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Indeed, fighting horses in West African states were often kept in stables and fed there, rather than being put out to graze in the open where the tsetse fly might whittle down their numbers. One modern historian Ayalon likens Nubian resistance to that of a dam, holding back the Muslim tide for several centuries. Military Wiki Explore. Battle Axe Two-handed. Designated field commanders controlled troop movement with signals from drums, bells and elephant tusk horns.
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A Samoan Fan ( coconut palm leaf ) £180.00 Approx $247.59, €210.77. A Dahomey Axe Benin with an Engraved Iron Blades. £350.00 Approx $481.43, €409.84. Congo Axe with a Polished iron blade and stained wood handle. £235.00 Approx $323.25, €275.18. Antique Tibetan …
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Battle axe (European) Bhuj with blade shaped like the dagger on a long shaft; Broadaxe (European) Congolese axe (African) Dahomey axe club, also an effective blunt weapon (African) Danish axe, hafted axe, English long axe, Viking axe, Danish longer axe (European) Doloire (European) Fu (Chinese) Hand axe, ovate handaxe (Paleolithic) Hatchet Estimated Reading Time: 4 mins.
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They found the Governor standing there, clutching the tri-color French flag, screaming about how "this will protect me! The Dahomey Amazons decapitated him, made the guy's wife wrap the severed head up in the flag, then delivered the bloody head of the brutally-executed governor to their king still wrapped in a French flag. Well, the French thought this was a little less than awesome, and they declared war on the Dahomey.
The Dahomey responded by assaulting the French city of Kotonou on March 4, , rushing straight-on into the walls despite the fact that the Amazons were using flintlock muskets and the French had fucking Gatling guns and cannons. At first the French were a little hesitant to open fire on an army of gunslinging women, but they found their resolve pretty quickly when the first line of Amazon troops hit the wooden stockade, pulled it apart with their hands, then stuck their muskets through the holes and blasted the defenders at close range.
At one point during this battle the Dahomey even made it over the wall, and one French soldier write about seeing his best friend decapitated with one swing of a machete from a pissed-off Amazon. When a second soldier knocked the weapon out of the woman's hand with his rifle butt, she threw him on the ground and tore out his larynx with her teeth. The French turned the tide of the battle when they had a fucking gunboat start opening fire on the Dahomey, and quite honestly no amount of bravery is going to save you when you're carrying ancient out-of-date muskets and your enemies are launching artillery shells and shooting at you with machine guns.
The attack was driven off. I won't get too much into the gory details, but from this point on it gets kind of bad for the Dahomey Amazons. They fought bravely, nobody can deny that, battling the French in 24 pitched battles between and , but ultimately their sword-swinging mayhem was no match for a modern industrial world power with top-of-the-line weaponry.
Their charges were beaten off by intense gunfire, and in hand-to-hand combat the twenty-inch French rifle bayonets had roughly twice the reach of the Dahomey knives and machetes. The French conquered Dahomey in January , driving King Behanzin into exile.
Of the 4, Dahomey Amazons under King Behanzin's command, nearly all of them were killed hurling themselves fearlessly into battle.
Old or young, ugly or beautiful, they are wonderful to look at. They are as well built as the male warriors and their attitude is just as disciplined and correct, lined up as though against a rope". Links: Smithsonian History Blog The Amazons of Dahomey Dahomey Amazons Wikipedia. Sources: Cummins, Joseph. History's Great Untold Stories.
National Geographic, Edgerton, Robert B. Warrior Women. Westview, These strands of growth were further refined internally into what was to become a formidable war-machine.
In the Old Kingdom , weapons ranged from simple bows and arrows with stone and copper arrowheads , to spears , daggers and copper axes for close-in fighting. Tactics , in terms of maneuvering large bodies of men appear fairly basic. As in other parts of Africa, archers generally opened the battle, followed by masses of infantry in a general hand-to hand engagement. During the Middle Kingdom military sophistication and strength continued to expand.
Deep ditches surrounded some of these fortifications, with walls up to 24 feet thick, creating strong bases against rebellion or invasion. Recruiting quotas were assigned on a regional basis and designated scribes drafted soldiers as needed for the armies of the state.
Striking forces were still primarily infantry-based, and tactics did not change drastically from previous eras. A key role in the strengthening of Egyptian forces was played by infantrymen from Nubia, both as spearmen and archers.
Parts of Nubia were renowned for such fighting men, and indeed a part of the Nubian territory was called Ta-Seti or Land of the Bow by the Egyptians. The Egyptians and Nubians were ethnically the closest in the region, frequently exchanging people, genes , resources and culture over several centuries, and occasionally engaging one another in military conflict. Over the centuries, archers and spearmen plied their trade in the Egyptian forces, and rendered good service against such foreign enemies such as the Hyksos.
They also served in an internal security , policing role within Egypt itself, both in Upper Egypt , adjoining Nubia and further north. Egyptian officials frequently requested the services of such men, particularly the archers, or pitati , to provide security and defense. While Egypt conquered large parts of Nubia at various times, the Kushite 25th Dynasty , originating in Nubia, was to conquer Egypt itself, drawing upon the archery skills of the region's bowmen.
One ancient inscription by Weni the Elder , a royal court official and army commander states a recruitment of thousands of Nubian troops: . Mercenary soldiers had fairly high status: Egyptian wives and servants are documented for Nubian mercenaries at Gebelein in the First Intermediate Period , and mercenaries were sometimes important in the dissemination of weapons and techniques of warfare, and advanced weapons such as the composite bow.
Morkot notes a dissemination of war technology across the Nile Valley. Although battle scenes show Nubian enemies conventionally as bowmen with relatively little equipment, other sources show the use of chariots by the elite, and the "tribute" scenes show weaponry and armor that was manufactured in Nubia Egyptian arms were sometimes sorely pressed by another great power of the Nile Valley, the kingdom of Kush , in what is now the northern Sudan.
According to V. Had they stayed to occupy Egypt, the Kushites might have eliminated it. But the Egyptians were resilient enough to survive, and shortly afterwards inaugurated the great imperial age known as the New Kingdom. They went raiding for precious objects, a symbol of domination. They did a lot of damage. The conquest of Egypt by the Semitic Hyksos was to usher in significant changes. Mobilization of traditional weapons and fighting units reversed the Hyskos triumph including the campaigns of Seqenenre Tao who died as a result of combat or capture and the decisive military initiatives of his son and successor Kamose, which rolled back the Hyksos northward, and ravaged a merchant fleet beneath the walls of their capital Avaris.
Building upon these successes, the final conquest of the Hyksos was completed by Ahmose I, who ushered in the 18th Dynasty, and the New Kingdom. While traditional forces defeated the Hyksos, two new weapons traceable to Hyksos influence- the composite bow and the chariot appear for the first time in widespread use of the Egyptian Army, and the Egyptians quickly adapted these, as the New Kingdom gained in power.
Recruitment methods were refined. Central armories were established that issued standardized bows, quivers , shields and spears to troops. Under the Pharaoh Ahmose I , well-organized and intense training was carried out, including archery practice and instruction on the proper handling and use of the chariots. Documentation from the tomb of a Nubian royal official called Maiherpri from the 18th Dynasty shows that Nubian troops maintained their reputation for archery into this period.
Armed even in death, the Nubian's funerary equipment includes arrows, bows, quivers and leather wrist guards. Ahmose's anti-Hyksos strategy also shows a new sophistication. He first cut Hyksos lines of communication between their base at Avaris and Canaan by taking the city of Tjaru.
With this in hand he began a squeeze on Avaris, taking the city after 4 attacks. Further campaigning in Gaza put paid to Hyksos hegemony in Egypt permanently. The campaigns of Pharaoh Thutmose III continued Egypt's great military rise.
Infantry formations were better trained, led and armed. They were usually organized into basic sub-units of 50 fighters, progressing to divisions of around 5, men.
Archers were better integrated with footmen. The chariot arm was expanded, and generally reserved for the nobility. Each vehicle carried two men, a driver maneuvered while carrying a huge shield to protect himself and his partner, an assault trooper armed with a powerful composite bow and bronze-tipped arrows provided firepower and a dozen javelins were also carried on board the chariot for close-range work.
Behind the chariots came the infantry — solid ranks of spearmen and archers. The archers took the enemy under fire to open combat, while the chariot teams maneuvered around the flanks or across the enemy front.
The chariots usually engaged in stand-off battle with arrows against opposing chariots or infantry, or could carry out shock attacks against vulnerable points of the enemy formation.
The infantry meanwhile advanced behind, ready to make follow-on attacks, or providing a solid line of defense behind which the chariots could regroup if they ran into problems. The operations of the Pharaoh Thutmose III gives evidence of Egyptian sophistication. At the Battle of Megiddo , in present-day Jordan , Syrian troops deployed in front of the city. Thutmose first sent the left wing of his force northwest of Megiddo , to cut off the Syrian line of retreat.
He redeployed his right wing south of the city, and concentrated his powerful strike force of chariots, over 1, of them in the center. The chariots smashed the right flank of the Syrian formation and the Egyptian infantry, coming up fast, waded into the fray with javelin, sword and battle-axe.
The Syrians army crumbled. Such successes were to continue as the improved Egyptian forces grew in power and influence throughout the region.
The rise of Persia saw the conquest of the Egyptian state and the end of its independent military activity, however Egyptian forces, including the Nubian bowmen, still continued to make their mark as part of the Persian army, and even saw action against Alexander the Great at Issus, circa BC.
The "mixed" Carthaginian military system. Situated in modern-day Tunisia, Carthage 's empire drew heavily from the region, particularly Libyan infantry and Numidian cavalry. The Carthaginian military system was a "mixed" one — armies were made up of contingents drawn from various tribes and nations. Phoenicians , and a mixed population of Libyans and Phoenicians, called Liby-Phoenicians by the Greeks made up the privileged classes of the city. The best light-cavalry was provided by the tribes of Numidia.
To this were added other subject or allied contingents and mercenaries from Iberia, Sicily, Greece and Italy. If serving for extended periods under competent commanders such as Hamilcar , Hasdrubal and Hannibal , such "mixed" forces performed well. Early victories against Rome in Africa. In the First Punic War, the Roman general Marcus Atilius Regulus decided to bring the campaign directly to African soil, hoping to crush Carthage right in its own ground — BC. Carthage rejected harsh peace terms by Regulus, and reformed its army, adding fresh contingents, including Greeks, native levies, and the veteran troops of Hamilcar's Sicilian campaign.
On the day of decision, about war-elephants were also mobilized for action. The Carthaginian formation placed native levies in the center, and mercenary forces on the right. Cavalry was split between the wings. The elephants formed a shock force in the vanguard.
In response, Regulus seemed to have deepened his formation, but he was heavily outnumbered by Carthaginian horse. Xanthippus ordered the war-elephants to charge, and they wreaked havoc on the legion front line. Roman cavalry was also routed, and the Carthaginian horsemen returned to attack the flanks and rear of the infantry. A second encounter on African soil was not to go so favorably. War in Africa — the Second Punic War at Zama. In the Second Punic War, Rome realized again that it had to strike at and defeat Carthage in its own homeland.
Under Scipio Africanus , Roman forces did do it convincingly, with significant aid by the horsemen of Numidia under Masinissa. The patchwork of both African-based and other forces available to Hannibal at Zama was a far cry from what he had enjoyed in Italy. He lacked both the devastating Numidian cavalry arm and the hardcore Libyan infantry that aided him at Cannae. He was also forced to do battle with a relatively uncoordinated blend of Gallic and Spanish mercenary troops, local African levies, and the remaining battle-hardened veterans of the Italian campaign.
Based on these weaknesses, Hannibal's deployment at Zama had much to recommend it, particularly in view of his lack of cavalry. War-elephants would open the charge as in the first African land victory. Roman adjustments however neutralized the elephant charge, and the battle came down to a close-fought, bitter struggle between the veterans and the Roman infantry.
The return of Numidian cavalry to crash into his rear doomed Hannibal's force. Rome would put an end to the Carthaginian military system and become the new power in northern Africa.
Foreign invasions Assyrians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs were to bring an end to the great dynastic era of Egypt. However the prowess of the Sudanic infantry variously known in writings as 'Kushites', 'Ethiopians', 'Nubians', 'Napthans' or 'Meroeites' , still made a distinctive mark in the region, and beyond, especially the archers.
Several strong polities arose in the southern Nile Valley after the decline of the pharaonic period, ushering in the eras of Kush, Christian Nubia and other smaller groupings. Besides a process of internal conflict, fighting men from this region were to clash with several major external enemies - the legions of Rome, the armies of Persia, and the forces of Islam.
Ancient sources indicate that the Sudanic archers favored one-piece bows that were between six and seven feet long, with so powerful a draw strength that many of the archers used their feet to bend their bows.
Although composite types saw some use, the Greek historian Herodotus circa BC indicates primary bow construction was of seasoned palm wood, with the arrows made of cane.
Other sources describe intense encounters between African archers and a variety of enemies. Such fighting men were not an uncommon sight on battlefields or royal courts throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East. Among the Meriotic forces facing Rome, elephants were still occasionally used in war. Later Sudanic based forces like the Blemmye also deployed horses and camels for their raids over the Egyptian frontier, and the poisoned arrow tactics of their predecessors found ready employment.
The Persian Cambyses II invasion of Egypt circa BC yielded a decisive victory at the battle of Pelusium, routing Egyptian forces, capturing Memphis and taking the Egyptian ruler Psammetichus captive. These rapid Persian successes however stalled when Cambyses moved further south to attack the Kingdom of Kush. Logistical difficulties in crossing desert terrain were compounded by the fierce response of the Kushite armies, particularly accurate volleys of archery that not only decimated Persian ranks, but sometimes targeted the faces and eyes of individual Persian warriors.
One historical source notes:. One Kushite ruler is recorded as taunting Persian spies with the gift of a bow, inviting the Persian armies to return when they found strength enough to draw the weapon. The Roman conquest of Egypt put it on a collision course with the Sudanic powers of the southern regions.
In 20 BC, Kushites under their ruler Teriteqas, invaded Egypt with some 30, troops. The head of one of these Augustian statutes was carried off to Meroe as a trophy, and buried under a temple threshold of the Candace Amanirenas , to commemorate the Kushite victory, and symbolically tread on her enemies. He pulled back to Premnis, strengthening its fortifications, and leaving a garrison in place.
The Meroitic diplomats were invited to confer with the Roman emperor Augustus himself on the Greek island of Samos where he was headquartered temporarily.
That the Kushites did not appear as beaten supplicants is suggested by the aggressive message brought to the Romans by the envoys of Meroe. A bundle of golden arrows was presented with the envoys reputedly saying: "The Kandake sends you these arrows. If you want peace, they are a token of her friendship and warmth. If you want war, you are going to need them. The Kushites were a regional power in their own right and resented paying tribute. The Romans sought a quiet southern border for their absolutely essential Egyptian grain supplies, without constant war commitments, and welcomed a friendly buffer state in a border region beset with raiding nomads.
During negotiations, Augustus granted the Kushite envoys all they asked for, and also cancelled the tribute earlier demanded by Rome. The settlement bought Rome peace and quiet on its Egyptian frontier, and increased the prestige of Roman Emperor Augustus, demonstrating his skill and ability to broker peace without constant warfare, and do business with the distant Kushites, who a short time earlier had been fighting his troops.
The respect accorded the emperor by the Kushite envoys as the treaty was signed also created a favorable impression with other foreign ambassadors present on Samos, including envoys from India, and strengthened Augustus' hand in upcoming negotiations with the powerful Parthians. Inscriptions erected by Queen Amanirenas on an ancient temple at Hamadab, south of Meroe, record the war and the favorable outcome from the Kushite perspective. The third major opponent to confront the fighting men of Nubia was the Arabs, who had overrun Egypt and large parts of the Mideast.
One modern historian Ayalon likens Nubian resistance to that of a dam, holding back the Muslim tide for several centuries. Whereas the Islamic military expansion began with swift conquests across Byzantium, Central Asia, the Maghrib and Spain, such quick triumphs foundered at the Sudanic barrier. The pre-gunpowder era spans the centuries from the start of medieval times to the beginnings of Arab and European expansion in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Warfare ranged from minor raiding to major campaigns, and saw the full set of missile, cutting and thrusting weapons used elsewhere in warfare. Added to these were archery weapons- like the bows and poisoned arrows of the Ndongo, Fulani or Mossi. Defensive positions ran the gamut- from imposing castles, to field fortifications with trenches and ramparts. Changes in methods and organization accompanied innovations in weaponry. Both infantry and cavalry forces were well represented on the African continent in the pre-colonial era, and the introduction of both horses and guns in large numbers was to have important implications for military systems.
Importance of the horse. The primacy of such warriors, together with those who wielded the spear, was challenged by the coming of horses, increasingly introduced around the 14th century to the flat country of the Sahel and Saharan regions, and the savannas of northern West Africa.
Several cavalry-dominated polities were to emerge in the savannah regions, including Mali , Songhai , Oyo , Bornu and others. Horse imports surpassed local breeding in several areas, and were to remain important through the centuries. Accounts of the empire of Mali mention saddles and stirrups. These made new tactics possible, such as mass charges with thrusting spear and swords. Armor also developed, to protect both the cavalryman and his mount, including iron helmets and chain mail.
During his pilgrimage to Mecca in , the Sultan of Egypt specifically presented him with numerous horses, all equipped with saddles and bridles. The rise of cavalry did not totally displace the archers and spearmen of West Africa.
The two arms sometimes worked side by side. Limitations of the horse. There were serious limitations to the spread of the horse in warfare however, as opposed to their use for ceremonial purposes. Horse breeding and maintenance was difficult and restricted in many parts of West and Central Africa due to the tsetse fly induced sleeping sickness disease that struck both man and beast; heavy imports were a practical necessity, especially the larger breeds. States like Dagoma in northern Ghana , Nupe and the Yoruba kingdom of Oyo in Nigeria were very dependent on imports of horses, usually financed by the sale of slaves.
Disruption of imports on trade routes could reduce the horse supply. The Oyo for example, had relatively little success in thick forested areas during an ineffective invasion of Nigeria in the 17th century.
Horses also had to be fed and maintained, a pressing logistical burden for large formations. Indeed, fighting horses in West African states were often kept in stables and fed there, rather than being put out to graze in the open where the tsetse fly might whittle down their numbers. Their introduction thus had a varying impact in many areas. In Africa , the Adal Empire and the Abyssinian Empire both deployed gunpowder weapons during the Adal-Abyssinian War.
Imported from Arabia , and the wider Islamic world, the Adalites, led by Ahmed ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi , were the first African power to introduce cannon warfare to the African continent.
The conflict proved, through their use on both sides, the value of firearms such as the matchlock musket , cannon, and the arquebus over traditional weapons. Ernest Gellner in his book ' Nations and Nationalism ' argues that the centralizing potential of the gun and the book, enabled both the Somali people and the Amhara people to dominate the political history of a vast area in Africa, despite neither of them being numerically predominant.
Importance of guns. Guns were to have an important effect on African military systems. Rising quantities of guns are associated with increases in the slave trade, as major powers such as Dahomey, Benin and Ashanti stepped up their conquests to feed the insatiable demand for human bodies. Guns were an important item traded to Africans in the decades prior to , usually paid for in gold or slaves. The psychological impact of guns in the night and dawn attacks favored by slave raiders was significant, and in slave-catching, flintlocks could also be loaded with shot, wounding and crippling victims rather than killing them outright.
The connection between the gun trade and the slave trade is described by the Dutch Director-General at Elmina in The Dutch themselves were exporting over 20, tons of gunpowder every year along the Gold Coast by All along the region, English, French and other traders competed hard with each other to supply their African customers.
By the midth century some , guns were being exported annually to Africa. Various peoples and states also created new professionalized castes of slave warriors, led by slave commanders, the ceddo armies armed with both gunpowder or traditional weapons to make war not only for defense but to attack others and seize slaves, intensifying the cycle of predatory dislocation and violence across many areas. Limitations of guns. While firearms were to have a profound impact, this impact was not uniformly revolutionary or even transformational in all areas.
Responses were mixed- from outright rejection, to a mix of spear and musket side by side on the battlefield. The guns introduced into Africa were often lower quality, inaccurate, slow-firing varieties. Indeed, it was standard practice by European merchants and government officials to ship defective firearms to West Africa. In for example, it was estimated that only 4 out of every 50 trade guns were serviceable at Cape Coast Castle, and in , one Danish official on the West Coast complained to his masters in Copenhagen about the large number of carbines that burst on being fired, hurting his credibility with local chiefs and traders.
On the Slave Coast, 18th century records show the King of Dahomey making complaints to European traders about guns that burst when fired. Competition between the Dutch, English, French and other powers was also fierce, sometimes leading to better arms, but sometimes causing cuts in quality to maintain slim profit margins.
Portuguese troops often turned in excellent performances, but written sources sometimes exaggerate the number of native enemies defeated, giving a misleading picture of the military situation.
One source for example claims opposing armies of over one million African enemy troops, a highly dubious figure according to some modern historians. The record is mixed. Using time, organization and superior numbers, indigenous forces sometimes neutralized or defeated troops with firearms. Portuguese gains from the encounter however amounted to little less than 50 cows when the smoke cleared, and their mission to control the gold mines of Mwene Mutapa failed.
Indeed, they were forced to pay tribute to the native Mutapa state in return for the right to limited mining. When the whole record is analyzed, gun-armed European troops met defeat on several occasion by charging spearmen or African infantry using poisoned arrows. Firearms inflicted heavy casualties on the African force, but the prolonged battle stretched into the darkness and night attacks forced a Portuguese retreat, after which their camp was looted. Portuguese writers of the period comment favorably on the tight discipline of the African armies, additional weapons such as battle axes, the crescent formation used as they deployed for battle, and deception tactics during night attacks that included erecting a massive number of campfires around the Portuguese position, fooling defenders into thinking Dombo's force was twice as large.
This triumph effectively terminated the future presence of the Portuguese in the area, cutting them off from the gold mines. Overall, Portugal's foothold in the region was to remain tenuous for at least two centuries.
The later observations of Zulu King Chaka on the efficacy of firearms versus African alternatives were thus not unreasonable. It should be noted however that several of the Angolan kingdoms integrated a mix of gunmen with their indigenous fighting forces, adding to the diversity of arrangements for combat. Contrary to popular Western impressions, sub-Saharan Africa did produce significant cavalry forces where the environment permitted it. The savannahs of Western Africa in particular Guinea, Gambia, Senegal, Niger etc.
As they did further north in Carthage, Egypt and Libya, the introduction of the horse, and to some extent the camel in desert areas had a transformational effect on African warfare. Cavalry weapons and armor.
Among the Fulani-Hausa armies of Sokoto , both horse and rider were shielded. Others' Words. Contiguous text in a puzzle's theme, words, or user name. Word Quantity. AA WORDS by Guest Advent by Guest Bible candles darkness family hope Isaiah Jesus light love prayer prophecy season songs waiting wreath. Allie by Guest
African military systems before 1800 - Wikipedia
African military systems before 1800 refers to the evolution of military systems on the African continent prior to 1800, with emphasis on the role of indigenous states and peoples, whose leaders and fighting forces were born on the continent, with their main military bases, fortifications, and supply sources based on or deriving from the continent, and whose operations were conducted within ...
The Dahomey responded by assaulting the French city of Kotonou on March 4, , rushing straight-on into the walls despite the fact that the Amazons were using flintlock muskets and the French had fucking Gatling guns and cannons. At first the French were a little hesitant to open fire on an army of gunslinging women, but they found their resolve pretty quickly when the first line of Amazon. Ironside Axe Club is the FIRST destination for competitive axe throwing in Central Iowa. We are the first range of the World Axe Throwing League (WATL) in the area as well. Axe throwing is a fun, safe group activity. Our location in West Des Moines is easy to get to and ideally located for anyone in the Greater Des Moines Area. Come join the fun and find your inner Viking warrior with. 25/7/ · Peterborough Axe Club owner Carlo Raponi in a May video explaining how the pandemic forced him to close the Lindsay Axe Club, which opened in (Video screenshot by kawarthaNOW) The closure was a devastating loss for Raponi, his staff, and his Lindsay customers. After making the decision, Raponi says sharing the news of the Lindsay closure was like getting punched in .
Spear vs Dane axe
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