Harold Godwinson defeated at Stamford Bridge

This is not meant to be a timeline, because I don't know the answers, but WI Tostig and Harald Hardrada beat Harold [Tostig's Brother] at Stamford Bridge, and Harold dies. [of an arrow in his eye, or whatever] Now, what do they do? Go south and fight William the bastard at Hastings? Or do they share power with him or what. One of my favourite PODs is for the Norman French influence to be kept out of England, so lets see if someone can come up with a credible scenario for this, based on a different outcome at S. B.
 
Whe end up with the Saxon forces accepting William
In 1067 after concilidating his throne, william moves north and after several battles establishes a border between Norman/Saxon England & Norse Scotland.
 
This is not meant to be a timeline, because I don't know the answers, but WI Tostig and Harald Hardrada beat Harold [Tostig's Brother] at Stamford Bridge, and Harold dies. [of an arrow in his eye, or whatever] Now, what do they do? Go south and fight William the bastard at Hastings? Or do they share power with him or what. One of my favourite PODs is for the Norman French influence to be kept out of England, so lets see if someone can come up with a credible scenario for this, based on a different outcome at S. B.

http://www.angelfire.com/weird2/althistx/va.html

This is the first TL I ever created
 

Thande

Donor
Well, leaving aside the Normans, Tostig would become King of England with the Vikings backing him up, perhaps even making him a puppet. Perhaps the Normans take the south and allow Tostig to keep the north, but I suspect William the Bastard would still fight him (and probably win) leaving the same end result as OTL, uninteresting as it may seem.
 
but I suspect William the Bastard would still fight him (and probably win) leaving the same end result as OTL, uninteresting as it may seem.
The question here is whether or not the Norman knights and archers can defeat a shield wall. They did so at Hastings because part of it split off and got chopped to pieces. In addition, later on Edward I used a knight archer combination to defeat Scottish spearmen. On the other hand Swiss infantry did a good job of knocking about Habsburg knights and a Longshanks type army got stuffed at Bannockburn.

A lot of it comes down to generalship and in my view William the Bastard was on par but no better than Hardrada.

Where the Normans would have an advantage is in a ten year campaign combined castles to secure ground/act as bases of operations and knights raiding into Norse territory. The mounted huscarl can do the latter, but the Norse had no equivalent of the castle (although they could adopt the idea.) A war of attrition like this along with mini campaigns to take towns was what won the Hundred Years War for the French. There is no reason why the Normans can't preempt it and do the same to northern England.

On the other hand, it is going to had more than Cinque Port ships to stop Viking raids on the south coast. On this PoD, England is not going to be green and pleasant land with the Norse and the Normans slugging it out.
 
Well, leaving aside the Normans, Tostig would become King of England with the Vikings backing him up, perhaps even making him a puppet. Perhaps the Normans take the south and allow Tostig to keep the north, but I suspect William the Bastard would still fight him (and probably win) leaving the same end result as OTL, uninteresting as it may seem.


unlikely, Harald H invaded to take the kingship for himself, on a very weak claim. having killed the King, I can't see him making Tostig King instead, that wasn't in his character. Harald would want to be King of England-he might make Tostig his right hand man in England.

Regarding Southern England, do remember that the Normans were unpopular there-Edward's 'norman' favourites did a good job of annoying the locals and after the Dover incident almost started a civil war. With Edgar Atheling in London (and with a good claim to the throne), he could rally a defence against William and without the need to rush to engage him in battle, a full fyrd could be summoned and who knows, it could do William a lot of damage and perhaps beat him. Even if Edgar doesn't end up King himself, I suspect there would be a lot of nobles in the South who would take Harald over William.

As to fortifications, whether the Norse had such a tradition or not, there was a long one in England. Putting aside Burghs, there were "fortified Thegnly Residences" (very much like ringwork castles).
 
Aye, Tostig was simply courting foreign support for his restoration as Earl of Northumbria. (which he didn't have much success with at first.) That just happened to come into contact with Harald's ambition to be King and the rest, as they say, is history.

I suspect that Harald and Tostig would have had a hard time of it in the North if they had won at Stamford; the Northumbrians had ejected Tostig in the first place for a reason. The ultimate result may have just been an easier go of it for William - possibly no Hastings. (or equivalent.)
 
Aye, Tostig was simply courting foreign support for his restoration as Earl of Northumbria. (which he didn't have much success with at first.) That just happened to come into contact with Harald's ambition to be King and the rest, as they say, is history.

I suspect that Harald and Tostig would have had a hard time of it in the North if they had won at Stamford; the Northumbrians had ejected Tostig in the first place for a reason. The ultimate result may have just been an easier go of it for William - possibly no Hastings. (or equivalent.)

I wonder, Harald was quite a smart cookie, he knew Tostig wasn't overly popular. If he had won at Stamford, I could see Tostig having a little accident (indeed, if he didn't meet an untimely fate right at the end of Stamford).
In which case I could see the North continuing to recognise Harald as King (the men of York had already done so), in which case London might well follow.
 

Thande

Donor
unlikely, Harald H invaded to take the kingship for himself, on a very weak claim. having killed the King, I can't see him making Tostig King instead, that wasn't in his character. Harald would want to be King of England-he might make Tostig his right hand man in England.

Regarding Southern England, do remember that the Normans were unpopular there-Edward's 'norman' favourites did a good job of annoying the locals and after the Dover incident almost started a civil war. With Edgar Atheling in London (and with a good claim to the throne), he could rally a defence against William and without the need to rush to engage him in battle, a full fyrd could be summoned and who knows, it could do William a lot of damage and perhaps beat him. Even if Edgar doesn't end up King himself, I suspect there would be a lot of nobles in the South who would take Harald over William.

As to fortifications, whether the Norse had such a tradition or not, there was a long one in England. Putting aside Burghs, there were "fortified Thegnly Residences" (very much like ringwork castles).

I bow to your superior Anglo-Saxon-ness, but would a southern rebellion really have been that successful? The men of Durham met the Normans in full array as far as I know, but were defeated in their turn...
 
I bow to your superior Anglo-Saxon-ness, but would a southern rebellion really have been that successful? The men of Durham met the Normans in full array as far as I know, but were defeated in their turn...

It could of; indeed you have to remember prior to Hastings the Normans were a military failure in this country. Look at the Dover incident, a contingent of Normans got chased out of town by the local mensfolk, not professional warriors; the attempts by the Norman favourites to reorganise the border defences against Wales failed and the few times the Normans stood in battle against the Welsh they got the worst of it; The Normans who fought for McBeth seemed to have achieved nothing other than adding to his losses when Malcolm's forces attacked. Also, the Southern Thegns were intact as were the southern fyrds and we don't know what William would have done if Harold was dead-infact perhaps we do, at first (when he hadn't had news of what had happened up north) William was willing to sit at Hastings and raid a bit.

A southern leader, without that need to protect his personal lands from William, could have concentrated on raising the best possible army. Lets go with Edgar, for convience, and lets say he's smart-knows he can't take on both Harald and William and also knows the Normans ain't popular whereas a lot of his lords have close family links to the Norse. He sides with Harald, sends messages north saying he renounces all claim and will be H's loyal man, is mustering the fyrd and please come south as William is here.
 
As to fortifications, whether the Norse had such a tradition or not, there was a long one in England. Putting aside Burghs, there were "fortified Thegnly Residences" (very much like ringwork castles).
Fortified towns and manors are not going to be too difficult for Normans with their siege technology.

A southern leader, without that need to protect his personal lands from William, could have concentrated on raising the best possible army. Lets go with Edgar, for convience, and lets say he's smart-knows he can't take on both Harald and William and also knows the Normans ain't popular whereas a lot of his lords have close family links to the Norse. He sides with Harald, sends messages north saying he renounces all claim and will be H's loyal man, is mustering the fyrd and please come south as William is here.
The title say like the Earl of Wessex would be very tempting to a Saxon noble when the Normans are likely to get him less than nothing. If Hardrada can catch the Normans between a Saxon uprising in the south and his own army from the North, he could conquer all of England.

I would still favour the Norman; castles are good for internal security as was demonstrated against the Welsh and the laws of that they did impose on OTL showed that they told Saxon rebellions seriously.
 
If it is up to the Witan who is king after Harold's death, then why could they not adopt Edgar the Aetheling as king ? This would in a sense pre-empt William, as he would be entering a bi-partisan war already if he came across the Channel, and the nature of such things is that someone doing such a thing always allies with one of the sides. Edgar being in place might well allow him to have a greater legitimacy than OTL. Could William come over as Edgar's ally against Tostig, or would he choose to be Tostig's ally against Edgar ? If so, would he not be denied a degree of legitimacy because his argument never was with Edgar but with Harold ?

Best Regards
Grey Wolf
 
Given Hardrada's record in prior conflicts I suspect that most Saxons would have preferred William as being likely to at least honor the terms he offers. As opposed to a guy who suddenly lands in the north of England and torches a town just to show everyone that he's there.

It IS an interesting period, as noted in 1066, The Year Of The Conquest, this period of 32 days where if anyone had pushed even faster or delayed just a bit all of English history might have been transformed.

The book also makes the suggestion that Tostig's behavior and character for 1065-1066 was so different from most of his life that he may have been suffering from some kind of mental problems.
 

Paul MacQ

Donor
Ah scenario I have often though about. and in fact have done a number of Wargame scenarios With Vikings and Normans.

The a Major important Differences in the Saxon Army and The Vikings.
Viking King Greater experience in fighting Cavalry
And Archers between a quarter to a 3rd of the Vikings would have a Bow
Breton Light Cavalry under William would not be able to ride up and shower Javelins almost with impunity as they did against Harold since he has so few Archers.

Vikings would also have a Greater number of Armored Troops with them
And a number of the Vikings had experience Raiding the Franks and Facing off against there Knights much less likely to Race off after the Enemy.

This Situation would come down to Logistics and who won the Naval Battles to come.

And yes he who gets most of the Locals onside will Probably Win. Nordic Links I would Favour Ah scenario I have often though about. and in fact have done a number of Wargame scenarios With Vikings and Normans.

The a Major important Differences in the Saxon Army and The Vikings.
Viking King Greater experience in fighting Cavalry
And Archers between a quarter to a 3rd of the Vikings would have a Bow
Breton Light Cavalry under William would not be able to ride up and shower Javelins almost with impunity as they did against Harold since he has so few Archers.

Vikings would also have a Greater number of Armored Troops with them
And a number of the Vikings had experience Raiding the Franks and Facing off against there Knights much less likely to Race off after the Enemy.

This Situation would come down to Logistics and who won the Naval Battles to come.Ah scenario I have often though about. and in fact have done a number of Wargame scenarios With Vikings and Normans.

The a Major important Differences in the Saxon Army and The Vikings.
Viking King Greater experience in fighting Cavalry
And Archers between a quarter to a 3rd of the Vikings would have a Bow
Breton Light Cavalry under William would not be able to ride up and shower Javelins almost with impunity as they did against Harold since he has so few Archers.

Vikings would also have a Greater number of Armored Troops with them
And a number of the Vikings had experience Raiding the Franks and Facing off against there Knights much less likely to Race off after the Enemy.

This Situation would come down to Logistics and who won the Naval Battles to come.

Yes and who won the Minds of the Locals .. Thinking Nordic connections here I would Favour Hardrada
 
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Ah scenario I have often though about. and in fact have done a number of Wargame scenarios With Vikings and Normans.

The a Major important Differences in the Saxon Army and The Vikings.
Viking King Greater experience in fighting Cavalry
And Archers between a quarter to a 3rd of the Vikings would have a Bow
Breton Light Cavalry under William would not be able to ride up and shower Javelins almost with impunity as they did against Harold since he has so few Archers.

Vikings would also have a Greater number of Armored Troops with them
And a number of the Vikings had experience Raiding the Franks and Facing off against there Knights much less likely to Race off after the Enemy.

This Situation would come down to Logistics and who won the Naval Battles to come.

And yes he who gets most of the Locals onside will Probably Win. Yes and who won the Minds of the Locals .. Thinking Nordic connections here I would Favour Hardrada

The Vikings did have archers - experiments with Viking longbows have shown them to have a range of 200 m! Arrows were fitted with chainmailbreakers - arrows with a heavy triangular or square profile point that would penetrate a mailcoat and get stuck. With such equipment organization is seen as having been in units and not single bowmen.

Horses/cavalry: Stirrups are found in Ribe, southwest Jutland dated 650 AD. In the english chronicels it is recorded that the heathen army requested horses for transportation in England. They did ride but don't seem to have used regular cavalry - but noones definite on that one. Generally it is assumed the armoured cavalry appers in Denmark in the late 11 century.

Hardrada having served in Byzantium would have known how to deal with cavalry I strongly presume, as well as any other arm.
 
Sven Estridson is something of a dark horse in this. He could gang up with Harold Hardarada against William and then turn on Harold relying on his superior claim to the English throne...:D

That's something for the future.. mind you Harald would swing a stinking great axe at Swegn saying "How's this for a superior claim"!!
 
That's something for the future.. mind you Harald would swing a stinking great axe at Swegn saying "How's this for a superior claim"!!

You know they were at sporadic war from 1047 to 1064 with each other! Harald went raiding in Denmark but didn't defeat Sven - so maybe his axe wouldn't be so great after all.
Sven didn't send his expedition to York until 1069 but TTL he might just have done so - 6000 men strong. If we go by assumed figures for the Great Heathen Army - only his would be christian.:cool:
 
You know they were at sporadic war from 1047 to 1064 with each other! Harald went raiding in Denmark but didn't defeat Sven - so maybe his axe wouldn't be so great after all.
Sven didn't send his expedition to York until 1069 but TTL he might just have done so - 6000 men strong. If we go by assumed figures for the Great Heathen Army - only his would be christian.:cool:

In my TL I have Sven's blokes landing in The Fens

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fens

In any event they couldn't be describe as an army, just a major raiding party
 
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