A strong military can bolster national power and influence without ever using force. It can even reduce the likelihood of violence. Yet, the mere display of force can pay significant diplomatic dividends, deter potential aggression, and preserve peace.
Ancient militaries played important roles throughout history and provided building blocks for years to come. Making sure a strong force remained to protect one’s borders from invasion and having intimidation was key to the preservation of any independent nation. Throughout ancient history, the Egyptians and Neo-Assyrians both had unique military characteristics such as specific weapons, technology, tactics, and strategy, but the Neo-Assyrians dominated with their vast amount of advantages.The Egyptians and Neo-Assyrians shared many characteristics when it came to their weaponry, but their specific advantages differentiated them greatly. Ancient Empires used weapons in warfare, hunting, self-defence, law enforcement, and criminal activity for thousands of years. Weapons also serve many other purposes in society including use in sports, collections for display, and historical displays and demonstrations. As technology developed through ancient time, the weapons have changed with it. Major innovations in the history of weapons have included the adoption of different materials – from stone and wood to different metals, like bronze and iron.
The Neo-Assyrians had a great advantage from the use of iron. Iron, was used for their shields, swords, rams, and arrowheads. They developed different weapon styles either to fit the terrain or to support or counteract different battlefield tactics and defensive equipment with iron.
Although the Egyptians used iron much later, they had the advantage of the bow. The Old Kingdom soldiers were equipped with many types of weapons like; maces, daggers, and more importantly their bows and arrows. The most common weapon was the bow and arrow. The bow that the Egyptians used was a longbow (about 5ft high). The bulk of the Neo-Assyrian forces was infantry. Their infantry usually carried short, double-edged swords and shields. In Egypt, light infantry carried slings or javelins, a bow, and a wide curved blade vaguely resembling a meat cleaver was portrayed in artwork (as seen in image one). Also, their shields were curved on top and straight or slightly curved along the sides, wooden, and covered with leather providing sturdy cover.
A shield was roughly half the height of a man. Both the Neo-Assyrians and Egyptians provided no body-armor for the common soldier, his protection being a quilted tunic. The higher ranks wore links of metal fastened loosely to permit freedom of movement. These two Empires both had great weaponry that played key roles in their protection and conquest but the Neo-Assyrians out did the Egyptians with their ability to use iron, and their swift/agile weapons.Technology played a significant role in both Egyptian and the Neo-Assyrians capability to defeat and conquer their enemies. One of the main technological advancements of the ancient world was the chariot. Both the Neo-Assyrians and the Egyptians had chariots but the Neo- Assyrians used them first.
The chariot was used as a mobile command center and a firing platform for archers. It was an effective war machine that would be perfected over the years by the Egyptians. Although it was an important piece of technology, the chariot also had its shortcomings in the scope of flexibility, especially in uneven terrains. That is where the calvary came into play. Over time the economic advantage of cavalry forces over chariots became much more evident and the Neo-Assyrians began to treat horses as valuable resources and abandoned the chariot. Meanwhile in Egypt, the Egyptians were perfecting the chariot into sturdy, aerodynamic, machines of death. They took the idea and soarded with it.
Looking back on history, the Egyptians put the chariot to better use than the Assyrians did and it became a major factor in battle. Despite this, the Neo-Assyrians almost did not even need the chariot due to their vast amount of other war machines like battle rams proving that the Neo-Assyrians far out did the Egyptians militaristically.The way generals and kings ruled also affected how the Neo-Assyrians and Egyptians battled. The social function of the aristocracy during ancient time was to fight; a king/parough that did not do so would lose faith with the rest of the nobility and furthermore, lose the respect from his people. A leader had to prove himself braver than others, so they often led charges and were present at battles. From a social and prestige standpoint, ancient leaders aimed to win fame and glory, and this was expected to be through deeds of martial prowess in battle.
Much like the modern office of the American president, the Pharaoh of the Ancient Egyptian realm was considered as the head of the state as well as the supreme commander of the armed forces. This is similar to the Neo-Assyrians as well. The Neo-Assyrians used fear as a motivator and lead with courage. The Egyptians on the other hand had their military made up of slaves and like other ancient empires, the Egyptians of the New Kingdom recruited their fair share of mercenaries and auxiliary troops from different parts of Africa and Asia so their success rate was down a lot. Concluding that the Neo-Assyrians lead better.Battle strategies impacted both the Egyptians and the Neo-Assyrians regarding war outcomes.
The Egyptians and Neo-Assyrians had some similar battle strategies like pairing systems that they developed over time. These pairing systems differed between the two but worked extremely well. The Egyptians pairing system was that of an archer and a shieldman. Egypt had perfected the pairing system and used it in multiple battles. The Neo-Assyrians o the other hand had a more close quarter combat type of pairing system. The Assyrians employed the pairing system when it came to their often vulnerable archers. In ancient times, some cultures valued the skill of archery so the Assyrians further developed this by employing a dedicated spear bearer who accompanied the archer.
So while the archer reloaded his bow, the spear man was responsible for protecting his partner. Other types of battle strategies went back to the almighty chariot. In the battlefield, calvary was used to exploit and then drive home the charge that was initially carried forth by the heavy chariots.
Such grand maneuvers were complemented by other crucial activities like surveillance and flanking. Battle plans for both of the two Empires consisted of complex layouts and formations. Overall, the Neo-Assyrians had better strategy and that is why they were able to defeat the Egyptians.From the complex battle strategies, weaponry, and tactics, to the logic behind their militaristic ruling and leading thier people, the Neo-Assyrians far out did the Egyptians in almost every way resulting in the fall of the Egyption Empire.