Readers Letters
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Letter 30

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Vegard Dahl wrote:

I firstly wish to thank you for a great site, I've had very good use for the "" in a major school assignment that I'm about to finish. It is full of info, graphics, quotes and photographs, and it isn't only a great pleasure to watch due to a genius layout, it is also an almost endless source of information on the battle of Hastings. Thanks a lot! What I did miss, though, is a bit more info about the battle of Stamford bridge that also took place in 1066. I'm writing from a "Viking point of view", so some more details and facts about the Viking army and its size wouldn't be out of place. My written work is called "What would Northern Europe have looked like if there hadn't been a fog over the English channel the summer of 1066. You probably know that Vilhelm the Bastard (What he's called by Snorre Sturlason) postponed his attack due to bad weather, and gave Harald Gudinesson time to march north to face the Viking army before returning south to fight the Normannian invaders. If it had happened the other way: Vilhelm and the English fought first, Harald Hardråde would have had been bound to kick the ass of whichever army remained and seize the throne of England. It's an exciting subject, but I'm having problems finding the exact size of the Viking army (They are supposed to have come with 300 longships altogether and were also joined by some English supporters of Toste). It would improve your site if you wrote more about the Viking army, I think. In the "question of ships" part, you ask the
question of whatever happened to the ships the Vikings brought: Harald Gudinesson let the remains of the Viking army go free if they surrendered all their riches and most of their ships. The English army got all the riches hardråde had brought, so much old that 12 men were needed to carry it all. They also got almost 300 ships (if none
were destroyed, that is), while the Vikings only kept 24 ships (enough for them to get home). I found this info in Snorre Sturlason: "Norges Kongesagaer" (The stories of the Norwegian kings) and in Karsten Alnæs: "Historien om Norge, Det ligger et land" (The history of Norway. By a recent writer, written in novel-style).

Dear Vegard,

Thank you for your comments.

The reason I didn't write much about Stamford Bridge is mainly because there are other sites devoted to this battle.

If you considered all Hardrada's ships were fighting vessels you can work it out.

There were usually 16 oars each side of a Viking longship. and 2 crews to maintain headway.

So that equates to 16 x 2 x 2 x 300 or 19200 Vikings. Obviously, some of these were supply ships so this figure may be a bit high.

I have avoided the writings of Snorre Sturlason because he tended to write poetically at times and I found his words hard to interpret

Glen Crack....


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© copyright Glen Ray Crack - Battle - East Sussex - United Kingdom
Submitted 10th January 1998
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