By Duncan Head
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Additional info for Achaemenid Persian Army
But without the assistance of heavy chariots, an all-infantry attack on the light and fast Egyptian chariots would have proven costly on the open terrain. Wisely, Muwatallis decided to garrison Qadesh and wait. Ramesses had won the battlefield engagement, but lacked the manpower or siege train to successfully attack the city. The Battle of Qadesh, 1285 bce. (a) Phase I: Having established a camp with his bodyguard and chariot reserve (1), Ramesses II awaits the arrival of his army’s lead division, Amon.
Warfare before the conquest of Persia by King Alexander III of Macedon was characterized by the limited use of combined-arms forces. Bronze Age armies in Mesopotamia and Egypt and the early Iron Age empires of Assyria and Persia did utilize limited co-operation between farmer-militia infantry forces and their chariot-borne aristocratic masters. But for the most part, Near Eastern infantry levies were not trained to fully participate in effective offensive action against enemy chariots, and later against cavalry.
Almost half the Egyptian force consisted of chariots, suggesting that approximately 5,000 machines were brought to the battlefield. Defending the city of Qadesh was King Muwatallis II’s Hittite army of 18,000 to 19,000 men, the largest combat force ever deployed by the Hatti. Hittite chariots numbered around 3,500 machines in a force of about 10,000 men (including support personnel), or about half the Hittite army. Egyptian chariots were served by a crew of two and were primarily a firing platform for archers, and accordingly were light and flexible.
Achaemenid Persian Army by Duncan Head