The Battle of Yorktown was a battle fought between the Great Heathen Army and the Saxon forces led by King Aethelwulf and Bishop Heahmund that sought to reclaim the town the norsemen had sacked and pillaged a few weeks earlier. However, even though the norsemen suffered important casualties, the Saxons were forced to retreat after failing to break through. The Saxons also took heavy casualties due to the fact that the norsemen set up deadly traps in the town such as barbed pikes or burning oil, which claimed many Saxon lives. 

The Battle

The Saxons entered the town through a section of the old Roman walls that were apparently purposefully neglected by Ivar to lure the Saxons in the town. Once the army formed up, the Saxon forces were split into two. Aethelwulf's force, numbering several hundreds of his own men and Heahmund's well-trained troops were met by a foglike wall of smoldering smoke, out of which Danish arrows started to fly, taking out some Saxons. Moving out to meet heir invisible opponents, the Saxons were then trapped as the Norsemen raised wooden barricades to contain them while the archers continued depleting their ranks. The Saxons were then lured into small streets and alleyways that were laden with low standing spikes upon which dozens of men fell, fatally wounding themselves. The norsemen finally emerged from cover before engaging Aethelwufl's forces into vicious, close-quarter street fighting. Heahmund's force were likewise trapped in a street where the norsemen poured oil on the floor before lightning it, which burnt and killed several Saxons. Hundreds of Saxon forces then emerged to confront Ivar, who, sitting ferociously, provoked the frightened Saxon warriors, claiming they couldn't kill him. "Do you not know who I am? You cannot kill me! Do you not know who I am?I am Ivar the Boneless!" While the fight continued to rage throughout the town, Ubbe's men then came out to meet the Saxons led by Heahmund's, who showed formidable skill, taking out several norsemen before facing Ivar, crazily applauding him. Before Hehmund's had the time to engage him, however, a shield wall formed up between them, and unfortunately for the Saxons, they found themselves unable to break through, while Aethelred, King Aethelwulf's son, was injured in the shoulder by an arrow after killing several norsemen. The Saxon forces, quite depleted and with their morale now really low, retreated, leaving hundreds of dead but showing the norsemen that the fight wasn't over.


The Saxons probably lost a quarter of their forces, with up to 500 dead, while two Ealdorman that accompanied the King and the Bishop were killed in the ferocious street fighting. The fight was not a decisive defeat for the English, who still camp outside the town, waiting for the chance to take the town once and for good. The norsemen however, even though they proved tactful and subtle thanks to Ivar's strategy, took heavy losses, with hundreds of dead, but not enough to deplete the ranks of the Great Heathen Army, still strong enough to defy the Saxon troops.

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