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It was to become the essence of blitzkrieg doctrine—cripple the decisionmaking leadership. Ramses was saved by the timely arrival of reinforcements and Hittite avarice. In the confusion of the pillage, Ramses organized a desperate breakout which soon became a counterattack. Leading a small force of chariots, the Egyptians attacked Hittite groups in sequence, gobbling them up and snatching victory from defeat. ”2 The Celtic chariot carried a driver and a warrior; tactics included a rapid approach, close quarter battle, and timely withdrawal.
445, after Bleda mysteriously died (rumored to have been killed by Attila himself), Attila took the throne as undisputed lord of the Huns. He again turned his attention toward the empire, returning to his western seat on the Danube and hovering menacingly over the peripheries of Roman control. d. 447 Attila invaded; his cavalry overwhelmed Roman and Gothic coalitions and again threatened Constantinople. During the negotiated armistice, the Roman emissary observed Attila during a banquet in his tented cavalry encampment: A luxurious meal, served on silver plate, had been made ready for us and the barbarian guests, but Attila ate nothing but meat on a wooden trencher.
Brawny muscles swell upon his noble chest. ”17 The introduction of war elephants created a temporary tactical advantage centered on shock and momentum. The exotic smell also terrified European horses. Hannibal’s elephants were few and, like tanks in the early twentieth century, relatively delicate. The journey from Africa to Spain, through Southern France, across to snow covered passes of the Alps and finally the northern valleys of Italy eroded their numbers. It is a tribute to the veterinary skills of the Carthaginian army that any elephants arrived at all.