Thutmose Iii's Military Campaign

Thutmose III was considered to have been the “Napoleon of Egypt” [2] for his seventeen military conquests. During these campaigns, nearly 350 cities were captured during his reign, all over the areas of the Near East, Nubia and Euphrates. His campaign records, refers to the Annals, were transcribed on the inner wall within the sanctuary of Amun-Re at Karnak, and Thanuny, his army commander, states in his tomb on the west bank that, "I recorded the victories he won in every land, putting them into writing according to the facts"[3].

  In his twenty-second/third year, he marched to Gaza in ten days and from Yehem, planned the battle to take Megiddo which was held by a rebellious prince named Kadesh. There were three possible approaches to Megiddo, two of which were fairly open, straightforward routes while the third was through a narrow pass that soldiers would only be able to march through in single file. Though he was advised against this dangerous pass by his generals, Thutmose not only took this dangerous route, but actually led the troops through. This first campaign revealed Thutmose to be the military genius of his time. He understood the value of logistics and sudden surprise attack. He surrounded Megiddo for seven months [4], According to the Annals; Syrian princes were obligated to send tribute such as lapis lazuli and their own sons as hostages to Egypt.

  Thutmose's second, third, and fourth (lost) campaigns appear to have been nothing more than tours of Syria and Canaan to collect tribute [5]. The fifth, sixth, and seventh campaigns were directed against the Phoenician cities in Syria and against Kadesh on the Orontes. His eighth campaign was the conquest of Nahrin. In Year 33 of Thutmose’s rule, after crossing the Euphrates River, he attacked Egypt’s greatest enemy, the Mitanni. It appears that Mitanni was not expecting an invasion, so they had no army of any kind ready to defend against Thutmose, although their ships on the Euphrates did try to...