Anglo Saxons arrived on the British Isles in the 5th century. Right from their arrival, they were pitted in warfare against different tribes. The earliest people that the Anglo Saxons encountered were the Pics and Scotis in the north of the Isles. After successfully defeating them, the Anglo Saxons were then pitted against the Breton population.
After a long series of wars, the Anglo Saxons prevailed against the Bretons as well. Towards the 9th century, the Vikings began raiding England and Anglo Saxons fought many wars against them. The wars with Vikings were to prove fateful for the Anglo Saxons who were ultimately subdued by Normans in the 11th century.
Anglo Saxon Wars against Britons
Soon after their arrival on British Isles, the Anglo Saxons were pitted in a struggle for power against the Romano-British rulers. This erupted in revolts and a long series of wars. Beginning in the middle of the 5th century, the Anglo Saxons and Bretons in the area of Kent fought many ways all the way until the later part of the century when the Anglo Saxons decisively won control of Kent and established a kingdom.
Similar wars were waged in the south of Britain where Anglo Saxons won and established Kingdom of Sussex. At the turn of the 5th century, Briton King Arthur defeated Anglo Saxons in a number of wars, temporarily relieving the local Breton population. The 6th and 7th century saw Britons, now consolidated in the Welsh regions, continuously losing land to the Anglo Saxon kingdoms.
Anglo Saxon Wars against Welsh
By the 7th century, Wales was the last stand of the Celtic population of Britain. It became the site of several bloody and fierce battles fought between the armies of Anglo Saxons and their Briton rivals. Although the Anglo Saxon kingdom of Mercia began to expand into regions bordering Wales, its expansion was successfully arrested after Britons in Wales stood victorious in many wars.
Although successful in warding off the Mercian threat in the 8th century, the Britons lost a large part of Wales to Mercian expansion in the 9th century, losing many key battles.
Anglo Saxon Wars against Vikings
Vikings began their raids into England in the 8th century. By the middle of the 9th century, the raiding numbers had grown to be an army and the raiding army which arrived in 850 stayed on for many years. This army led to the establishment of Viking settlements. The army was opposed by the Anglo Saxon King Alfred, who won a major victory over the Vikings in the Battle of Edington in 878.
Although the Anglo Saxons successfully warded the Viking threat, the raiding Vikings returned in the late 10th century. After losing ground and power to Danish Vikings, in 1016 the Anglo Saxons lost a major battle to Danish King Cnut who then went on to become the ruler of England.
Anglo Saxon War against Normans
After losing control of England to the Danish Vikings, the Anglo Saxons briefly regained it from 1042 to 1066 until William of Normandy landed a large Norman army on English shores. At this time, the Anglo Saxons under King Harold defeated other claimants to the throne but when faced with the Norman army, succumbed and were routed. King Harold died in the decisive Battle of Hastings and this effectively brought about the end of Anglo Saxon rule in England.