Battle of Hastings (1066)

The Battle of Hastings resulted in the conquest of England by the Normans and is ranked as one of the battles that changed the course of history.

Harold Godwinson became king of England in 1066, after his father Edward died.

But  William of Normandy claimed that Edward - his cousin - had promised the English throne to him.

The King of Norway also claimed the English throne and invaded northern England. Harold marched up north and defeated the Norse at the Battle of  Stamford Bridge.
(This was the last great battle in more than 200 years of Anglo-Scandinavian conflict).

In Harold's abscence, William landed his army in southern England without opposition.

Harold rushed south and met William's invading troops near the town of Hastings. He almost won a victory. The Norman cavalry wore itself out in charges up a hill that was held by Harold's men. Then the Normans pretended to retreat in disorder, causing the English militia on the flanks to storm down the hill in pursuit. The Norman knights split the English formation, cutting the separate units of the enemy army to pieces.

After William defeated and killed Harold he became the first Norman King of England as  William I, the Conqueror.