The great Viking terror: how Norse warriors conquered the Anglo-Saxons

Until AD 865, Viking raiders' modus operandi in the British Isles was simple – they came, they saw, they plundered, and then they sped away back over the sea. But that year something changed. Small bands of looters evolved into a massive armed force and, worse still for their terrified victims, they had every intention of staying put. Julian D Richards and Dawn Hadley describe what happened when the 'Viking Great Army' arrived on English shores

Detail of a Viking helmet from grave one at Vendel, Uppland, Sweden. In the 860s and 870s, the Vikings would bring war to England’s four kingdoms on a massive scale. (Photo by CM Dixon/Print Collector/Getty Images)

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