29 September 2010

1066: Why did the fyrdsmen break rank from the shield wall?

The fyrdsmen that broke rank from the English shieldwall at Senlac, 14th October 1066- were they later arrivals who had not been present to hear King Harold's strict orders to hold formation at all costs?

We know from the sources that more Anglo-Saxons came trickling in from the southern shires throughout the day, as their king had bade them days before.

So, were the men who fatally broke rank due to their over-zealousness, 'late arrivals', or simply indisciplined amateurs whom the huscarls in front of them, couldn't halt?