War is a key feature in human civilization and revolution. Some conflicts at the beginning of time were small-scale rifts that were easily resolved, while others were full-blown animosity that involved different regions and spanned for years. These wars were recorded by a few learned people like the King. Well, in this article, we’ll explain everything we know about the first war to ever get recorded.
Which battle was first recorded?
Wars have been happening since humans started forming groups and governments. So, there might have been one or two major wars that were not recorded since writing wasn’t invented for a while.
But as far as records go, the Battle of Meggido between the Egyptians and the Canaanites was the first battle. Recorded by Pharaoh Thutmose III about 3500 years before World War I, the legendary conflict shows us what battles were like then.
What caused the battle?
Canaan was a loose confederation that enjoyed success due to its location along the trade route, and Egypt wanted control over these areas for commercial interests. This made Egyptian merchants migrate to Canaan; interestingly, Canaanites began to settle in Egypt also.
However, after several years, Thutmose III was anointed king of Egypt at the age of 10. Since he was young, his stepmother, Hatshepsut, acted as his regent. Canaanite rulers, led by King Kadesh, rose against Egypt, seeing the young kid’s inexperience as a weakness.
The Pharaoh’s strategic response
Unlike the regular approach that many kings would have used, Pharaoh Thutmose III responded to the Canaanites’ challenge by thinking like them (his enemies). The king and his army marched to meet the Canaanites for days.
After marching for about ten days from Egypt to Yehem, they were three days away from Meggido. The king insisted that they marched through the central road called the Aruna Pass. By passing this main road, they caught the Canaanites unaware; the Canaanites had laid ambush for them on the other routes.
The Egyptians’ victory
Of course, when the Egyptians got to Meggido, the Canaanites’ plan was destroyed. Although the city was on a hill and had the advantage of higher ground, they were caught off guard and didn’t have the time to get into formation.
Both sides of the Egyptian army had about 15,000 infantry and 1,000 war chariots. They attacked the Canaanites early, making them run for their lives. The people of Meggido lowered cloth ropes to help their king escape to safety.
A vital error that changed the game
The war that should have ended quickly turned into a siege of many months. The Pharaoh made the mistake of allowing his men to loot the enemy camp instead of chasing down the Canaanites.
This made it possible for the soldiers to close the gates of Meggido. However, the Egyptian king didn’t back down; the Canaanites surrendered after a 7-month siege. The Egyptians captured 22,500 sheep, 340 soldiers, 200 armor sets, 924 chariots, 2,300 horses, 502 arrows, 1,929 cattle, and the king of Meggido’s royal armor.