Saturday, August 4, 2018

History of War: Battle of Brunanburh

The battle of Brunanburh was fought by the West Saxon king Æthelstan and his brother Edmund against a coalition of Scots, Strathclyde Britons, and Dublin Norsemen in the year 937, and the English won.

There are various accounts of this climactic battle. The most important and earliest is the heroic poem found in four different manuscripts of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

According John of Worcester, Constantine, the Scottish king, was Olaf's father-in-law, so that alliance between the Scots and the Norse Vikings was cemented by marriage. Moreover, John, alone of all the chroniclers, records that the coalition fleet entered the Humber. He records the place of the battle as Brunanburh.

In 937 Northern alliance arrives to take on Æthelstan, led by Olaf Guthfrithson, Constantine and Owen, King of Strathclyde. They were defeated by Athelstan and his brother Edmund with great slaughter at Brunanburh in the year 937.

The Battle of Brunanburh forms one of the most important events in the history of the Anglo-Saxons. The preparations for the conflict exhausted the naval and military resources of the Danish colonists, and its issue consolidated the power and raised the Saxon name to the highest dignity among the states of Europe.

Of upwards of 100,000 combatants engaged on both sides, probably the greatest portion perished on the field or during the pursuit; for of the confederated forces led by Olaf Guthfrithson, only a shattered remnant survived to tell the tale of their defeat.
History of War: Battle of Brunanburh
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