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Battle of Stamford Bridge (1066)

Submitted by Ludwig von Rege... on September 25, 2014 - 12:00am

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Stamford Bridge (1066). Harold Godwinson was king of England, and Harald Hardrada was king of Norway (seriously, check out this guy's biography: he went everywhere and fought everyone!). So on one side was Harold, and on the other side Harald. Clear?

Anyway, Harald invaded Northumbria with the aid of Harold's renegade brother, Tostig (exiled from England the year before). Harald did this partly because he had a tenuous claim on the English throne, but mostly because it was the kind of thing he did. He defeated the Northumbrian army, but before he could cause much mischief he was set upon by Harold. Harold had been hanging around southern England expecting a visit from William the Bastard, when he heard of Harald's invasion. Harold rushed his army 185 miles north in four days, taking Harald by surprise. Many of the Norwegians had to fight without armour, no doubt caught sun-bathing in the balmy Yorkshire air.

In any case, Harold crushed Harald's army, and both Harald and Tostig were slain. Having secured his realm is a decisive manner, Harold settled down to a long and peaceful reign.......

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