Q:

How did William the Conqueror win the Battle of Hastings?

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William the Conqueror of Normandy won the Battle of Hastings in 1066 by having superior numbers of trained cavalry and archers and by staging fake retreats to draw out enemy forces before turning on them. The decisive moment was when King Harold II was killed and the English army was left without a leader.

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William the Conqueror arrived in England in late September with an army of 4,000 to 10,000 men, and the recently crowned Harold II moved southward with about 7,000 men to meet him. William had a well-balanced army of archers, infantry and cavalry, whereas Harold's army was composed of mainly poorly trained, ill-equipped infantry. The English army assembled on a hilltop that was vulnerable to archers but well-protected from infantry and cavalry. To lure the English from their defensible position, William pretended to flee several times, then confronted the enemy on more open ground.

The battle lasted for an entire day. The English, already tired from their long march, were gradually worn down. The more experienced Norman soldiers under William began to gain the upper hand. A tapestry of the event shows that Harold II was hit in the eye and killed by an arrow. Without direction, his battlefield forces fell into disarray and were easily vanquished.

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  • Q:

    What are some interesting facts about the Battle of Hastings?

    A:

    The Battle of Hastings was fought on Oct. 14, 1066, between the Anglo-Saxon army of King Harold II of England and the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy. The battle, which is depicted on the famous Bayeaux Tapestry, was one of the bloodiest battles in English history.

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  • Q:

    Where did the Battle of Hastings take place?

    A:

    The Battle of Hastings took place on Senlac Hill, just seven miles from Hastings, England. During this historical campaign, the army led by William of Normandy, famously known as William the Conqueror, vanquished the forces under King Harold II of England.

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  • Q:

    Why was William the Conqueror famous?

    A:

    William the Conqueror was famous for being the first Norman king of England. Also known as "William the Bastard," he became the Duke of Normandy when he was 7 years old.

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  • Q:

    Why did William of Normandy think he should be king of England?

    A:

    William of Normandy believed he should be king of England because his friend and first cousin once removed, Edward the Confessor, who was the childless king of England from 1042 until his death in 1066, promised William that he would be his successor. When Edward died, however, the deceased king's brother-in-law, Harold, assumed the throne instead. In response to what he felt was an act of betrayal, William decided to take the throne by force and launched a military campaign against the new monarch.

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