>>541688 intredasting, many Anglo-Saxon Kings had stronger links with Constantinople than Rome and the Anglo-Saxon Church was more independent, it is a leap to consider the same entity as the Eastern Orthodox Church though
>>541674 A loss at Hastings is not guaranteed to be an end to William, what with the zero pursuit capabilities of the Saxon forces.
Most likely result is a total descent into anarchy as William holes up somewhere, plunders the countryside, and uses the proceeds to hire more mercenaries. He won't want to confront Harold head on again, but Harold would be enormously tactically limited as to where he can contest with William, so long lasting stalemate.
>>541859 The Anglo-Saxons weren't involved with the Varangians until after William had already conquered them. Many huscarls and thegns lost their livelihood in England when the Normans took over so they sought their fortunes elsewhere and the Varangian guard was one place they went.
Prior to the Norman conquest, the Anglo-Saxon kings had a strong relationship with Rome because of their legacy on the island. The Pope gave palliums to important English bishops and supported the Anglo-Saxon missions in Frisia. Ultimately, Anglo-Saxon Christianity was a blend of Celtic and Roman traditions and I seriously doubt that the Byzantines significantly influenced Anglo-Saxon society.
>>541856 Of course, Godwinson lost many men defeating Hardrada and the ones that survived were exhausted from having just fought a battle and then marching to go fight another battle. The Anglos did the best they could and carried themselves manfully but it was just too much to ask.
>>541971 The fyrds were not completely different; men who fought at Stamford also fought at Hastings and furthermore the majority of those two weeks of "recovery" was spent marching 300 miles from Northhumbria to Sussex...
>The Anglo-Saxons had reinforcements coming. William did not.
The Anglo-Saxons had a fyrd whose term was about to expire, and William has reinforcements available as long as he can raise funds.
>You are overestimating his ability to rally enough troops to secure a strong enough location to then raise enough funds to then escape by boat to hire mercenaries.
He had cavalry. Harold didn't. You don't lose that many men in the battle, it's the pursuit where you get some 70% of your deaths; and I don't see how an infantry force is going to pursue a force that's mounted and can break up your rushes.
>He could retreat to Pavensy but I believe he would go straight for his ships. If he lost those he is stuck in England.
Why? He had already built some pretty extensive fortifications at Pevensy instead of trying to force a battle for the 3 months in between landing and Hastings, and seemed ready to winter in England before he sensed his opportunity. William was never in any particular hurry, or at least you can't reconstruct that from his actions on campaign.
>If you honestly believe that Godwinson allowed his militiamen to just go home after Stamford Bridge then you're absolutely mental.
Given that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle D says exactly that, I guess the contemporaries were also mental, huh?
Furthermore, since he quartered in London for a week after marching south, it meant that he covered the distance (and the AS chronicle gives it as 200 miles, btw, since you know, they weren't going along modern road networks and instead in a more or less straight line), which meant that they averaged at 28.1 miles a day, implying he wasn't taking a whole lot of farmers turned soldiers who would need to be quartered, foddered, etc and slowing him down.
>>542830 That is interesting, thank you for these.
However it's important to remember that Godwinson was deprived of the aid from the local Earls because of the losses sustained at Stamford.
>English losses must have deprived Earls Edwin and Morcar of any chance of effective action during the critical weeks of early October. They have often been regarded as unpatriotic because because they held aloof from the campaign of Hastings. It can at least be urged on their behalf that they had recently stood for defense of the realm against the greatest northern warrior of the age, and that the battle of Hastings had been fought long before either of them could have replaced the men whom he had lost at Fulford.
- Sir Frank Stenton, "Anglo-Saxon England" pp. 590-1
That I won't doubt, although I would add the qualification that Harold's authority was a lot less in the north than it was at the south; it's not a given that he would have gotten a lot of support out of the northern Earls anyway.
But same article I mentioned earlier, this time quoting Chronicle E (they don't all agree with each other, I'm afraid) mentions something similar, that Harold set out from London "before all his host came up"
Then again, with the narrowness of the position he took at Hastings to minimize the Norman cav advantage, I'm not sure how many more men would have made that much a difference if he would have had trouble deploying them, and in a situation like that, trading elite huscarls, even if they're only loyal to an unreliable vassal, for more fyrd is a bad one.
I was mostly just trying to argue against the "Exhaustion lost Hastings" meme, which I see a lot and isn't really supported. I'm sorry if I made it seem like I was going further than that.
Well, that and the meta-battle, for lack of a better word. William's cavalry advantage was enormous, far more so than a lot of people realize. Yes, Hastings was a pretty close run thing, but it was a battle in which the Saxons had little choice but to stand on the hill and take whatever the Normans threw at them. If William say, wanted to exchange missiles for the day and then retire, there's not a lot that Harold could have done about it. Going out into the open where William can execute some kind of flanking maneuver is a death sentence; at least with the army Harold had historically come October 1066.
If the Norweigans aren't there, then Harold likely has a better army camped south when William lands. (How much so I don't really feel qualified to say), but it's still built along the same lines; he's still going to be at a pretty bad disadvantage if he tries to fight anywhere that William's cavalry can get behind him and mess up his day instead of just charging up a hill.
At that point, the entire campaign probably proceeds very, very differently.
>>542997 Yes the Norman cavalry was certainly an advantage but I remember reading that the Saxon's Dane axes were actually quite effective against the thin shields employed by William's knights and had the Saxon shield wall not broken due to William's feigned retreats, Godwinson might have carried the day.
You're thinking the wrong type of tactics for what I'm getting at.
Yes, in a head to head fight, the Anglo-Saxon weapons, armor, and discipline were very good, and could certainly pose a grave risk to the Normans.
The single most important advantage that William's cavalry gave him were how it limited Harold's options. He's not trying the sudden rush that he did against the Vikings. He's not waiting to call up more troops because he knows he is going to get out-raided. He can't really pursue if William decides to retire and fight another day. He can't risk a battle in an open space because he'll get flanked and cut to ribbons.
Hastings, the anglo-saxon tactics used at hastings, were quite literally the only thing they could have done that didn't get them crushed in short order. And if the day had gone differently, Harold doesn't have nearly the same pursuit capabilities that William does.
The cavalry were enormously important simply by being there, even if they never engaged at all.
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