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Assyrian Weapons and Warfare Paper

Assyrian Weapons and Warfare Paper

The Assyrians have long been known as a ruthless and barbaric people of the ancient civilizations. While this may be true in some instances, it is not an entirely accurate view of the Empire of Assyria. The Assyrians took their warfare seriously; in fact they studied war techniques like a science (Riley, 45). The Assyrians even had special schools set up to teach sapping (military demolition of walls etc.) and mining city walls (Riley, 45). The Assyrians were the innovators of war in their time.

The Assyrian army was feared for many reasons one including the use of iron in their weapons. The Assyrians were the first to use iron in spears, swords, shields and armor. They even tipped their battering rams for extra effectiveness. When the Assyrians first attacked their enemies with these awesome novelties of war, it caused almost as profound a reaction as the atom bomb has in our time (Fairservis, 96). Against iron spears and swords, bronze shields were useless. The Assyrians had the most advanced weapons of their time. Their arrows were tipped in iron, the strongest metal of the time. Their bowmen were also among the worlds finest (Fairservis, 95). They had heavy chariots drawn by two horses and had a crew of two, the driver and an archer. Later, a third man was added to protect the rear and a spare horse was hitched at the rear (Za Khan). They introduced cavalry and an accurate sling and developed siege craft with siege towers, battering rams and hand propelled vehicles with armor protection (Za Khan). The primary weapon of the infantry was the bow. It was used in groups or individually; a shield bearer protected the bowman. The bow had a range of over two hundred and fifty meters. A quiver held fifty arrows and a captain had one hundred shield bowmen and shield bearers under his command, which produced formidable firepower (Za Khan). Other weapons used by the infantry wear the spear, the javelin, slings and swords (Za Khan).

The cavalry employed horses ridden bareback by two horsemen. One rider held the reins while the other rider, with a shield on his back, used a bow or a lance. Because cavalry could be used on uneven ground, it started replacing the chariot around six hundred B.C (Za Khan).

The army also had special technical units. They accompanied the army and had...

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