Medieval *England without Norman conquest

I like it so far, but just a few cents:

- Why invade Normandy? The Anglo-Saxons didn't have a strong enough army, thus it wasn't in their interests to do so.
- The Anglo-Saxon way of warfare is still rather archaic. They need to modernize first, and adopt the Continental (German-French-Italian-Spanish) way of Knightly warfare to survive on the long run. Thus, conquering Wales would be a good idea too, they could adopt longbows from the Welsh, just like OTL England. Or, they could start mass-producing crossbows, like the Germans.

Is a way of warfare that withstands the best William can throw at it for most of a day and only fails because of discipline problems meaning units breaking ranks, getting slaughtered, and the defenders being eventually too thinned to hold really "archiac"?
 
One thing to remember is that "knightly" combat as we understand it wasn't fully developed in 1066, even amongst the Normans! They didn't charge en mass with couched lances, they hacked and slashed with broadswords and/or used spears the old fashioned way (e.g. underhanded thrusting from a standstill, or just throwing them as javelins). Against that kind of cavalry force, the shield-wall is more than capable of holding the field. And the Anglo-Saxons wouldn't even necessarily need longbows to thin out the Normans; if they just used throwing spears a la the Romans (in coordinated volleys), they could bleed enough horsemen to begin pushing back.
 
The Normans in south Italy was something that occurred through-out the entire 11th century. A loss at Hastings will slow migration but there are already a lot of Normans there anyway.
Is a way of warfare that withstands the best William can throw at it for most of a day and only fails because of discipline problems meaning units breaking ranks, getting slaughtered, and the defenders being eventually too thinned to hold really "archiac"?
Considering what eventually happened with pike-shot, I wouldn't call it archaic. But I wouldn't call it that useful in general either since they could move their shield-wall for shit.

Also, yay that Sang the Nazi was banned.
 
Considering what eventually happened with pike-shot, I wouldn't call it archaic. But I wouldn't call it that useful in general either since they could move their shield-wall for shit.

And they don't really need to, in this sort of situation.

This isn't like Wallace forming up perfect Shoot Me targets at Falkirk.

Also, yay that Sang the Nazi was banned.

Oh dear. What is it with some people posting stuff that is a shortcut to banned status?
 
And they don't really need to, in this sort of situation.

This isn't like Wallace forming up perfect Shoot Me targets at Falkirk.
Well no, but if you want to make a true comparison you should probably avoid incorporating terrain features.
ED:
Oh dear. What is it with some people posting stuff that is a short cut to banned status?
It makes for some interesting reading with a happy ending brought on by CalBear.
 
Well no, but if you want to make a true comparison you should probably avoid incorporating terrain features.

Fair enough.

I mentioned Falkirk for being exactly the wrong place for a static defense line, where as Hastings was fine for the shield wall.

That being said, the Anglo-Saxons do need to keep up with the times, same as any kingdom.
 
To get back to possible expansions of the Anglo-Saxons, maybe something involving Scandinavia, marriages and Denmark's expansionary wars of Baltic enterprises?
 
To get back to possible expansions of the Anglo-Saxons, maybe something involving Scandinavia, marriages and Denmark's expansionary wars of Baltic enterprises?

That could be interesting.

How feasible/infeasible is a personal union between England and Denmark (and/or Norway)? In the sense, is that manageable? There's a far distance between the two.
 
That could be interesting.

How feasible/infeasible is a personal union between England and Denmark (and/or Norway)? In the sense, is that manageable? There's a far distance between the two.
Cnut the Great says it's doable with the right king.
 
Yeah, but not all kings are like you, Cnut.
Well the main problems seemed to be distance, it was hard to spend enough time in all the kingdoms to avoid some breaking off or civil wars. It also seemed he ran out of heirs. Give it say, 2 more long-lived somewhat successful monarchs and you might have something more lasting.
 
Well the main problems seemed to be distance, it was hard to spend enough time in all the kingdoms to avoid some breaking off or civil wars. It also seemed he ran out of heirs. Give it say, 2 more long-lived somewhat successful monarchs and you might have something more lasting.

That could be interesting to see. Would it likely be based in Scandinavia or in England?
 
That could be interesting to see. Would it likely be based in Scandinavia or in England?
I think demographically it would eventually be based in England, but it looks like Cnut was doing a lot of governing through the Anglo-Saxon elites. So at first it would be politically based in Denmark. I wonder if this could lead to a partial "Nordicization" of the English rather than the other way around.
 
I think demographically it would eventually be based in England, but it looks like Cnut was doing a lot of governing through the Anglo-Saxon elites. So at first it would be politically based in Denmark. I wonder if this could lead to a partial "Nordicization" of the English rather than the other way around.

Englishmen eating even more inedible things than OTL? Egads.

:D

But besides bad jokes on lutefisk, what kind of customs do you have in mind? You seem to know more about this sort of thing (cultural developments and how/why they happen) than I do.
 
A Hundred Years War - that is, a legitimate English claim to the French throne that can be prosecuted with a considerable measure of success - is highly unlikely ITTL, IMHO.

The Plantagenets were a French family, and their claim was about as good as that of the Valois - perhaps better. The Capets began to rule when France was an elective kingdom. While primogeniture became standard during their reign, those French vassals for whom the issue became relevant did NOT apply Salic law; nor did the English. The proposal that the French monarchy apply Salic law was a partisan maneuver by pro-Valois lawyers.

In contrast, a Godwinson or other Saxon might attempt to marry into the French nobility. But they will be perceived as foreigners much more than the Angevins were. Furthermore, the Angevins got really lucky in amassing half of the French vassals in personal union. That probably won't happen here.
 

oshron

Kicked
i decided to write up some more stuff before i could post again; ive been unable to connect until just now

anyway, here's the relevant events so far, updated with more correct/new entries:

  • 927: Aethelstan, a descendant of Alfred the Great of Wessex, unites the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms under one banner
  • 999: the Normans first set foot in southern Italy; during the first half of the 11th century, they fill the role of mercenaries in the region
  • c. 1050: the Normans begin their conquest of southern Italy at Abruzzo
  • 1061-1091: the Normans and later French invade Arab-controlled Sicily
  • January 1066: Edward the Confessor dies and four different men vie for the throne; Harold Godwinson becomes king
  • September 1066: Harald Hardrada invades *England but is defeated by Harold II at Stamford Bridge
  • October 1066: William the Bastard invades and meets Gyrth and Leofwine Godwinson at Hastings, but is defeated while Harold II raises another army
  • December 1066: Harold II drives the Normans out of *England on Christmas Day
  • 1067: Sweyn II of Denmark half-heartedly invades *England and is defeated (but survives)
  • 1068-1073: Harold II forms alliances with the other independent/autonomous pockets in *Britain, further unifying the kingdom
  • 1085: Harold II dies and his eldest sons Godwine and Edmund joust [1] to decide who becomes king; Edmund ascends to the throne and Godwine is given authority over *English possessions in *Ireland as compensation
  • 1093: Godwine and Edmund III both die and their younger brother Magnus becomes king
  • 1118: Magnus I dies and is succeeded by his (fictional) son Aethulwulf; during Aethelwulf's reign, the balance of power in *England shifts towards the earls and Witenagemot and appeasement attempts were made towards *Welsh and *Scottish dynasties in the form of land grants
  • 1127-1146: *English invasion of *Wales; powerful earldoms are established on the borderlands
  • 1130s: *England becomes allies with the Byzantine Empire
  • 1139: the French conquer Naples
  • 114?: *English invasion of the Norman/French Italy; Aethulwulf began the invasion partly to help his Byzantine allies and partly out of spite towards France and the Catholic Church (because the Pope supported William's invasion in 1066)
  • 1154: Sicily is conquered and Aethulwulf establishes a dukedom on the island, installing his cousin Henrik as the Duke of Sicily
  • 1163: Aethulwulf dies and is succeeded by Henrik
[1] actually, the Witenagemot probably decided who became king, and the jousting story is more attributable to legend

One thing to remember is that "knightly" combat as we understand it wasn't fully developed in 1066, even amongst the Normans! They didn't charge en mass with couched lances, they hacked and slashed with broadswords and/or used spears the old fashioned way (e.g. underhanded thrusting from a standstill, or just throwing them as javelins). Against that kind of cavalry force, the shield-wall is more than capable of holding the field. And the Anglo-Saxons wouldn't even necessarily need longbows to thin out the Normans; if they just used throwing spears a la the Romans (in coordinated volleys), they could bleed enough horsemen to begin pushing back.
i already wrote up that the british reform their military along the lines of continental armies based on the earlier comment, but now that this has come up, do you and others think they would actually need to?
The Normans in south Italy was something that occurred through-out the entire 11th century. A loss at Hastings will slow migration but there are already a lot of Normans there anyway.
Considering what eventually happened with pike-shot, I wouldn't call it archaic. But I wouldn't call it that useful in general either since they could move their shield-wall for shit.
i currently have the normans moving at the same rate but the invasions being taken over by the french in the 1070s (who knows? maybe the normans down there dont hear about william's defeat before the french show up)
To get back to possible expansions of the Anglo-Saxons, maybe something involving Scandinavia, marriages and Denmark's expansionary wars of Baltic enterprises?
i think one place ive already written up as being a british possession later on is the faroes. i could see some limited british control/influence on denmark and/or norway
That could be interesting.

How feasible/infeasible is a personal union between England and Denmark (and/or Norway)? In the sense, is that manageable? There's a far distance between the two.
i was kinda thinking the denmark becomes an ally of france later on, perhaps during the napoleonic era, but considering that their culture and language would be quite similar to that of denmark, i could see alot of activity between the two, at least for a while
Well the main problems seemed to be distance, it was hard to spend enough time in all the kingdoms to avoid some breaking off or civil wars. It also seemed he ran out of heirs. Give it say, 2 more long-lived somewhat successful monarchs and you might have something more lasting.
so an anglo-danish alliance in the 13th century? personally i want to kind of keep denmark/denmark-norway separate from britain, but if plausibility demands some kind of formal union, that's where i'll go ;)
A Hundred Years War - that is, a legitimate English claim to the French throne that can be prosecuted with a considerable measure of success - is highly unlikely ITTL, IMHO.

The Plantagenets were a French family, and their claim was about as good as that of the Valois - perhaps better. The Capets began to rule when France was an elective kingdom. While primogeniture became standard during their reign, those French vassals for whom the issue became relevant did NOT apply Salic law; nor did the English. The proposal that the French monarchy apply Salic law was a partisan maneuver by pro-Valois lawyers.

In contrast, a Godwinson or other Saxon might attempt to marry into the French nobility. But they will be perceived as foreigners much more than the Angevins were. Furthermore, the Angevins got really lucky in amassing half of the French vassals in personal union. That probably won't happen here.
okay, so a Hundred Years War like IOTL is out the window, but do you think a similar conflict over different circumstances could arise?
 
Having the Anglo-Saxon get into continental Europe by invasion is rather ridiculous. Don't really see that happening. Especially if it is mainland France, i doubt the French King would just let the Anglo-saxons waltz into French territory.

Normans took over Normandy without much problem.
 

oshron

Kicked
Actaully, if Harold Godwinson won he might be considered a saint in the ITTL 'Anglican' Church
that's entirely a possibility--and an interesting one at that :D--but its not really a big enough change to affect anything
Normans took over Normandy without much problem.
yeah, but these arent normans we're talking about, and the anglo-saxons dont have much incentive to really attack normandy

ive also written up some more for the TL. here's the relevant history so far:

  • 927: Aethelstan unites the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms under one banner
  • 999: the Normans first set foot in Italy, and serve as mercenaries in the region during the first half of the 11th century
  • c.1050: the Normans invade and conquer Abruzzo in southern Italy
  • 1061-1091: Norman/French invasion of Arab-controlled Sicily
  • January 1066: Edward the Confessor dies; Harold Godwinson becomes king
  • September 1066: Harald Hardrada invades *England but is defeated by Harold II at Stamford Bridge
  • October 1066: William the Bastard invades *England but is defeated at Hastings by Gyrth and Leofwine Godwinson while Harold II raises another army
  • December 1066: Harold II meets the Normans in Sussex on Christmas Day and drives them out of *England
  • 1067: Sweyn II of Denmark half-heartedly invades but is turned back by Harold II
  • 1068-1073: Harold II forms alliances with the remaining independent/autonomous regions of *England and with former Viking settlements in *Ireland, further unifying the kingdom
  • 1085: Harold II dies and his sons Godwine and Edmund decide who will succeed him by jousting; Edmund ascends to the throne while Godwine is given lordship over possessions in *Ireland [1]
  • 1093: Edmund III and Godwine both die; their younger brother Magnus becomes king
  • 1093-1118: Magnus I works to unify *England with *Scotland and *Ireland
  • 12th century: *England modernizes its armies based on continental armed forces; the housecarls are reformed to roles virtually identical to continental knights
  • 1118: Magnus I dies; Aethulwulf becomes king and oversees a major shift in the balance of power towards the earls and appeasement attempts toward *Wales and *Scotland; *English armies adopt the *Welsh longbow
  • 1127-1146: *English conquest of *Wales; powerful *English earldoms are established on the borderlands
  • 1139: French conquest of Naples
  • 1140s: an alliance is formed between *England and the Byzantine Empire
  • 1144-c.1154: *English invasion of Norman/French Italy; Aethulwulf invaded partly to help his Byzantine allies and partly to spite France and the Papacy (the Pope endorsed William's earlier invasion)
  • 1154: Aethulwulf establishes a dukedom in the newly conquered Sicily and installs his cousin Henrik as Duke
  • 1163: Aethulwulf dies and is succeeded by Henrik of Sicily
  • 1173-1174: Henrik the Young leads a revolt against Henrik II but is ultimately unsuccessful
  • 1185: the Byzantine Empire re-establishes control of southern Italy (but not Sicily) and grants Taranto and Crotone to *England as thanks; the two cities are incorporated into the Dukedom of Sicily
  • 15th century: a textile industry is established in *England based on a Flemish model
[1] actually, the Witenagemot made the decision; the jousting story is just local legend
 
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