Saturday morning the battle began. All through the day, wave upon wave of invaders beat against the shield wall. The House Carls stood firm and did not yield. All through the day men fought and died. One side shouted "Olicrosse" and "Ut, ut". the other shouted "Dex aÑ—e". And they fought. And many died.
At the end of the day, the House Carls still stood, but were much depleted in number. The invaders made one last assault as daylight waned. This time, their archers were instructed to fire high, sending the arrows over the diminished shield wall. One missile found the eye of the King. The battle was over, the invaders had won.
It was a Saturday 940 years ago today on October 14th, 1066. It happened at Senlac Hill, not far from Hastings in England, where the village of Battle is now located. William, Duke of Normandy finally got to change his name from William the Bastard to William the Conqueror.
There is a fabulous website where you can spend a LOT of time exploring (it is huge) right here. This got me thinking about one of the absolute best books I have ever read on that pivotal year in Western history, 1066 by Franklin Hamilton. It is incredibly readable and long out of print. I also found out the reason it was so readable. Franklin Hamilton was a pseudonym used by a gentleman named Robert Silverberg. Gotta love the interweb. Thanks, Al!