- Created on 25 August 2009
- Last Updated on 23 June 2013
- Written by Nero666
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The Rise of Persia Team is proud to present the third cooperation between FliegerAD and Goscinio. Ruling one of the oldest empires the world has ever known, even one of the most ancient civilizations, Chenibre Amose-si-Neith (570-526) was proud Pharaoh of:
The 26th Dynasty of Kemet
The story of Amose’s life is the story of the struggling Egypt in the new times. Generations ago, the glorious empire of Egypt had deteriorated massively. The army was outdated in tactics and equipment, consequently unable to cope with the threats posed by Assyrians, Phoinikian pirates and even filthy Libyans! Even worse, the Assyrians had occupied all of Egypt by a time and foreign, black Pharaohs of the Nubian people ruled the country, ruining it.
But then came Pharaoh Psamtik (664-610) accompanied by ‘Men of Bronze’ (hoplites) from across the seas. His men defeated the corrupt foe easily and restored the Egyptian power. But the price was high. Native Egyptian military declined even more, while the mercenaries from Greece and Asia Minor gained wealth and power. They settled in Egypt and brought their families with them, starting a new life and becoming the most influential party in Egypt.
Native military was constantly humiliated, so it revolted to gain back their honor and authority. They were led by Amose. It was an unequal battle, when the lightly armed, half naked Egyptians clashed against the heavily armoured lines of the mercenaries, but under great sacrifices the Egyptians overcame them.
Now Amose did what surprised many. He allowed the mercenaries to stay. Although the presence of their families and homes was heavily restricted to few certain places, he also aligned the Hoplites as elemental part of the Egyptian army. This way he could have his heavy infantry corps, which did not endanger his position, but which helped with their families to strengthen the weakening economy of his realm.
However, he simultaneously rebuilt the native military as well. A trusty spearmen corps was reinstalled, the use of cavalry began to gain importance and the striking power of chariots was renewed. Moreover the typical light troopers of the Egyptian lines grew more confident. He also learned the value of a strong marine corps.
In some aspects, especially in archery and cavalry Egypt’s military is still terribly backwards. However, being in transition now, phasing out obsolete equipment and tactics, it is capable of delivering devastating blows again. For now, it is the only army merging disciplined hoplites with light troops and horsemen in a system of combined arms led by a professional officers’ corps.
In foreign affairs, Amose was as thriving as in internal matters. Reestablishing the strong ties with the mighty Lydian Kingdom and ending the antagonism with the Assyrian heir, Babylon, he could stop the Greek colony of Kyrene in it’s advance diplomatically.
The ties with the rich Lydian king Kroisos fosters further cooperation, not only economically, but also militarily.
By 559 BC, Egypt has successfully reclaimed it’s inherent, rightful place among the super powers of the known world, thanks to Amose. But even he could only guess the dimension of the threat that loomed far away in the east, when a small tribe called Persians challenged the biggest realm of the world, when Kuruš challenged the Medes…
Units, Part 1: the indigenous Egyptians
In order to restore the Egyptian army as effective fighting force, the recreation of a functional spearmen corps was imperative to Amose. The cheapest, but efficient way was to equip his men with a high tower shield of solid wood with a broad metal rim and a buckler. This shield covered the men very well. The second measure was to use a spear for thrusting only. Both of these actions were a direct consequence of the battles with the Greeks and coupled Egyptian as well as Greek military technology. The result was a highly mobile spearmen, which could take on hoplites frontally, but the lack of body armour renders elongated battles inappropriate.
The mainstay of the Egyptian army was formed by lightly armed, but nimble men, who pepper their enemies with missiles. They can protect themselves with a solid shield and are well able of using their javelins in close combat. However, they are light infantry and should not be engaged by heavy armoured troops.
The archery tradition of Egypt’s military is time-honoured like no one’s else. Unfortunately, new tactical and technical developments in the east, the recurved bow and the teams formed by archers and shield-bearers have outdated the Egyptian archers heavily by now. Unaffected by the recent reforms, the archery force is in a position of inferiority to the enemies. Nevertheless, there is always the need for archers and they will do their job as well as they can and a wise commander will take note of their combat performance.
Although the horse itself is instrument of the Egyptian warfare since more than two thousand years, the riding of a horse itself is comparatively new to them. Having not yet fully discovered the combat potential of horsemen, they mainly serve as scouts, messengers and occasionally skirmishers in pitched battles. They are no match for any other horsemen, neither concerning training nor equipment.
`pr.w `h`.w nsw (Marine infantry of Royal ships)
Another reformed branch of service are the marines. Issued with a shield much like the Argive shield of the Hoplite mercenaries and a thick linen corselet, they are well protected and still very mobile, thus providing a formidable base for the very effective offensive equipment. This includes javelins and a long kopesh. The kopesh, although very old by now, is still a dreading weapon and again, the new marines are an excellent example of the synthesis of Greek and Egyptian military technology.
mh-ib (Guard troops)
The guard is unlike every other guard not consisting of a permanent body of long time serving men. Due to political precautions, the personal of the 2000 men strong guard rotated every year, coming from the military castes. Thus no man could serve twice in the guard. This means the guard troops are not as elite as other guards, but still a respectable shock force.
They shall lead the attack as spearhead of the forces and are outfitted accordingly. They carry the sturdy tower shield and wield the thrusting spear like the main spearmen corps, but additionally a linen corselet and a metal helmet serves for their protection.
Thundering chariots crushing over the broken bodies of the Pharaoh’s enemies, evicting terror, death and destruction – that is the very tradition of Egypt’s army. Still, even up to date, when heavy infantry become the predominant force on the Mediterranean battlefields, the chariots are a weapon system held in high esteem. Being a highly mobile and quite stable, the charioteers can unleash a fairly precise missile hail and get away unharmed. At least, that is the theory. For the practical realization of that concept, the cream of the Egyptian military castes mounted the chariot wagons, proud and noble. However, they also suffer from obsolete bows.
rs nsw (Royal Bodyguard)
Accompanying the Pharaoh, these bodyguards also protect him in battle. Excellent trained and equipped as they are, they have to fear no one. When in battle, they adapt their arms and armour for the required situation. In most cases, they guarded the Pharaoh in his chariot and therefore also provided a great chariot force themselves.
Unit, part 2: The Mercenaries
tmh (Temeh mercenaries)
The Libyans settled as mercenaries in Temeh were a very important part of the Egyptian military ever since the early days of the civilization. These loyal and professional, yet expandable men are the cannon fodder in the first lines of the army. Their equipment is neither sufficient for engagement with heavy armoured troops nor for fighting eastern archers. Nevertheless, the javelins can hit the enemy from distance and they can be used in close combat, while a leather shield offers minimal protection.
Although they seem to be another outdated relict of the old Egyptian army, they have overcome hoplite armies on African ground more than once.
thn.w (Tehenw mercenaries)
The Libyan mercenaries of Tehenw seem equally outdated as their Temeh counterparts, but again it is deadly to underestimate the striking power of these men. Even though only possessing the same obsolete bow like most Egyptian archers the Libyan archers are a necessary missile back-up of the army. But their greatest value is again the fact that they are expandable in every way.
st.tiw (Asiatic mercenaries)
Egypt’s reliance on mercenaries and the guarantied pay attracted warriors from all across the eastern Mediterranean. Levantine troops were a minor contingent, but they supplemented the Egyptian army effectively as they included an element otherwise missing, a slinger corps.
While slingers of most states were low quality conscript forces, these Levantine mercenaries are well equipped professional troops with experience. The can afford a solid wooden shield and a bronze helmet and therefore they hold on under fire much longer than most slingers.
h3w-nbw (New Foreigners / Men from across the sea)
Despite some recent military and political set backs, Amose ensured the Hoplites remaining the hard core of the Egyptian army. The hoplite force is foremost of Ionian descent, but Karians also have a notable part while other nations of Asia Minor are present as well. Living in Egypt for many generations by now, these men and their families accustomed to the living conditions here. This also included the development of new armour. Once being “Men of Bronze”, the bronze breastplates have proven to be suboptimal in the African climates. They soon adapted the Egyptian linen corselet. But as it was not sturdy enough, it was massively improved by adding shoulder pieces and a neck guard, thus creating one of the most renowned pieces of bodyarmour. Furthermore, using eastern armour techniques, metal scales could be incorporated and additionally harden the cuirass.
By 559 BC these hoplites are the most advanced hoplite force of the known world, especially as it is led by a professional officers-corps, the Egyptian army trains.
Units, Part 3: Command and Control
The great Pharaohs have won wars even before Herakles was around and their forces have been led by professional officers, trained for leading men into combat, for almost as long. The quality of this corps has suffered severely during the last generations for corruption, lazyness and humiliation by foreign troops becoming the main striking force of Egypt. Amose tries to restore the old proud traditions, but at the very same time he needs to prepare the officers for the completely new tactical situation on the battlefield, which the presence of bronze-clad hoplites, deadly eastern archers and heavy cavalry poses.
Coordination on the battlefield is achieved by the means of a system of standards and music, giving precise signals to the officers of every unit, who are to lead their men accordingly.
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