Wódz w opresji, czyli Ramzes II pod Kadesz
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Leader in distress that is Ramses II at Kadesh Ramses II, in the king’s fifth regnal year, invaded Hittite territory intending to take the city of Kadesh on the Orontes. The Hittite king Muwatallis II, prepared to stop him with a large army, including allied contingents. Ramses’ army marched from Egypt and in one month had gathered perhaps as many as 20 000 men, composed of four divisions of 5000. Each of the divisions consisted of 500 chariots and infantry; they were named after the gods: Amon, Re, Ptah, Seth. King Muwatallis’ army consisted of 8000 to 37 000 men. The Hittite chariots numbered around 3500 machines in a force of about 10 000 men. Each of the 2500 Egyptian chariots were served by a crew of two and were a firing platform for archers; they were light and flexible. The Hittite chariots were heavier, crewed by three (a driver, soldier and shield-bearer) and presumably designed for shock attack. The Hittite king cunningly hid his army behind the mound on which the city of Kadesh was built. Assuming that the enemy had withdrawn, Ramses hurried towards Kadesh and set up camp. The 2500 Muwatallis’ chariots charged out from hiding, scattering two Egyptian divisions. Ramses led his bodyguard and chariots in a desperate charge (like the pounce of a falcon) in an attempt to halt the Hittites, who looted the Egyptian camp before being driven out by fresh Egyptian troops (Nearinu, Ptah division). Ramses had won the battle but lost the war.
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