New
New
Year 10
AQA

Norman weapons, armour and tactics

I can describe different tactics used by the Normans in the Battle of Hastings.

New
New
Year 10
AQA

Norman weapons, armour and tactics

I can describe different tactics used by the Normans in the Battle of Hastings.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Normans used a range of weapons at the Battle of Hastings.
  2. Norman armour was effective but did have disadvantages.
  3. William used different tactics in the battle until he found ones that worked.
  4. One of the Norman tactics may have been a feigned retreat.

Common misconception

We know for sure that William used a feigned retreat tactic at the Battle of Hastings.

In fact, the best sources we have for the battle say different things, for example, that a real retreat gave William the idea of using feigned retreats, or that the 'real' retreat was planned all along.

Keywords

  • Strategy - a strategy is a plan of the actions that are needed in order to achieve an aim

  • Tactic - a tactic is an action that helps to achieve something specific

  • Feigned retreat - a feigned retreat is pretending to retreat in order to lure the enemy into a more vulnerable position

Popular video hosting websites have some excellent short videos and animations that bring the (possible) feigned retreat and other tactics to life for students.
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Contains conflict or violence.

Supervision

Adult supervision suggested.

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

Video

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6 Questions

Q1.
Which word describes a new way of doing something, based on new ideas or developments?
Correct Answer: innovation, Innovation
Q2.
What types of soldiers did the Norman infantry contain?
Correct answer: foot soldiers
knighs
mercenaries
Correct answer: archers
Q3.
Why did Norman infantry have rounded or conical shaped helmets?
to match the shape of their shields
Correct answer: to deflect blows
the cone was a symbol of Normandy
to use as a weapon
Q4.
What is the name of a weapon used by the Normans that used bolts to punch through chainmail and shields?
Correct Answer: Crossbow, crossbow, crossbows, Crossbows
Q5.
Which of these best describes the role of the Norman archers in the Battle of Hastings?
throw spears first, then fight the enemy hand to hand
advance towards the enemy at William’s command
Correct answer: weaken the enemy as soon as they were in range
hold the shield wall
Q6.
Which one of these held the Norman knight up, so he could fight from the saddle?
gonfanon
destriers
Correct answer: pommels
stirrups
spurs

6 Questions

Q1.
Why can't historians say for certain that the Normans used a feigned retreat tactic at the Battle of Hastings?
There are no sources about the Battle of Hastings.
The Normans didn't want anyone to know for sure so they could reuse the tactic.
Correct answer: The best sources historians have for the battle say different things.
Q2.
Which of the following were weapons used by the Normans at the Battle of Hastings?
Correct answer: spears
Correct answer: swords
Correct answer: crossbows
shields
chainmail armour
Q3.
Match the keyword to the correct definition.
Correct Answer:strategy,a plan of the actions that are needed in order to achieve an aim

a plan of the actions that are needed in order to achieve an aim

Correct Answer:tactic,an action that helps to achieve something specific

an action that helps to achieve something specific

Correct Answer:feigned retreat,pretending to retreat and luring the enemy into a vulnerable position

pretending to retreat and luring the enemy into a vulnerable position

Q4.
Match the armour terms to their correct definitions.
Correct Answer:boss,metal covering at the centre of a shield

metal covering at the centre of a shield

Correct Answer:hauberk,a coat of chainmail

a coat of chainmail

Correct Answer:nasal,a strip of metal on a helmet to protect the face

a strip of metal on a helmet to protect the face

Correct Answer:coif,a chainmail cap or hood

a chainmail cap or hood

Q5.
Which tactic did Harold’s army need to use to defend until reinforcements arrived?
Correct Answer: shield wall, Shield wall, Shield wall tactic, shield wall tactic
Q6.
Put the Norman tactics in order of how they were used in the Battle of Hastings, starting with the earliest.
1 - direct attack by archers, foot soldiers and cavalry on the shield wall
2 - Norman knights' feigned retreat
3 - cavalry surrounded and killed Anglo-Saxons who ran after the fleeing Normans
4 - archers further weakened the shield wall
5 - knights sent to cut down scattered groups of Anglo-Saxons