Introduction - Battles of Ancient EgyptThere are many famous battles in ancient Egyptian history. Some of these battles involved fighting against invaders of Egypt, other battles were internal conflicts over control of the ancient civilization, and yet others were initiated by the Egyptians as they strived to expand their territory. On this page we list interesting facts about a few of the most famous ancient Egyptian battles. This information is written for kids and adults and includes where these battles took place, when they were fought, and who won.
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Hyksos InvasionFor centuries ancient Egypt lived basically in peace protected from outsiders by natural barriers including the Nile River and deserts. However this would all change with the invasion of the Hyksos as described below.
- Around 1650 BC the Hyksos people invaded Egypt. They met little resistance as they fought the unprepared Egyptians.
- The Hyksos took control of northern Egypt.
- The Egyptians learned a lot about military tactics from the Hyksos and adopted many of their weapons into their own military. This knowledge transfer helped propel ancient Egypt into the great military power that it became.
- The Egyptians would eventually drive the Hyksos out of Egypt.
The Battle of Megiddo
- The Battle of Megiddo was a conflict involving ancient Egypt and a large coalition of Canaanite (a region of the ancient Near East) states.
- The date of the battle is in question some historians place it in 1457 BC, some in 1479, and others in 1482 BC.
- Pharaoh Thutmose III led the Egyptian military against the coalition lead by the king of Kadesh. Kadesh was an ancient city in the Near East.
- The king of Kadesh had organized several cities in a revolt against Egypt. The coalition occupied a crucial fortress named Megiddo which was along an important trade and military route. Pharaoh Thutmose III moved against the coalition to prove Egyptian control over the area.
- The Egyptian military force routed the Canaanite forces. The Canaanite soldiers retreated to the city of Megiddo.
- After a long Siege of Megiddo the Canaanite forces surrendered.
Battle of Kadesh
- This battle took place around 1274 BC.
- The Egyptians led by Pharaoh Ramesses II fought the Hittites outside the city of Kadesh in present day Syria.
- The battle was over territorial disputes between Ramesses II and the Hittites.
- Ramesses II marched his troops into what is today northern Syria either to capture territory or to check on the loyalty to Egypt of the people there.
- It is believed approximately 20,000 Egyptian warriors faced off against some 50,000 Hittites.
- This battle involved the largest Chariot battle in history. It is believed approximately 6,000 chariots engaged in battle.
- This battle ended in a stalemate.
Battle of Djahy
- This huge battle took place around 1178 BC in modern day southern Lebanon.
- The Egyptians, led by pharaoh Ramesses III, fought the Sea Peoples who wanted to conquer ancient Egypt for its fertile land and gold.
- The Sea Peoples were a well-organized migrating group who had successfully attacked other ancient civilizations.
- The Egyptians won this battle and shortly after won a decisive naval battle against the Sea People.