In 937 AD, on this day at Brunanburh a great northern force of Norse-Celtic warriors defeated the national army of Æthelstan King of England in the greatest battle fought since the Saxons set foot in the British Isles over five centures before.
Olaf III Guthfrithsson wins the Battle of NationsAmong the carnage was buried the corpes of no less than five kings and seven earls, but perhaps more significantly, the romantic dream of a united Britain ruled by the house of Alfred. Instead, the result was the establishment of a federation of English, Norse, Welsh and Celtic Kingdoms, bitter enemies whose war-bands had fought in separate units under a "conflict of banners" and united only in their opposition to the English saxons.
The architect of this catastrophe was Æthelstan himself. His false pledges of friendship to Owen and Constantine II respectively the native Kings of Strathclyde and Scotia had been rejected. When the Saxons declared war, they turned to the Norse Kings of York, Dublin and the Hebrides. Then Olaf III Guthfrithsson (pictured) emerged as the victorious military leader, following up the famous victory at Brunanburh with an all-out invasion of the Danish-settled East Midlands.