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 Post subject: Historial Lounge
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:32 pm 

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Welcome to the Historical Thread

On this day October 14th many historical events took place, one of those being in 1066 – Norman Conquest: Battle of Hastings: In England on Senlac Hill, seven miles from Hastings, the Norman forces of William the Conqueror defeat the English army and kill King Harold II of England. So in honor of this event I thought I'd start a conversation or Round Table on the Norman Conquest and the events surrounding it.

First of all I'd like to address the common misconception that Harold II was a poor military commander and leader. Harold II was a powerful Ango-Saxon Earl (Lord) with ancestry connected to the Viking Cnut the Great. After the death of the previous monarch Edward the Confesser (for which ironically the infamous Edward I was named after) Harold inherited a Kingdom at War. For two individuals disputed his claim to the throne, William Duke of Normandy and Harald King of Norway. Landing in Northern England the invading forces of Hardrada and Tostig defeated the English earls Edwin of Mercia and Morcar of Northumbria at the Battle of Fulford near York on 20 September 1066. Harold led his army north on a forced march from London, reached Yorkshire in four days, and caught Hardrada by surprise. On 25 September, in the Battle of Stamford Bridge, Harold defeated Hardrada and Tostig, who were both killed.

According to Snorri Sturluson, before the battle a single man rode up alone to Harald Hardrada and Tostig. He gave no name, but spoke to Tostig, offering the return of his earldom if he would turn against Hardrada. Tostig asked what his brother Harold would be willing to give Hardrada for his trouble. The rider replied "Seven feet of English ground, as he is taller than other men." Then he rode back to the Saxon host. Hardrada was impressed by the rider's boldness, and asked Tostig who he was. Tostig replied that the rider was Harold Godwinson himself. According to Henry of Huntingdon, Harold said "Six feet of ground or as much more as he needs, as he is taller than most men."

King Harold II had managed to produce 15,000 men for the battle against the Norse invaders, although outnumbering the enemy greatly he still lost 5,000 of his men. This meant he now had two choices, after such a costly battle he could either A: Delay his response to the Norman Invasion and raise a proper army, or B: Move south at once to meet the Normans and deny them any ground and recruit as he went south. Harold chose option B and it may have coast him the battle...but that is debatable.

When the two forces finally met it would be at Senlac Hill, Harold II being well aware of the Norman Cavalry placed his army upon the hill in a defensive formation. Not only would it mean the Norman Cavalry would have to charge up-hill but Norman Archers would have to fire up-hill at the shield wall formed by the Anglo Saxon Forces. The Norman forces made repeated attempts to take the hill but each time they failed. After Norman Spearmen making a brief hole in the Anglo Saxon Shield Wall Norman Cavalry advanced but were once again repealed. At this point rumors began spreading in the already disheartened Norman Ranks that the Duke had been killed. This caused much of the Norman Army to retreat. It took the Duke himself to ride up to his men with his visor raised showing them his face to get them to turn back. Though as they retreated Harold's brothers saw this and took it to be more than it actually was. Thinking that the Norman Army was in full flight or about to break they led the left flank of the Anglo Saxon Forces in a general charge down hill. This not only broke the defensive line but when they were off the hill and in a disorganized mass made them perfect prey for the heavy Norman Cavalry. The Anglo Saxon Left flank fell and Harolds brothers were slain. The Norman Army began advancing once again and gaining much headway this time. It was around this time an arrow struck Harold in his eye slaying him. Without their leader the Anglo Saxon Army fell apart and dissolved.

Harold II although perhaps was Williams equal if not his better, up until his death every military and administrative decision he had made was well thought out. He was a simply a monarch of pure poor luck, inheriting a Kingdom at war and managing to almost win both wars. In my opinion based on the evidence provided by modern research he was a skilled tactician.

Well that's my two cents, anyone else who wants to address my own post or come up with a new one on a new subject is more than welcome to, cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: Historial Lounge
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:10 pm 

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Today in 1529 – The Siege of Vienna ends as the Austrians rout the invading Turks, turning the tide against almost a century of unchecked conquest throughout eastern and central Europe by the Ottoman Empire, also in 1863 – American Civil War: The H. L. Hunley, the first submarine to sink a ship, sinks during a test, killing its inventor, Horace L. Hunley.


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 Post subject: Re: Historial Lounge
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:10 pm 

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Today in history: 1869 – Girton College, Cambridge is founded, becoming England's first residential college for women, 1964 – China detonates its first nuclear weapon, 1950 – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis is published, starting The Chronicles of Narnia series, 1384 – Jadwiga is crowned King of Poland, although she is a woman, 690 – Empress Wu Zetian ascends to the throne of the Tang dynasty and proclaims herself ruler of the Chinese Empire.


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