Why it as hard for Charlemagne to overcome Saxons?
Fellow English historian, Roger Collins, recognizes that the social and political organization of Saxony made it harder for Charlemagne to overcome the Saxons. However, he also appreciates that the Saxons had relatively few men and were poorly organized in comparison to the Franks. Therefore, overall, he believes that the fighting between the Franks and the Saxons was an unequal struggle. This undermines the success of Charlemagne in overcoming the Saxon problem. In summary, through his skill and charisma as a military leader, Charlemagne was able to overcome Saxony despite the difficulty associated with its decentralized social and political structure. However, it seems that his success in this campaign has been somewhat romanticized, and this is shown by the omission of certain Frankish defeats in the Annals of the Kingdom of the Franks, and a consideration of the difference in size between the Frankish and Saxon armies.
In 773, Charlemagne received an appeal for help from Pope Hadrian I against renewed Lombard threats to Rome. In the same year, he invaded Italy with a large army. Frankish forces outflanked Lombard attempts to hold the Alps, and the Lombard King, Desiderius, was rapidly besieged at Pavia.