William the conqueror’s March on London: A logistical analysis

Bernard S Bachrach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

William the Conqueror won a decisive victory over the Anglo-Saxons at Hastings on 14 October 1066. The English army largely was destroyed and the leadership, e.g. King Harold and his brothers, was killed. Yet, in order to gain control of the kingdom, William had to capture London which finally surrendered only during the last week of December 1066. William’s logistical problem was to move resources for his army of some 10,000 effectives as well as some 3,000 high quality and expensive war horses to London. Various scholars have tried to figure out how William did this, and for many years some believed that the Normans lived off the land. However, careful study of the Domesday evidence that was used to argue for this method has been shown to be untenable. In the present study it is argued that for more than two months William supplied his troops and most importantly his war horses by ship who followed his forces along the coast and then through the valley of the Thames.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-138
Number of pages24
JournalViator - Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Deployment of fortifications on the March
  • Harold Godwinson
  • Land transport resources
  • Logistics
  • London bridge
  • London’s military resources
  • Military demography
  • Naval resources
  • Norman invasion of England (1066)
  • William the conqueror

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