The Battle of Stamford Bridge

The Battle of Stamford Bridge

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  • Harold Godwinson lined his troops up for battle on the south coast to fight William duke of Normandy. But after waiting a long time and no arrival Godwinson went back to London. A strong wind had been delaying Williams trip but had been helping Hardrada who also had a claim to the throne.
  • Harold Godwinson had just let all of his warriors go when he got a report that Hardrada had arrived. Godwinson marched from the south coast to Stamford Bridge, gathering troops along the way. It was a 300km trek and he did it in just 5 days. 
  • Hardrada and Tostig had set up base in a place called Stamford Bridge. Where they were celebrating after defeating and taking over York. Hardrada had bought 10,000 men- 7000 of them went into battle whilst 3000 guarded the boats-300 of them. 
  • Not expecting a attack Hardrada and his men had left their armour on their boats 25 km away and then... they saw a massive army charging towards them, the English had arrived; the only thing separating them was the River Derwent with a bridge and two fords. 
  • According to the Anglo-Saxons chronicles a one armed Viking Berserka held back the English army from crossing the bridge. He killed 40 men singlehandedly. Until a cunning Englishmen managed to jump into the river and pass. He then stuck a sword into his foot!!!
  • Harolds men ran across the bridge towards the Norwegians. Hardrada then sent his 3 fastest horses to call for back-up from the warriors at the boats.  He lined his army up in a defensive wall. Harolds army was nearly twice as big. The Norwegians line began to break. Hardrada didn't have any armour on and was struck in his throat and died. Godwinson let the remaining Norwegians go back to Norway as long as they didn't invade again.  Only 24 boats were needed to take the survivors back. But down south William had arrived......
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