battle of kadesh

anonymous asked:

So...random-ish question, can animals be used in combat? I don't mean like horses which obviously can be used but more like...Say someone trained tigers and brought them into combat, how effective would they be? Could they hurt people through armour? Are likely to be easy to deal with?

There were no tigers ever bred for war to my knowledge. Closest thing I know to any great beast used like that would be in Egypt. It was said that at the Battle of Kadesh, Ramses II had a lion which was used in battle. To be honest, I don’t know if it’s true, records from that far back are sketchy. But that would be terrifying in the

Part of the problem is training and control. Animals can respond to command, but they’re not intelligent the way humans are. When it comes to non-domesticated animals, it’s even harder to train them to fight in war. To not be killed, timing and withdrawal are important, especially since animals usually can’t wear much armor.

Commonly, animals were used as mounts, with the horse as the obvious outlier. Elephants too, were used in war as mounts, as an ultra-heavy cavalry that could batter through any formation. Alexander the Great fought them effectively by using the long sarissa of his father. Interestingly enough the Romans found that a useful tool against elephants were other animals. The high-pitched squealing of pigs and horned rams could disorient and enrage elephants, who would trample their own soldiers and wreak havoc upon friendly troops. The Romans also coated the pigs in pitch and lit them aflame, causing the flaming pigs to bolt in terror toward the enemy. Elephants, already not liking the sound of the squealing pigs, also get enraged when in the presence of fire.

Now, if you’re looking at fighting animals, the most common one was the dog. Dog units formed a cornerstone of armies since antiquity, and big dogs were used to either spook horses or pounce on knights, either way knocking them off the horse and disabling them (falling off a horse in full armor will take the wind out of you right quick). As time progressed and firearms improved, the dog saw less use, but don’t think that means that dogs weren’t used in warfare after that. Even in modern times, dogs were useful as scouts and especially as sentries. Many dogs saw action well into the age of gunpowder and modern weaponry, and dogs formed a key component of armies even into the 20th century.

In the modern day, animals are used more for therapy and morale than for actual combat, but they make a great difference. Lots of strays get picked up by lonely or sad GI’s at FOB’s, and recovering veterans often benefit from therapy dogs.

Thanks for the question, Anon.

SomethingLikeALawyer, Hand of the King

Ancient carving depicting the Battle of Kadesh, showing the Shasu spies shown being beaten by the Egyptians
The Battle of Kadesh (also Qadesh) took place between the forces of the Egyptian Empire under Ramesses II and the Hittite Empire under Muwatalli II at the city of Kadesh on the Orontes River, in what is now the Syrian Arab Republic.

The battle is generally dated to 1274 BC, and is the earliest battle in recorded history for which details of tactics and formations are known. It was probably the largest chariot battle ever fought, involving perhaps 5,000–6,000 chariots.


How to Move an Ancient Egyptian Temple — The Relocation of the Abu Simbel Temples.

In the 13th century BC the mighty pharaoh Ramses II ordered the construction of two large temples in southern Egypt to commemorate the Battle of Kadesh, to honor his queen Nefertari, and to impress his Nubian enemies to the south.  Carved directly into the sandstone hillsides, the large facade of the temples feature four colossus statues of Ramses himself, each standing 67 feet in height.  The facade itself stands an incredible 100 feet high and 119 feet wide.  Inside of the temples are a network of rooms and hallways with many priceless hieroglyphic carvings detailing Egyptian history, religion, and folklore.

By the 1960’s the Abu Simbel Temples were a national treasure for the new Egyptian nation.  However, Egypt’s industrial modernization would threaten the temples in a way that no pharaoh could have ever predicted.  Near Abu Simbel was the construction of a 364 foot hydroelectric dam known as the Aswan dam.  A key objective of the Egyptian government, the dam would provide electricity for the developing nation and kick start a new agricultural plan which would create a massive irrigation project.  However, Abu Simbel was literally in deep trouble, for construction of the damn would leave the ancient temples submerged at the bottom of the Lake Nasser Reservoir.

To save Abu Simbel, a team of archeologists, historians, engineers, architects, and construction workers were recruited by UNESCO to conduct one of the most ambitious rescue operations of an ancient structure.  The plan was to relocate the ancient temples above the flood plain of Lake Nasser.  Incredibly, the team cut the temple facade and structure into individual blocks weighing 20-30 tons.  Each block was numbered then recorded to keep track of where they would go when reassembled.  The blocks were lifted out of their original foundation using massive cranes, then transported to another site where they could be catalogued and stored for later.  From 1964-1965 over 10,000 stone blocks were cut, lifted, and transported away from the site. 

The new home for the temples was located 200 meters inland and at a height  65 meters higher than the original Abu Simbel site.  To recreate the look of a temple carved from a sandstone hill, artificial hills were created using concrete which simulated sandstone.  Once the new Abu Simbel site was ready, each block was meticulously fitted back into position, reconstructing the ancient temples anew.  In fact the reconstruction is so precise that it would impress ancient Egyptian engineers, on the façade of the temples there are no visible seams where the blocks meet.  Only a few joins can be found from within the temple complex.  The project was completed in 1968 and cost $40 million, over $250 million dollars today.  The cost was well worth it as the Abu Simbel complex is considered one of the great treasures of Egypt and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Over 500,000 tourists visit the temples every year.


Ramesses was to reign until he was ninety two years old. He would go down in history as a heroic warrior. But it’s less well known that sixteen years after his famous battle at Kadesh he signed a treaty with his enemies, the Hittites. It was the world’s first recorded peace treaty between superpowers and it brought great prosperity to Egypt. Ramesses’ most lasting achievement, contrary to the warlike propaganda on his temple walls, was as a bringer of peace.

The proportion is off in the photo just because this thing was so huge, so, sorry about that.  This is my reproduction of a portion of the wall frieze illustrating Ramses II at the Battle of Kadesh.  I didn’t paint the horses because…I just didn’t have enough paper.  I’m really surprised the tempra paint has survived almost a decade rolled up in a tube without flaking. o.o