The assyrian army

The Assyrian army became famous for its extraordinary cruelty and military effectiveness. For the first time it was a strictly professional formation which introduced or improved a number of military innovations. The Assyrians for the first time, on a large scale, armed their army in iron, introduced large, organized use of horsemen, descent troops and sapper units. The army was commanded by professional officers and military staff. Assyrian siege art, for hundreds of years, was the best in the world and the Assyrian logistics, until the Roman Empire, was the most advanced in the world. The Assyrians launched the construction of military roads, built great military warehouses and also divided their army into field and reserve troops. Before the conquests, the Assyrians lived in small communities, most probably nomadic, which eventually settle down in the north Mesopotamian city of Assur. Originally the city was inhabited by a population of Hurrain origin, and later by Semitic Arcadians, and then by the new Semitic newcomers, the Amorites. Soon, the mixture of these tribes mastered the areas between the Tigris River and its tributaries, the Great and Small Zab. The economic basis of the Assyrians was based upon the ownership of small estates and trade with outside nations. Huge political flexibility and good organization allowed them to set up important trade colonies in Minor Asia, where Assyrian merchants acted, exchanging the articles of the native crafts on raw materials which were necessary for the survival of the state. It was during this time, known as the Old Assyrian Period, which the Assyrians start to undertake a series of offensive wars. This was done on a very limited basis. In the fifteenth century immigration processes led to the emergence of non-Semite peoples, who, however, quickly assimilated with the Acadians and the Amorites. The newly formed society and the Middle Kingdom, initially was subjugated to a new Middle East power, Mitanni. Continuous threat was also Babylon.