Battle Of Hastings - Reasons For Victory Essay

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The reason for William I’s success in the Battle of Hastings revolves around three main factors: firstly and most importantly, Harold Godwinson’s mistakes before and during the fight, secondly the preparations that William took to increase chances of victory, and thirdly the Duke of Normandy’s war tactics pitted against Harold’s in battle. A significant point that brought about Harold’s failure was the way he responded to William the Conqueror’s invasion to the south. After fighting a very successful battle in the North at Stamford Bridge against Harold Hardrada and Tostig, his army, though satisfied, would have been exhausted and sluggish from its aftermath. Thus, rather than rushing back to prevent William from reaching London upon hearing that he and his Norman army had begun to ravage the neighbouring lands at Hastings, it may have been a much more rational idea to rest and wait for reinforcements. Since Harold’s brothers-in-law Edwin and Morcar were also marching south by the time Harold was at Hastings, so it would not have been difficult to draw thousands more men and starve out William than to go head-on into battle immediately. The immediate march on foot to the south may well have been William’s intention, knowing that Harold’s army would not be at their best for battle, since he made a point to attack Harold’s own ancestral lands. This would have been a personal offence to Harold and it may have been his desire to avenge this and to recover his pride that he so rashly charged back with a worn out army. Rather than a response to defend a country, it had become a fight over a grudge between two men. This meant considerably fewer numbers and the possibility that Harold would also make rash decision in battle as well, which would have been advantageous to William and towards his victory in the Battle of Hastings. Another fatal mistake of Harold’s was
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