The Battle of Hastings took place on 14 October 1066, 11 kilometers (7 miles) northwest of Hastings. The location of the battle is close to today’s Battle, East Sussex. This battle was fought between English army, led by Anglo-Saxon King Harold II and Norman-French army led by Duke William II of Normandy. The Battle of Hastings was a decisive Norman victory. According to the historical sources, the background of the battle was the death of King Edward the Confessor. He didn’t have any children and he died in January 1066. This lead to a struggle between several claimants to the throne.
Soon after the death of King Edward, Harold was crowned for a king. Soon, he faced invasion by the Norwegian King Harold II of Norway (Harald Hardrada), his own brother Tostig and William. Tostig and Hardrada won the Battle of Fulford (20 September 1066) and the Battle of Stamford Bridge, which occurred 5 days later. Both, Hardrada and Tostig were killed in the second battle, leaving the William as the only real opponent to Harold. After the Battle of Stamford, while Harold and his forces were recovering, William moved his forces in the south of England at Pevensey. Then, he established a beachhead for his conquest of the Harold’s kingdom.
The exact number of soldiers who were in the Battle of Hastings is unknown, but historians estimate that Harold had about 7.000 and William had 10.000. The army was composed of infantry and a few archers. Harold should surprise the William, but scouts saw his army and reported to William. The Battle of Hastings lasted from 9 am to dusk.