|Norman horseman against two foot soldiers|
Henry the king of France ordered the dukedom of Normandy to be invaded. He and Geoffrey Martel of Anjou joined forces in Angers. Their army marched towards Caen . To reach Caen, they had to cross the Dives marshlands, which are flooded at this time of year. So, while they made their way to the only possible route between Varaville and Périers, William was already waiting in ambush in the Bavent woods, with his men and loyal peasants from the surrounding area.
Normans blocked a passageway and made the French only available passage was via the wooden bridge over the River Dives, which collapsed under the weight of them horses and carts all plummeted into the waters. They began to cross the river but when the tide came in, the process had only been half completed, leaving the army split in two parts. William the conqueror seized the opportunity and attacked the half of the invading army that had not yet crossed and won the battle. It happened on the 22th of March.