Analysis of the Bayeux Tapestry: A Letter About the Death of Harold
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Bayeux Tapestry experience letter: The death of Harold
My heart is heavy, King Harold is dead. No doubt the news has already reached you. It was an awful sight to see: the arrow pierced his eye directly; he fell to the ground as did the English hopes for an English king. The Norman usurper William has conquered.
From the beginning, we English were vastly outnumbered and out-manned. Harold had but 5,000 men, while William's Normans were 15,000 strong (Ibeji 2011). The battle saw a clash of the two fighting systems of the different armies. We Saxons fought as part of our fyrds, wedge-shaped battalions of troops led by our best warriors armed with their battle axes, followed with peasants brandishing sundry spears and whatever weapons they could find (Battle of Hastings, 2013, British Battles).
Given the fact we were vastly outnumbered, Harold had no choice but employ a defensive strategy against William (Ibeji 2011). He created a wall of English shields, in the hopes that the superior Norman numbers would eventually break themselves and, indeed, for a short period this was the case: the Normans struck against the English shields to little avail (Ibeji 2011). However, as the Bretons began to turn and flee, their Duke rallied them: "look at me, I'm alive and with the aid of God I will gain the victory!" (Ibeji 2011). The Normans began to gain in strength. We were weary with the fighting and the Normans began to break down our defenses.
The Norman mounted knights easily