Horik's English Campaign was a war of conquest mainly fought between the kingdom of Denmark and the kingdom of Wessex. The campaign was initially a large scale raid and exploration of the english kingdom of Northumbria, but a major North Sea storm derailed the host of king Horik to Wessex.
Following earl Ragnar Lothbrok's series of succesfull raids in Northumbria, king Horik wished to embark on a larger raid. Conflicts with jarl Borg had previously occupied him, but a truce bargained by Ragnar had put the conflict to a halt. Ragnar suggested a larger scale invasion of England, opposed to the regular hit-and-run viking raids. The prospect of the gains of a English campaign spoke to both king Horik and Borg. The carpenter Floki had been wounded in the war between Horik and Borg and the heavy loses on both sides putting the invasion on hold for several years. In the spring of 800 AD, Floki had prepared the sufficient ships of the forces of the earldom of Kattegat. However, during the years since the truce, king Horik wanted to back out and not have jarl Borg joining the campaign.
The Campaign Edit
- Winchester Ambush
- Sack of Winchester
- Ambush at the Themes
- Battle of Wessex
- Bloodbath at Kattegat (Indirect)
Reasons for defeat Edit
The main reasons for the Norse defeat can be boiled down to three reasons: king Ecbert's use of Roman tactics, the disorganised of Norse-warfare and the incompetent leadership of king Horik. King Horik's decision to exclude jarl Borg led to the Norse confederation loosing a large number of cabable warriors: at least 150 fighting men and sheildmaidens. Futher, the alienation of Borg led to the Geatish invasion of Kattegat which meant earl Ragnar had to subside part of his forces to take back his lands. The splitting of his forces allowed Ecbert to sack most of the original viking force in Wessex, weakening the Norse confederation. Ragnar's presence in Wessex might have prevented the loss of the original raiding party as well as allowed for the muster of further reinforcements from Götaland and Denmark. Following earl Ingstad's involvement the initial momentum of the invasion was lost and the alliance of Wessex and Northumbria made a decisive victory even more difficult. King Horik's inept leadership in battle and alienation of his earls doomed the invasion as a failure.