Building the Invasion Fleet
Craftsmen with axes, adzes,
and other tools are finishing off the planks and timbers. The work was
probably done at Dives-sur-Mer, on the Normandy coast near the town of
Caen. Approximately eight hundred ships were built in a few months.
William's Ships Cross the
Harold had assembled a
fleet off the Isle of Wight and planned to attack William before his
ships could be built, but the winds failed him. William sailed from
Saint Valery at the end of September, and landed without opposition at
Pevensey. Harold had been forced to send his ships to London to refit.
William Takes Counsel
After William crossed the
Channel from Normandy to England he held a council of war with two of
his half brothers, Bishop Odo of Bayeux and Robert of Mortain.
The Battle of Hastings Begins
(bodyguards) fight against the Norman cavalry from behind the
shield-wall. A single unarmored bowman is a reminder that Harold did
not have many archers. In any case, the light arrows they used were of
little use against armored knights.