The army of King Harold II of England surprised the invading forces of Norway’s Harald Hardraada at Stamford Bridge on the River Derwent.  By the end of that day King Harold’s men had hacked the Norwegian army to pieces.  Hardraada lay dead, together with Harold’s treacherous brother Tosti and the survivors were in full flight for their ships.  So many had perished that out of the 300 ships that had landed only 36 returned home to Norway.  However, unknown to King Harold, Duke William of Normandy had landed on the south coast with over nine thousand men.  The fight for the crown was about to enter its final critical stage…

On this day in 1066

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