The Battle of Haugsnes

HaugsnesbardagiOn the 19th of April 1246, one of the largest battles of Sturlungaöldin was fought, and had the
greatest amount of casualties ever known in an Icelandic battle. There fought Sturlungar (mainly
from Eyjafjörður) led by Þórður kakala Sighvatsson against the Ásbirningar (Skagfirðingar), who were
led by Brandur Kolbeinsson. Brandur had six hundred men in his army, whereas Þórður kakali had
nearly five hundred. Over a thousand men fought, and one in ten fell, or roughly one hundred men.

The battle was waged at Dalsáreyrar in Blönduhlíð, the grounds that now belong to Syðstu Grund
and Djúpadal. The Ásbirningar had stayed in Víðimýri the night before the battle, but came east
over Héraðsvötn and took up positions outside Hauganes, a peninsula which juts north into
the Dalsáreyrar river. The Sturlungar forces had stayed the night in farms in Blönduhlíð and the
Ásbirningar expected that they would arrive riding out along the slopes. Instead, the Sturlungar came
from above the Haugsnes peninsula and took the Ásbirningar by surprise, so they were ill prepared.
Þórður kakali (leader of the Sturlungar) had even planted an agent in the Ásbirningar forces, who
managed to convince many of the men to flee with him.

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