The stage is set for a showdown between two giant armies – the Egyptians, with the greatest pharaoh of history, Ramses II, and the Hittites, with their impressive army and persuasive king, Muwatalli II. The bloody Battle of Kadesh would go down in history as the largest chariot battle ever fought!
The Egyptian Army and their Gods
The Egyptian army under Ramses II during the New Kingdom was a professional fighting force. The Egyptian army, like most, consisted of chariots, infantry, and archers. The Egyptians made sure that one man in ten was liable for military service. As for Egyptian units, they were named after their gods.
Each Egyptian division numbered 5,000 men subdivided into 250-man companies and 50-man platoons. The chariot, used by both the Egyptians and Hittites, was the tank of the ancient world and could not function properly upon the field of battle without infantry support. The Egyptian infantry provided the brunt of the main fighting body. The foot archers provided missile support. Chariots had a driver and an archer. Unlike a foot archer, the archer in chariot was mobile and had a 360-degree platform to fire from, just like the Hittite chariots. A difference between the two armies was that the Egypt was much more suited for open warfare, unlike their Hittite counterparts.
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