The Viking invasion of France in 845 was part of the larger Viking Age, which lasted from the late 8th century to the mid-11th century. During this period, Vikings from Scandinavia conducted raids and colonization in many parts of Europe, including France.
In 845, a large Viking fleet of over 120 ships sailed up the Seine River and attacked Paris, which was then a wealthy and prosperous city. The French army, led by King Charles the Bald, attempted to stop the Vikings but was easily defeated, even though they outnumbered the Vikings by 10 to 1.
The reason for the Viking’s success is multifaceted. Firstly, the Vikings were highly skilled and experienced in raiding and warfare, having already conducted numerous successful raids in other parts of Europe. They were also highly motivated by the prospect of plunder and loot.
Moreover, the French army was not well-prepared to face the Vikings, as they had never encountered such a formidable enemy before. The French army was largely made up of poorly trained and ill-equipped troops who were not used to fighting on horseback or against naval attacks. In addition, there was no centralized military command in France at that time, which made it difficult to coordinate a unified response to the Viking invasion.
Finally, the Viking ships were highly maneuverable and could navigate shallow waters, allowing them to sail upriver and attack targets that were otherwise difficult to reach. This mobility allowed the Vikings to avoid the French army and attack where they were least expected.
The Viking invasion of France in 845 was a significant event in the history of Europe, as it marked the beginning of the Viking Age in France. The Vikings went on to conduct numerous successful raids and establish settlements in France, ultimately contributing to the formation of the Normandy region in northern France.
The Viking invasion of France in 845 took place during the early medieval period, a time when armies did not have the sophisticated systems of organization and record-keeping that exist today. Therefore, the exact numbers and details of the armies involved are subject to some degree of uncertainty and speculation. That being said, here is what historians believe about the numbers and timing of the events surrounding the Viking invasion of France in 845:
- Viking fleet size: It is estimated that the Viking fleet that sailed up the Seine River in 845 consisted of over 120 ships. This was a significant force, as Viking longships could carry up to 100 men each.
- French army size: It is not known exactly how many troops the French army had at its disposal during the Viking invasion of France in 845. However, it is estimated that the French army outnumbered the Vikings by 10 to 1, which suggests that they may have had several thousand troops. The French army was led by King Charles the Bald, who had only recently come to power and was not yet an experienced military leader.
- Timing of the invasion: The Viking fleet arrived outside the gates of Paris in March of 845. The Vikings launched their attack on the city shortly thereafter, but were initially repelled by the defenders. The Vikings then continued to raid the surrounding countryside, returning to Paris later in the year for another attack.
It is important to note that the exact numbers and timing of these events are subject to some degree of speculation, as historical records from this time period can be incomplete or unreliable. Nonetheless, the invasion of France by the Vikings in 845 was a significant event in European history, and it had far-reaching consequences for the region in the centuries to come.