William’s win at the Battle of Hastings came down to several factors: he was a better and more skilled commander; the English army was severely weakened as Harold was fighting off an invasion in the North of England and Harold made a vital mistake of prematurely entering the Battle of Hasting. However, in my opinion, another factor played the greatest role in William’s win, luck and timing.
Luck and timing played a pivotal part in William’s success at Hastings. In advance of the campaign, two of William’s rivals had died: Henry, King of France and Count Fulk of Anjou. This was very significant for two reasons: it enabled William to leave Normandy feeling safe because his two main adversaries were dead, and, secondly, permitted him to get to Hastings without agonizing over an invasion back in Normandy. Thus, he could dedicate his full thought to the campaign which lay ahead. When he did embark on the campaign, the weather was in the favour of the Normans. Initially, William had intended to embark in July, but owing to adverse winds, the invasion was delayed from the end of July to September. The Navy was no longer patrolling the sea as their duty ended on the 8th September. With the confluence of clear seas and good weather on the 28th September, the day of crossing, the Normans crossed the channel in just over 24 hours. Moreover, unbeknownst to William, this was an extremely auspicious time for him to cross, because if he had arrived at his intended time of crossing in July, Harold and the Saxon army would have been waiting for him. The year of 1066 was a time of unease for Harold, as it was apparent that England was going to be invaded by either a Norman or a Scandinavian army. Harold was nervous throughout the entirety of his nine month reign. He had troops both in the North and the South, waiting in vain for these invasions. Ultimately, this only tired out his troops and stretched his resources. The Scandinavians arrived first which meant that Harold...
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