The earliest battle in history which can be reconstructed in detail, Qadesh (c. 1300 BC) pitted the two great warriors of the age against each other, Muwatallish of Hatti and the great warrior-Pharaoh Rameses II. With the Hittites gaining the initial advantage, all seemed lost until Rameses himself led his personal followers into the fray. However, in spite of the appearance of Egyptian reinforcements, the bravery of the pharaoh and the tactically superior showing of the Egyptian chariotry, the dislocation of his army frustrated the Pharaoh's wider strategic aspirations. Mark Healy recounts the course of this key battle, which could so easily have gone either way.
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