Nothing says “Happy New Year!” like taking to the battlefield. Or at least, that’s what the West Saxons and the Vikings thought on 31 December 870.
Nothing says “Happy New Year!” like taking to the battlefield. Or at least, that’s what the West Saxons and the Vikings thought on 31 December 870. Now that’s not exactly how we’d want to spend Hogmanay but to each their own.
On 28 December, a Danish Viking army arrived in Reading, ready to try and take Wessex. The Vikings had already taken Northumbria and East Anglia and if you’ve ever played the Crusader Kings video game series, you know how silly it is to get greedy and try to claim more territories.
A few days later, a New Year’s Eve skirmish is what kicked off an bitter ongoing struggle between the West Saxons and the Danes. While the West Saxons won the initial Battle of Englefield, their victory was bittersweet because only a few days later, the Vikings had the upper hand and claimed victory for their own. The initial skirmish resulted in a year long series of battles between the two sides and is a good reminder why you should just opt to stay in on New Year’s Eve instead and enjoy the festivities from home!