After more than an hour of fighting the
warriors are already tired and thirsty.
King Harald waits until the two sides are locked together before
making his move.
First, he commands a blast to be sounded which
tells his army to advance. So all along the line the Norse
warriors advance into the ditch and towards the English line.
Next, when the armies are locked
together, Harold takes his banner down to the river bank and
leads a devastating charge. This will be the turning point in the
King Harald's style was to swing his axe while others protected him with their
spears and shields and exploit the breach in the shield wall, or so we
hear in the Saga.
King Harald was a giant and coming fresh to the fight, with
his chosen band, he would have cut a way where the riverside-path
crossed the Beck. From the moment when Harald broke cover until he
reached the English line and Earl Edwin's small Mercian force, was
probably less than a minute. The shock and momentum allowed King
Harald to force his way over the Beck.
While some of Harald's Vikings pressed
Earl Edwin's flank force back towards York, other Vikings
now advanced along the defender's side of Germany Beck.