Five days before the battle, Harald Hardrada, King of Norway and his English ally Tostig Godwinson, who was angry because he had not been given the Earldom of Northumbria the previous year, sailed up the Ouse with over ten thousand men and lead his force to a victory against the Saxon army at Fulford.
Only four days after hearing of the invasion, Harold Godwinson marched the hundred and eighty miles to east Yorkshire and surprised the invaders at Stamford Bridge. Previous the the onset of the battle, Harold had tried to persuade his brother to return and fight for his cause, promising him the Earldom of Northumbria, but Tostig was not interested, as he felt sure that the invaders were in a strong position.
It is said the the areas on which they fell was still white with bleached bones fifty years after the battle.
William the Conqueror landed at Hastings on the 14th of the following month with over seven thousand men, King Harold arrived with his force of up to thirteen thousand men, many of them weary from the battle and all of them weary from the march south.
A question then? If King Harold had not fought the Scandinavians at Fulford and Stamford Bridge and then not had to march his army over two hundred miles south would he have succeeded at Hastings?