By the New Kingdom, which lasted from 1539-1075 B.C., the ancient Egyptian army is estimated to have included at least 100,000 soldiers, but most were forced conscripts. Stationed at permanent military posts throughout the empire, these soldiers completed various public works projects. During its apex, however, the ancient Egyptian field army numbered approximately 20,000 fighting soldiers.
How the Army Was Divided
During Set I’s reign ( 1290-1279 B.C.), the army comprised three divisions. Ramses II (1279-1300 B.C.) added a fourth division during his reign. Each division was named after an Egyptian god: Amen, Re, Ptah and Seth.
The field army included approximately 15,000 to 20,000 soldiers; it was divided into four companies of 5,000 men. Four thousand infantry men and 1,000 charioteers were sub-divided into 10 battalions. Each battalion consisted of two companies of 250 soldiers. Companies were further reduced to 50-man platoons, composed of five 10-man squads.
- The Air University:A Short History of War, Military Revolition, Size of Armies
- 1000 Facts on Ancient Egypt;Jeremy Smith and Rupert Matthews
- Ramses II: Egyptian Pharaoh, Warrior, and Builder: Stephanie Fitzgerald
- McDaniel College: Ancient Egyptian Timeline
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Seti I
- Encyclopedia Britannica:Ramses II
- Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images