The bloodiest battle fought on English soil

600px-The_Battle_of_Towton_by_Richard_Caton_Woodville_(cropped)Known as the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil, this was one of the climactic engagements of the War of the Roses. Fought on 29 March 1461 in the freezing fields of Yorkshire it pitted the House of York, who had captured the king and forced him to accept their dominance over the throne, against the House of Lancaster.

The Yorkists were outnumbered but their leader, Lord Fauconberg, ordered them to take advantage of the strong winds blowing towards the Lancastrians and use arrows to thin out their numbers. This had a devastating effect on Lancastrian moral, since their arrows could not reach the Yorkists because they were firing upwind.

The battle then descended into brutal hand- to-hand combat which lasted hours, staining the falling snow blood red. By its end, thirty thousand men lay dead on the cold Yorkshire field.

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