest in English politics, as Edward drew heavily on his former hosts for support, bringing in Norman courtiers, soldiers, and clerics and appointing them to positions of power, particularly in the Church. Edward was childless and embroiled in conflict with the formidable Godwin, Earl of Wessex, and his sons, and he may also have encouraged Duke William of Normandy's ambitions for the English throne. [8]

Succession crisis in England

King Edward's death on 5 January 1066 [9] [c] left no clear heir, and several contenders laid claim to the throne of England. [11] Edward's immediate successor was the Earl of Wessex, Harold Godwinson, the richest and most powerful of the English aristocrats and son of Godwin, Edward's earlier opponent. Harold was elected king by the Witenagemot of England and crowned by Ealdred, the Archbishop of York, although Norman propaganda claimed that the ceremony was performed by Stigand, the uncanonically elected Archbishop of Canterbury. [11] [12] Harold was at once challenged by two powerful neighbouring rulers. Duke William claimed that he had been promised the throne by King Edward and that Harold had sworn agreement to this. [13] Harald Hardrada of Norway also contested the succession. His claim to the throne was based on an agreement between his predecessor Magnus the Good and the earlier King of England Harthacnut, whereby, if either died without heir, the other would inherit both England and Norway. [14] William and Harald Hardrada immediately set about assembling troops and ships for separate invasions. [15] [d]

Tostig and Hardrada's invasions

In early 1066, Harold's exiled brother Tostig Godwinson raided southeastern England with a fleet he had recruited in Flanders, later joined by other ships from Orkney. Threatened by Harold's fleet, Tostig moved north and raided in East Anglia and Lincolnshire. He was driven back to his ships by the brothers Edwin, Earl of Mercia and Morcar, Earl of Northumbria. Deserted by most of his followers, he withdrew to Scotland, where he spent the middle of the year recruiting fresh forces. [21] Hardrada invaded northern England in early September, leading a fleet of more than 300 ships carrying perhaps 15,000 men. Hardrada's army was further augmented by the forces of Tostig, who supported the Norwegian king's bid for the throne. Advancing on York, the Norwegians occupied the city after defeating a northern English army under Edwin and Morcar on 20 September at the Battle of Fulford. [22]

The English army was organised along regional lines, with the fyrd, or local levy, serving under a local magnate – whether an earl, bishop, or sheriff. [23] The fyrd was composed of men who owned their own land, and were equipped by their community to fulfil the king's demands for military forces. For every five hides, [24] or units of land nominally capable of supporting one household, [25] one man was supposed to serve. [24] It appears that the hundred was the main organising unit for the fyrd. [26] As a whole, England could furnish about 14,000 men for the fyrd, when it was called out. los fyrd usually served for two months, except in emergencies. It was rare for the whole national fyrd to be called out between 1046 and 1065 it was only done three times, in 1051, 1052, and 1065. [24] The king also had a group of personal armsmen, known as housecarls, who formed the backbone of the royal forces. Some earls also had their own forces of housecarls. Thegns, the local landowning elites, either fought with the royal housecarls or attached themselves to the forces of an earl or other magnate. [23] The fyrd and the housecarls both fought on foot, with the major difference between them being the housecarls' superior armour. The English army does not appear to have had a significant number of archers. [26]

Harold had spent mid-1066 on the south coast with a large army and fleet waiting for William to invade. The bulk of his forces were militia who needed to harvest their crops, so on 8 September Harold dismissed the militia and the fleet. [27] Learning of the Norwegian invasion he rushed north, gathering forces as he went, and took the Norwegians by surprise, defeating them at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September. Harald Hardrada and Tostig were killed, and the Norwegians suffered such great losses that only 24 of the original 300 ships were required to carry away the survivors. The English victory came at great cost, as Harold's army was left in a battered and weakened state, and far from the south. [28]

William assembled a large invasion fleet and an army gathered from Normandy and the rest of France, including large contingents from Brittany and Flanders. [30] He spent almost nine months on his preparations, as he had to construct a fleet from nothing. [e] According to some Norman chronicles, he also secured diplomatic support, although the accuracy of the reports has been a matter of historical debate. The most famous claim is that Pope Alexander II gave a papal banner as a token of support, which only appears in William of Poitiers's account, and not in more contemporary narratives. [33] In April 1066 Halley's Comet appeared in the sky, and was widely reported throughout Europe. Contemporary accounts connected the comet's appearance with the succession crisis in England. [34] [f]

William mustered his forces at Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, and was ready to cross the English Channel by about 12 August. [36] But the crossing was delayed, either because of unfavourable weather or to avoid being intercepted by the powerful English fleet. The Normans crossed to England a few days after Harold's victory over the Norwegians, following the dispersal of Harold's naval force, and landed at Pevensey in Sussex on 28 September. [30] [g] [h] A few ships were blown off course and landed at Romney, where the Normans fought the local fyrd. [32] After landing, William's forces built a wooden castle at Hastings, from which they raided the surrounding area. [30] More fortifications were erected at Pevensey. [51]

Norman forces at Hastings

The exact numbers and composition of William's force are unknown. [31] A contemporary document claims that William had 776 ships, but this may be an inflated figure. [52] Figures given by contemporary writers for the size of the army are highly exaggerated, varying from 14,000 to 150,000. [53] Modern historians have offered a range of estimates for the size of William's forces: 7,000–8,000 men, 1,000–2,000 of them cavalry [54] 10,000–12,000 men [53] 10,000 men, 3,000 of them cavalry [55] or 7,500 men. [31] The army consisted of cavalry, infantry, and archers or crossbowmen, with about equal numbers of cavalry and archers and the foot soldiers equal in number to the other two types combined. [56] Later lists of companions of William the Conqueror are extant, but most are padded with extra names only about 35 named individuals can be reliably identified as having been with William at Hastings. [31] [57] [i]

The main armour used was chainmail hauberks, usually knee-length, with slits to allow riding, some with sleeves to the elbows. Some hauberks may have been made of scales attached to a tunic, with the scales made of metal, horn or hardened leather. Headgear was usually a conical metal helmet with a band of metal extending down to protect the nose. [59] Horsemen and infantry carried shields. The infantryman's shield was usually round and made of wood, with reinforcement of metal. Horsemen had changed to a kite-shaped shield and were usually armed with a lance. The couched lance, carried tucked against the body under the right arm, was a relatively new refinement and was probably not used at Hastings the terrain was unfavourable for long cavalry charges. Both the infantry and cavalry usually fought with a straight sword, long and double-edged. The infantry could also use javelins and long spears. [60] Some of the cavalry may have used a mace instead of a sword. Archers would have used a self bow or a crossbow, and most would not have had armour. [61]

After defeating his brother Tostig and Harald Hardrada in the north, Harold left much of his forces in the north, including Morcar and Edwin, and marched the rest of his army south to deal with the threatened Norman invasion. [62] It is unclear when Harold learned of William's landing, but it was probably while he was travelling south. Harold stopped in London, and was there for about a week before Hastings, so it is likely that he spent about a week on his march south, averaging about 27 mi (43 km) per day, [63] for the approximately 200 mi (320 km). [64] Harold camped at Caldbec Hill on the night of 13 October, near what was described as a "hoar-apple tree". This location was about 8 mi (13 km) from William's castle at Hastings. [65] [j] Some of the early contemporary French accounts mention an emissary or emissaries sent by Harold to William, which is likely. Nothing came of these efforts. [66]

Although Harold attempted to surprise the Normans, William's scouts reported the English arrival to the duke. The exact events preceding the battle are obscure, with contradictory accounts in the sources, but all agree that William led his army from his castle and advanced towards the enemy. [66] Harold had taken a defensive position at the top of Senlac Hill (present-day Battle, East Sussex), about 6 mi (9.7 km) from William's castle at Hastings. [67]

English forces at Hastings

The exact number of soldiers in Harold's army is unknown. The contemporary records do not give reliable figures some Norman sources give 400,000 to 1,200,000 men on Harold's side. [k] The English sources generally give very low figures for Harold's army, perhaps to make the English defeat seem less devastating. [69] Recent historians have suggested figures of between 5,000 and 13,000 for Harold's army at Hastings, [70] and most modern historians argue for a figure of 7,000–8,000 English troops. [26] [71] These men would have been a mix of the fyrd and housecarls. Few individual Englishmen are known to have been at Hastings [31] about 20 named individuals can reasonably be assumed to have fought with Harold at Hastings, including Harold's brothers Gyrth and Leofwine and two other relatives. [58] [l]

The English army consisted entirely of infantry. It is possible that some of the higher class members of the army rode to battle, but when battle was joined they dismounted to fight on foot. [m] The core of the army was made up of housecarls, full-time professional soldiers. Their armour consisted of a conical helmet, a mail hauberk, and a shield, which might be either kite-shaped or round. [72] Most housecarls fought with the two-handed Danish battleaxe, but they could also carry a sword. [73] The rest of the army was made up of levies from the fyrd, also infantry but more lightly armoured and not professionals. Most of the infantry would have formed part of the shield wall, in which all the men in the front ranks locked their shields together. Behind them would have been axemen and men with javelins as well as archers. [74]

Background and location

Because many of the primary accounts contradict each other at times, it is impossible to provide a description of the battle that is beyond dispute. [75] The only undisputed facts are that the fighting began at 9 am on Saturday 14 October 1066 and that the battle lasted until dusk. [76] Sunset on the day of the battle was at 4:54 pm, with the battlefield mostly dark by 5:54 pm and in full darkness by 6:24 pm. Moonrise that night was not until 11:12 pm, so once the sun set, there was little light on the battlefield. [77] William of Jumièges reports that Duke William kept his army armed and ready against a surprise night attack for the entire night before. [75] The battle took place 7 mi (11 km) north of Hastings at the present-day town of Battle, [78] between two hills – Caldbec Hill to the north and Telham Hill to the south. The area was heavily wooded, with a marsh nearby. [79] The name traditionally given to the battle is unusual – there were several settlements much closer to the battlefield than Hastings. los Crónica anglosajona called it the battle "at the hoary apple tree". Within 40 years, the battle was described by the Anglo-Norman chronicler Orderic Vitalis as "Senlac", [n] a Norman-French adaptation of the Old English word "Sandlacu", which means "sandy water". [o] This may have been the name of the stream that crosses the battlefield. [p] The battle was already being referred to as "bellum Hasestingas" or "Battle of Hastings" by 1086, in the Domesday Book. [83]

Sunrise was at 6:48 am that morning, and reports of the day record that it was unusually bright. [84] The weather conditions are not recorded. [85] The route that the English army took south to the battlefield is not known precisely. Several roads are possible: one, an old Roman road that ran from Rochester to Hastings has long been favoured because of a large coin hoard found nearby in 1876. Another possibility is the Roman road between London and Lewes and then over local tracks to the battlefield. [75] Some accounts of the battle indicate that the Normans advanced from Hastings to the battlefield, but the contemporary account of William of Jumièges places the Normans at the site of the battle the night before. [86] Most historians incline towards the former view, [67] [84] [87] [88] but M. K. Lawson argues that William of Jumièges's account is correct. [86]

Dispositions of forces and tactics

Harold's forces deployed in a small, dense formation at the top of steep slope, [84] with their flanks protected by woods and marshy ground in front of them. [88] The line may have extended far enough to be anchored on a nearby stream. [89] The English formed a shield wall, with the front ranks holding their shields close together or even overlapping to provide protection from attack. [90] Sources differ on the exact site that the English fought on: some sources state the site of the abbey, [91] [92] [93] but some newer sources suggest it was Caldbec Hill. [89] [84]

More is known about the Norman deployment. [94] Duke William appears to have arranged his forces in three groups, or "battles", which roughly corresponded to their origins. The left units were the Bretons, [95] along with those from Anjou, Poitou and Maine. This division was led by Alan the Red, a relative of the Breton count. [90] The centre was held by the Normans, [95] under the direct command of the duke and with many of his relatives and kinsmen grouped around the ducal party. [90] The final division, on the right, consisted of the Frenchmen, [95] along with some men from Picardy, Boulogne, and Flanders. The right was commanded by William fitzOsbern and Count Eustace II of Boulogne. [90] The front lines were made up of archers, with a line of foot soldiers armed with spears behind. [95] There were probably a few crossbowmen and slingers in with the archers. [90] The cavalry was held in reserve, [95] and a small group of clergymen and servants situated at the base of Telham Hill was not expected to take part in the fighting. [90]

William's disposition of his forces implies that he planned to open the battle with archers in the front rank weakening the enemy with arrows, followed by infantry who would engage in close combat. The infantry would create openings in the English lines that could be exploited by a cavalry charge to break through the English forces and pursue the fleeing soldiers. [90]

Beginning of the battle

The battle opened with the Norman archers shooting uphill at the English shield wall, to little effect. The uphill angle meant that the arrows either bounced off the shields of the English or overshot their targets and flew over the top of the hill. [95] [q] The lack of English archers hampered the Norman archers, as there were few English arrows to be gathered up and reused. [96] After the attack from the archers, William sent the spearmen forward to attack the English. They were met with a barrage of missiles, not arrows but spears, axes and stones. [95] The infantry was unable to force openings in the shield wall, and the cavalry advanced in support. [96] The cavalry also failed to make headway, and a general retreat began, blamed on the Breton division on William's left. [97] A rumour started that the duke had been killed, which added to the confusion. The English forces began to pursue the fleeing invaders, but William rode through his forces, showing his face and yelling that he was still alive. [98] The duke then led a counter-attack against the pursuing English forces some of the English rallied on a hillock before being overwhelmed. [97]

It is not known whether the English pursuit was ordered by Harold or if it was spontaneous. Wace relates that Harold ordered his men to stay in their formations but no other account gives this detail. The Bayeux Tapestry depicts the death of Harold's brothers Gyrth and Leofwine occurring just before the fight around the hillock. This may mean that the two brothers led the pursuit. [99] The Carmen de Hastingae Proelio relates a different story for the death of Gyrth, stating that the duke slew Harold's brother in combat, perhaps thinking that Gyrth was Harold. William of Poitiers states that the bodies of Gyrth and Leofwine were found near Harold's, implying that they died late in the battle. It is possible that if the two brothers died early in the fighting their bodies were taken to Harold, thus accounting for their being found near his body after the battle. The military historian Peter Marren speculates that if Gyrth and Leofwine died early in the battle, that may have influenced Harold to stand and fight to the end. [100]

Feigned flights

A lull probably occurred early in the afternoon, and a break for rest and food would probably have been needed. [99] William may have also needed time to implement a new strategy, which may have been inspired by the English pursuit and subsequent rout by the Normans. If the Normans could send their cavalry against the shield wall and then draw the English into more pursuits, breaks in the English line might form. [101] William of Poitiers says the tactic was used twice. Although arguments have been made that the chroniclers' accounts of this tactic were meant to excuse the flight of the Norman troops from battle, this is unlikely as the earlier flight was not glossed over. It was a tactic used by other Norman armies during the period. [99] [r] Some historians have argued that the story of the use of feigned flight as a deliberate tactic was invented after the battle however most historians agree that it was used by the Normans at Hastings. [102]

Although the feigned flights did not break the lines, they probably thinned out the housecarls in the English shield wall. The housecarls were replaced with members of the fyrd, and the shield wall held. [99] Archers appear to have been used again before and during an assault by the cavalry and infantry led by the duke. Although 12th-century sources state that the archers were ordered to shoot at a high angle to shoot over the front of the shield wall, there is no trace of such an action in the more contemporary accounts. [103] It is not known how many assaults were launched against the English lines, but some sources record various actions by both Normans and Englishmen that took place during the afternoon's fighting. [104] The Carmen claims that Duke William had two horses killed under him during the fighting, but William of Poitiers's account states that it was three. [105]

Death of Harold

Harold appears to have died late in the battle, although accounts in the various sources are contradictory. William of Poitiers only mentions his death, without giving any details on how it occurred. The Tapestry is not helpful, as it shows a figure holding an arrow sticking out of his eye next to a falling fighter being hit with a sword. Over both figures is a statement "Here King Harold has been killed". [103] It is not clear which figure is meant to be Harold, or if both are meant. [107] [s] The earliest written mention of the traditional account of Harold dying from an arrow to the eye dates to the 1080s from a history of the Normans written by an Italian monk, Amatus of Montecassino. [108] [t] William of Malmesbury stated that Harold died from an arrow to the eye that went into the brain, and that a knight wounded Harold at the same time. Wace repeats the arrow-to-the-eye account. los Carmen states that Duke William killed Harold, but this is unlikely, as such a feat would have been recorded elsewhere. [103] The account of William of Jumièges is even more unlikely, as it has Harold dying in the morning, during the first fighting. los Chronicle of Battle Abbey states that no one knew who killed Harold, as it happened in the press of battle. [110] A modern biographer of Harold, Ian Walker, states that Harold probably died from an arrow in the eye, although he also says it is possible that Harold was struck down by a Norman knight while mortally wounded in the eye. [111] Another biographer of Harold, Peter Rex, after discussing the various accounts, concludes that it is not possible to declare how Harold died. [109]

Harold's death left the English forces leaderless, and they began to collapse. [101] Many of them fled, but the soldiers of the royal household gathered around Harold's body and fought to the end. [103] The Normans began to pursue the fleeing troops, and except for a rearguard action at a site known as the "Malfosse", the battle was over. [101] Exactly what happened at the Malfosse, or "Evil Ditch", and where it took place, is unclear. It occurred at a small fortification or set of trenches where some Englishmen rallied and seriously wounded Eustace of Boulogne before being defeated by the Normans. [112]

Reasons for the outcome

Harold's defeat was probably due to several circumstances. One was the need to defend against two almost simultaneous invasions. The fact that Harold had dismissed his forces in southern England on 8 September also contributed to the defeat. Many historians fault Harold for hurrying south and not gathering more forces before confronting William at Hastings, although it is not clear that the English forces were insufficient to deal with William's forces. [113] Against these arguments for an exhausted English army, the length of the battle, which lasted an entire day, shows that the English forces were not tired by their long march. [114] Tied in with the speed of Harold's advance to Hastings is the possibility Harold may not have trusted Earls Edwin of Mercia and Morcar of Northumbria once their enemy Tostig had been defeated, and declined to bring them and their forces south. [113] Modern historians have pointed out that one reason for Harold's rush to battle was to contain William's depredations and keep him from breaking free of his beachhead. [115]

Most of the blame for the defeat probably lies in the events of the battle. [113] William was the more experienced military leader, [116] and in addition the lack of cavalry on the English side allowed Harold fewer tactical options. [114] Some writers have criticised Harold for not exploiting the opportunity offered by the rumoured death of William early in the battle. [117] The English appear to have erred in not staying strictly on the defensive, for when they pursued the retreating Normans they exposed their flanks to attack. Whether this was due to the inexperience of the English commanders or the indiscipline of the English soldiers is unclear. [116] [u] In the end, Harold's death appears to have been decisive, as it signalled the break-up of the English forces in disarray. [114] The historian David Nicolle said of the battle that William's army "demonstrated – not without difficulty – the superiority of Norman-French mixed cavalry and infantry tactics over the Germanic-Scandinavian infantry traditions of the Anglo-Saxons." [119]

The day after the battle, Harold's body was identified, either by his armour or by marks on his body. [v] His personal standard was presented to William, [120] and later sent to the papacy. [103] The bodies of the English dead, including some of Harold's brothers and housecarls, were left on the battlefield, [121] although some were removed by relatives later. [122] The Norman dead were buried in a large communal grave, which has not been found. [123] [w] Exact casualty figures are unknown. Of the Englishmen known to be at the battle, the number of dead implies that the death rate was about 50 per cent of those engaged, although this may be too high. Of the named Normans who fought at Hastings, one in seven is stated to have died, but these were all noblemen, and it is probable that the death rate among the common soldiers was higher. Although Orderic Vitalis's figures are highly exaggerated, [x] his ratio of one in four casualties may be accurate. Marren speculates that perhaps 2,000 Normans and 4,000 Englishmen were killed at Hastings. [124] Reports stated that some of the English dead were still being found on the hillside years later. Although scholars thought for a long time that remains would not be recoverable, due to the acidic soil, recent finds have changed this view. [125] One skeleton that was found in a medieval cemetery, and originally was thought to be associated with the 13th century Battle of Lewes, now is thought to be associated with Hastings instead. [126] [y]

One story relates that Gytha, Harold's mother, offered the victorious duke the weight of her son's body in gold for its custody, but was refused. William ordenó que el cuerpo de Harold fuera arrojado al mar, pero no está claro si eso sucedió. [121] Another story relates that Harold was buried at the top of a cliff. [123] Waltham Abbey, which had been founded by Harold, later claimed that his body had been secretly buried there. [121] Other legends claimed that Harold did not die at Hastings, but escaped and became a hermit at Chester. [122]

William expected to receive the submission of the surviving English leaders after his victory, but instead Edgar the Ætheling [z] was proclaimed king by the Witenagemot, with the support of Earls Edwin and Morcar, Stigand, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Ealdred, the Archbishop of York. [128] William therefore advanced on London, marching around the coast of Kent. He defeated an English force that attacked him at Southwark but was unable to storm London Bridge, forcing him to reach the capital by a more circuitous route. [129]

William moved up the Thames valley to cross the river at Wallingford, where he received the submission of Stigand. He then travelled north-east along the Chilterns, before advancing towards London from the north-west, [aa] fighting further engagements against forces from the city. The English leaders surrendered to William at Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. William fue aclamado Rey de Inglaterra y coronado por Ealdred el 25 de diciembre de 1066 en la Abadía de Westminster. [129]

A pesar de la sumisión de los nobles ingleses, la resistencia continuó durante varios años. [131] There were rebellions in Exeter in late 1067, an invasion by Harold's sons in mid-1068, and an uprising in Northumbria in 1068. [132] In 1069 William faced more troubles from Northumbrian rebels, an invading Danish fleet, and rebellions in the south and west of England. He ruthlessly put down the various risings, culminating in the Harrying of the North in late 1069 and early 1070 that devastated parts of northern England. [133] A further rebellion in 1070 by Hereward the Wake was also defeated by the king, at Ely. [134]

Battle Abbey was founded by William at the site of the battle. According to 12th-century sources, William made a vow to found the abbey, and the high altar of the church was placed at the site where Harold had died. [101] More likely, the foundation was imposed on William by papal legates in 1070. [135] The topography of the battlefield has been altered by subsequent construction work for the abbey, and the slope defended by the English is now much less steep than it was at the time of the battle the top of the ridge has also been built up and levelled. [78] After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the abbey's lands passed to secular landowners, who used it as a residence or country house. [136] In 1976 the estate was put up for sale and purchased by the government with the aid of some American donors who wished to honour the 200th anniversary of American independence. [137] The battlefield and abbey grounds are currently owned and administered by English Heritage and are open to the public. [138] The Bayeux Tapestry is an embroidered narrative of the events leading up to Hastings probably commissioned by Odo of Bayeux soon after the battle, perhaps to hang at the bishop's palace at Bayeux. [139] [ab] In modern times annual reenactments of the Battle of Hastings have drawn thousands of participants and spectators to the site of the original battle. [141] [142]


The Anglo-French War (1202-1214) watered down the Norman influence as English Normans became English and French Normans became French. Now, no-one was just ‘Norman’. As its people and settlements were assumed into these two larger kingdoms, the idea of a Norman civilisation disappeared.

He himself paid for the foundation of Battle Abbey on the spot where Harold fell. The body of Harold was eventually recovered after a long search, but its face was so badly disfigured that they had to bring it to his concubine, Edith Swan-neck, to identify by the intimate marks upon his body.


Batalla de Stamford Bridge

A mere five days after the defeat of the northern English forces at Fulford Gate near York, Harald Hardrada and the traitor Tostig, King Harold Godwineson of England s own brother, had to fight a second battle. King Harold and his army had amazingly covered something like 180 miles in just four days, winning them the priceless element of surprise.

Hardrada had left York to rally at Stamford Bridge, a crossing point of the Derwent, and had sent 1,000 of his men back to Ricall to secure the fleet. On the day of the battle the weather was warm, and the Vikings were resting without armour when the English army arrived.

A furious defence of the crossing over the Derwent held the estimated 8,000 English at bay while the outnumbered Vikings dressed for battle in confusion, many failing to find their armour and helmets. Legend has a giant Norse axe-man holding the bridge like a berserker Horatio, until he was speared from beneath.

The Vikings formed a shield-wall, some sources say in a circle, others in a pointed formation. Before battle was joined Harold Godwineson rode between the armies, calling for his brother Tostig to come over to him, and be given his old lands back. Tostig declined.

Hardrada fought in the front ranks, paying for his bravery with a fatal arrow through his throat. Tostig was again begged to return to the fold. Again he declined. He rallied the invaders, but was killed before the arrival of reinforcements from Riccal whose counter-attack came too late and too lightly armed, many of the soldiers having jettisoned heavier equipment in the dash from Riccal under a hot sun.

The counter-attack degenerated into a rout as the remaining Vikings ran for their ships at Riccal.

A multitude of Viking warrior-chiefs died in the battle and its aftermath, and Hardrada s son Olaf was forced to accept a truce on the 26th, swearing never to attack England again before being allowed to sail back to Norway. This time though it is said the Vikings, who had arrived in 200 or possibly up to 300 ships only needed a tenth of the number to return the survivors. Ignominiously Hardrada s body was left in England.

King Harold Godwineson had ended one threat to England, but another and better organised one was about to land on the south coast as the wind, real and metaphorical, was changing.

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Comentario

From Carmen on 27th November 2012
How many miles did Harold's troops have to march? How many days did it take for Harold and his men to march south from Stamford Bridge?

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Batalla de Stamford Bridge

The Battle of Stamford Bridge took place at the village of Stamford Bridge, East Riding of Yorkshire in England on 25 September 1066, between an English army under King Harold Godwinson and an invading Norwegian force led by King Harald Hardrada and the English king's brother Tostig Godwinson. After a bloody and horrific battle, both Hardrada and Tostig along with most of the Norwegians were killed. Although Harold Godwinson repelled the Norwegian invaders, his victory was short-lived: he was defeated and killed by the Normans at Hastings less than three weeks later. The battle has traditionally been presented as symbolising the end of the Viking Age, although major Scandinavian campaigns in Britain and Ireland occurred in the following decades, such as those of King Sweyn Estrithson of Denmark in 1069–70 and King Magnus Barefoot of Norway in 1098 and 1102–03.

Fondo

The death of King Edward the Confessor of England in January 1066 had triggered a succession struggle in which a variety of contenders from across north-western Europe fought for the English throne. These claimants included the King of Norway, Harald Sigurdsson. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Manuscript D (p. 197), [ 1 ] the Norwegians assembled a fleet of 300 ships to invade England. The authors, however, did not seem to differentiate between warships and supply ships. In King Harald's Saga , Snorri Sturluson states, ". it is said that King Harald had over two hundred ships, apart from supply ships and smaller craft.” (p. 139) [ 2 ] Combined with reinforcements received in Orkney, the Norwegian army most likely numbered between 7,000 to 9,000 men. Arriving off the English coast in September he was joined by further forces recruited in Flanders and Scotland by Tostig Godwinson. [ 3 ] Tostig was at odds with his elder brother Harold (who had been elected king), having been ousted from his position as Earl of Northumbria and exiled in 1065, and had mounted a series of abortive attacks on England in the spring of 1066. [ 4 ] In the late summer of 1066, the invaders sailed up the Ouse before advancing on York. Outside the city they defeated a northern English army led by Edwin, Earl of Mercia and his brother Morcar, Earl of Northumbria at the Battle of Fulford on 20 September. Following this victory they received the surrender of York. Having briefly occupied the city and taken hostages and supplies from the city they returned to their ships at Riccall. They offered peace to the Northumbrians in exchange for their support for Harald's bid for the throne, and demanded further hostages from the whole of Yorkshire. [5]

At this time King Harold was in Southern England, anticipating an invasion from France by William, Duke of Normandy, another contender for the English throne. Learning of the Norwegian invasion he headed north at great speed with his houscarls and as many thegns as he could gather, travelling day and night. He made the journey from London to Yorkshire, a distance of about 185 miles, in only four days, enabling him to take the Norwegians completely by surprise. Having learned that Northumbrians had been ordered to send the additional hostages and supplies to the Norwegians at Stamford Bridge, Harold hurried on through York to attack them at this rendezvous on 25 September. [ 6 ] Until the English army came into view the invaders remained unaware of the presence of a hostile army anywhere in the vicinity.

Localización

There is some controversy as to whether or not a village and bridge existed at the time of the battle. One theory holds that there was no village at Stamford Bridge in 1066 and not even in 1086 when the Domesday Book was compiled. According to this theory, the name is locative and descriptive of crossing points over the River Derwent being derived from a combination of the words stone, ford and bridge i.e. stoneford and bridge. At the location of the present village, within the river bed, there is an outcrop of stone over which the river once flowed as a mini-waterfall. At low water levels one could easily cross over the river at this point, either on foot or horseback.

An alternative explanation is given by Darby and Maxwell [ 7 ] who state, "Stamford Bridge does, in fact, exemplify that small number of places which, though not mentioned in the Domesday Book, must have existed, or at any rate been named, in Domesday times because they appear in both pre-Domesday and post-Domesday documents." Most likely the Stamford Bridge lands were included with Low Catton and therefore were not mentioned in the Domesday Book. As for the presence of a bridge, manuscripts C, D and E of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle all mention Stamford Bridge by name. Manuscript C contains a passage which states ". came upon them beyond the bridge . ". [ 8 ] Henry of Huntington [ 9 ] mentions Stamford Bridge and describes part of the battle being fought across the bridge. Therefore, a bridge over the Derwent most likely did exist at this time.

One mile to the south along the River Derwent at Scoreby lies the site of a 1st to 4th century Roman settlement known as Derventio. The town runs for two and a half miles east/west alongside a Roman road. Occupying both east and west banks of the river, the town was connected by the construction of a bridge which carried the road. There is no archaeological evidence for a Roman bridge construction at or near the present site of Stamford Bridge.

It is possible that there may have been a two-pronged attack by Godwinson on Hardrada's army, making use of both the ford and perhaps the remnants of the earlier Roman bridge one mile to the south, information of which, and of the two road routes to the location from York, could have been gathered from Godwinson's earlier occupation of the city of York. However, no documentation exists to support this possibility.

Topographically, on the east bank of the river from the bridge crossing point, the land rises sharply up to 100 feet at High Catton. This is the only high ground around and a good defensive position for Hardrada's army caught out by Godwinson's sudden appearance on the skyline, as he rounded the ridge at Gate Helmsley to drop downhill swiftly onto Hardrada's unsuspecting army.

Batalla

The exact location of the Stamford Bridge battlefield is not known. Local tradition places the battlefield location east of the River Derwent and just southeast of the town in an area known as Battle Flats. The location of the Norwegian army at the start of the battle is crucial to understanding the subsequent actions both of Harald Sigurdsson and Harold Godwinson. Accounts of their location differ, depending on sources and interpretations. A common view is that the Norwegian army was divided in two with some of their troops on the west side of the River Derwent and the bulk of their army on the east side. Another interpretation is that they were just leaving Stamford Bridge and moving along the old Roman road toward York (west side of the River Derwent). [ 10 ] Regardless of their actual location, they did not expect the arrival of the English army.

The sudden appearance of the English army caught the Norwegians by surprise. [ 11 ] Their response was to rapidly deploy in a defensive circle. [ 12 ] If the Norwegians were located at Battle Flats, there is no good explanation as to why they deployed into this formation. However, if they were located on the east side of the Derwent, the deployment made perfect sense. By the time the bulk of the English army had arrived, the Vikings on the west side were either slain or fleeing across the bridge. The English advance was then delayed by the need to pass through the choke-point presented by the bridge. A later folk story has it that a giant Norse axeman (possibly armed with a Dane Axe) blocked the narrow crossing, and single-handedly held up the entire English army. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states that this axeman cut down up to 40 Englishmen. He was only defeated when an English soldier floated under the bridge in a half-barrel and thrust his spear through the laths in the bridge, mortally wounding the axeman. [ 13 ]

This delay had allowed the bulk of the Norse army to form a shieldwall to face the English attack. Harold's army poured across the bridge, forming a line just short of the Norse army, locked shields and charged. The battle went far beyond the bridge itself, and although it raged for hours the Norse army's decision to leave their armour behind left them at a distinct disadvantage. Eventually, the Norse army began to fragment and fracture, allowing the English troops to force their way in and break up the Scandinavians' shield wall. Completely outflanked, Hardrada at this point was killed with an arrow to his wind pipe and Tostig slain, the Norwegian army disintegrated and was virtually annihilated. [ 14 ]

In the later stages of the battle, the Norwegians were reinforced by troops who had been left behind to guard the ships at Riccall, led by Øystein Orre, Hardrada's daughter's fiancé. Some of his men were said to have collapsed and died of exhaustion upon reaching the battlefield. These men, unlike their comrades, were fully armed for battle. Their counter-attack, described in the Norwegian tradition as "Orre's Storm", briefly checked the English advance, but was soon overwhelmed and Orre was slain. The Norwegian army routed, pursued by the English army, some of the fleeing Norsemen drowned in the rivers. [ 15 ]

So many died in an area so small that the field was said to have been still whitened with bleached bones 50 years after the battle. [ dieciséis ]

Secuelas

King Harold accepted a truce with the surviving Norwegians, including Harald's son Olaf and Paul Thorfinnsson, Earl of Orkney. They were allowed to leave after giving pledges not to attack England again. The losses the Norwegians had suffered were so horrific that only 24 ships from the fleet of over 300 were needed to carry the survivors away. [ 15 ] They withdrew to Orkney, where they spent the winter, and in the spring Olaf returned to Norway. The kingdom was then divided and shared between him and his brother Magnus, whom Harald had left behind to govern in his absence. [17]

Three days after the battle, on 28 September, the Normans under William II landed on the south coast of England. King Harold had to rush his battered, weary army south to meet the new invasion. Less than three weeks after Stamford Bridge, on 14 October, Harold was defeated and killed at the Battle of Hastings, beginning the Norman Conquest of England, and ending the Anglo-Saxon era. So many English senior Thegns and lesser noblemen died at Stamford Bridge and Hastings that it was difficult for the Anglo-Saxons to resist their new Norman lords there were no leaders with standing to rally around.


Ver el vídeo: Battle of Stamford Bridge Ch. 4: 1066 Part 13