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Oct13-05, 11:11 PM
Another 61 years and it will be the 1000
On September 28, 1066, William of Normandy, bent on asserting by arms his claim to the English crown, landed unopposed at Pevensey. Upon setting foot on the beach, William tripped and fell on his face. Saving face, he rose, grabbing handfuls of sand and shouted "I now take hold of the land of England!" On hearing the news, the Saxon King Harold, who had just destroyed the Norwegian army under King Harald Hardråda at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire, hurried southward, gathering what forces he could on the way.
On the morning of Saturday, October 14, Duke William gathered his army below the English position. The Norman army was of comparable size to the English force, and composed of William's Norman, Breton and Flemish vassals along with various Norman nobles and their retainers. The nobles had been promised English lands and titles in return for their material support. The army was deployed in the classic medieval fashion with the Normans taking the centre, the Bretons on the left wing and the Flemish on right wing. Each battle comprised infantry, cavalry and archers along with crossbowmen. The archers and crossbowmen stood to the front for the start of the battle.
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