Realistically, why did ancient armies field anything that wasn't a chariot anywhere where chariots could be fielded?

Realistically, why did ancient armies field anything that wasn't a chariot anywhere where chariots could be fielded? I'm not talking about during the period where cavalry was possible, I'm talking about the period when chariots were king everywhere from Egypt to China.

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  1. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Chariots were expensive, and ancient armies tended to also not supply their troops with weapons and armor.

    Having a chariot was a sign you were nobility that could afford to also have a chariot driver and other men fight alongside you.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      So it existed in an era of self financed military, and even though it was a more powerful system everywhere that the land was flat they didn't have the social technology to only field them, I see.

      Men would join up for the prospect of loot.
      And in general, the more men on your side the better, so they wouldn't turn them down (within reason)
      The chariots being the personal retinue of the chieftain monarch

      That is something that I overlooked.

      They were extremely expensive and cost prohibitive, especially during the Bronze Age. They’d be equivalent to modern day state of the art tanks I suppose; very effective on the right field and intimidating to the enemy, but you also can’t make many of them very fast and loosing one costs you a ton of money, resources and trained personnel. Have to use them sparingly and only when necessary.

      I forget sometimes how much even basic goods made by craftsmen cost back then.

      Others have pointed out that Chariots were expensive.

      The other reason is chariots aren't exactly cavalry: they perform fast transport roles of wealthy warriors who would be hopping off to fight or missile platforms. They're not like knights or hussars that you could charge bodies of infantry with. If you want to maintain a presence on the battlefield and assault the enemy head on, you're still gonna need infantry.

      Ah. Chariots deliver damage from a distance, but it takes the infantry to deliver the final blow.

      >Those guys up in the hills
      >"Come up here and try that, Hittite weakling!"
      >"Come down here and try that, Hebrew scum!"

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        >So it existed in an era of self financed military, and even though it was a more powerful system everywhere that the land was flat they didn't have the social technology to only field them, I see.
        It’s less inherently social technology than sjeer resources. Each chariot has a horse per man or maybe 3-4 horses per 4-5 men for heavy. People outnumbered horses probably everywhere on earth at the time so the limit was more horsepower than manpower. If your city or country could field say 2000 adult men but only had 500 horses fit to drive a chariot you’re better off with 250 chariots and 1500 footmen than 250 chariots and no foot soldiers.

        It’s like if a modern army could have every soldier pilot a strike fighter. Even ignoring the tactical inflexibility of it it would cost like $30-120 million per soldier and require scales of manufacturing not available (the US can’t build a million F-15Es even if they could afford them).

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      Chariots were not invincible war machines with 1000 hp and 100 damage like in a video game. They were complex real life entities with various advantages, disadvantages and risks depending on the situation, they would need other kinds of troops to compensate for their disadvantages.

      Others have pointed out that Chariots were expensive.

      The other reason is chariots aren't exactly cavalry: they perform fast transport roles of wealthy warriors who would be hopping off to fight or missile platforms. They're not like knights or hussars that you could charge bodies of infantry with. If you want to maintain a presence on the battlefield and assault the enemy head on, you're still gonna need infantry.

      Chariots were not expensive, morons, it is 2 farm animals and less wood than used in a building or household furniture.

  2. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Men would join up for the prospect of loot.
    And in general, the more men on your side the better, so they wouldn't turn them down (within reason)
    The chariots being the personal retinue of the chieftain monarch

  3. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    They were extremely expensive and cost prohibitive, especially during the Bronze Age. They’d be equivalent to modern day state of the art tanks I suppose; very effective on the right field and intimidating to the enemy, but you also can’t make many of them very fast and loosing one costs you a ton of money, resources and trained personnel. Have to use them sparingly and only when necessary.

  4. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Others have pointed out that Chariots were expensive.

    The other reason is chariots aren't exactly cavalry: they perform fast transport roles of wealthy warriors who would be hopping off to fight or missile platforms. They're not like knights or hussars that you could charge bodies of infantry with. If you want to maintain a presence on the battlefield and assault the enemy head on, you're still gonna need infantry.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      >chariots do not charge

      ...then why did the king of Pontus charge his chariots frontally, uphill...into the Roman line?

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        Different chariot from a different time

  5. 4 months ago
    Anonymous
    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Dumb ass takes the Bible out of context

  6. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Actually, here's something that I just do not understand. That the Egyptians had chariots makes sense, because they were agriculturalists. They had the surplus food to have population that could dedicate their time to doing something other than gathering food. Chariots were an expensive and complex good.

    The Hittites were nomadic pastoralists. How did they even have the material wealth to produce so many chariots?

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      >The Hittites were nomadic pastoralists
      This is like saying the aztecs were hunter gatherer newcomers. Maybe they began that way but by the time they were relevant they controlled hundreds of cities and their fields

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        >Hittites were nomadic pastoralists
        They weren't though. at most you could say they were descended from nomadic pastoralists.
        And their empire certainly wasn't all nomadic pastoralists.

        Right. Agriculturalism and nomadic pastoralism had some serious blurred lines at that point. Everybody was doing everything. Agriculturalists had flocks of domesticated animals and successful nomads had subjugated cities with large agricultural bases.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Hittites were nomadic pastoralists
      They weren't though. at most you could say they were descended from nomadic pastoralists.
      And their empire certainly wasn't all nomadic pastoralists.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      >How did they even have the material wealth to produce so many chariots?
      Chariots don't have to be costly

      They didn't. Infantry were for sieges and bad terrain only, anywhere chariots could go wars battles were just two groups of chariots facing off against each other.
      And it's very possible that development of decent anti-chariot weapons caused the LBA collapse.

      >And it's very possible that development of decent anti-chariot weapons caused the LBA collapse.
      The counter to the chariot (aside from terrain) is the horseman. Horsemen were much faster and more versatile than chariot riders.

  7. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    The other thing to keep in mind is that chariots were only effective (or usable really) on flat terrain.
    Also keep in mind that Bronze Age horses were not yet bred large or strong enough to carry fully armored warriors. The saddle hadn't been invented yet either. Armored cavalry didn't really become a thing until around the time of Alexander, at which point it made chariot warfare obsolete.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      You know, in the modern day we have entire manuals and training schools dedicated to mountain warfare. I can't find much that predates the medieval era on mountain warfare, only vague allusions to the fact that the hillfolk were nobody to mess with even though they were pretty much all brushed aside over a long enough timeframe.

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        Prokopios and Amian talk some about the isaurians. And Polybius mentions a little bit about mountain warfare; nothing extensive, just a few mentions of peltasts doing stuff

        • 4 months ago
          Anonymous

          Seems like the Greeks preferred to fight on the planes for the most part. Might just be that it was really difficult to field a force of anything except peltasts in the mountains.

          • 4 months ago
            Anonymous

            Oddly enough, Polybius also talks about that in detail. The phalanx is useless if the terrain is rough or the enemy avoids battle; that's why the roman model is superior, according to him

          • 4 months ago
            Anonymous

            Logistics were also probably a b***h in mountains back then. Imagine losing an entire force to starvation and exposure to the elements because they went marching over some mountains.

  8. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Back in oldy timey days, chariots were used because horses weren't as big and strong as they'd later become and mounted cavalry wasn't practical, in fact the earliest chariots in Mesopotamia were pulled by donkeys.

  9. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    They didn't. Infantry were for sieges and bad terrain only, anywhere chariots could go wars battles were just two groups of chariots facing off against each other.
    And it's very possible that development of decent anti-chariot weapons caused the LBA collapse.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      ...are there sources on the sea people vs chariots?

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      What exactly is a decent anti-chariot weapon?

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        You laugh, but these things hit like a Mack truck, and according to ancient accounts were often considered more valuable than archers as far as ranged anti-personnel.

        • 4 months ago
          Anonymous

          Were they chariot killers though?

  10. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    >no vr chariot racing game
    why live?

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