The sounds of battle are terrible and totally without parallel in normal civilian life. There is the heavy wooden clash of parrying spears and the soft thunk from those entering flesh; the eerie whistle of arrows soaring over the battlefield, and the hornet-like noise from those passing closer to your head; the manifold human voices, a cacophonous mixture of hoarse shouted orders, shrill screams of pain and fear, and lusty victory cries. But of all these, the sounds that Hezi would never forget were the awful screams of terror-stricken horses, echoing through the narrow valley.
The horsemen of Pe had seemingly chosen their campsite well. The hills far to the West of the Nile were mostly dry and barren, but here a vigorous spring bubbled out of the rocks, creating a small stream which in turn gave birth to a verdant meadow - perfect for hungry horses and thirsty men. The only drawback was the location - the best grazing was set well to the rear of a canyon that featured high rocky cliffs on three sides and but a single exit. It was also the only watering place for days in any direction, so the odds of encountering an enemy war party were certainly higher here than anywhere else. Yet this had been of no concern whatsoever to the men of Pe. Their horses were far swifter than the most seasoned of skirmishers, and they were quite confident that even if discovered by the soldiers of Memphis, speed would assure their certain escape. What they hadn't counted on was the sudden appearance of a chariot army!
The horsemen had time to mount up and prepare for battle, but they were at a serious disadvantage. Horseback archery was a tricky business - a man couldn't both ride AND shoot! Even when stopped, the horse was apt to move on it's own - it was simply impossible to handle a bow and control your animal at the same time. Thus a second man on horseback had to hold the reins and steady the archer's horse. This obviously couldn't be done while moving, so both men had to halt whenever the archer was ready to shoot. By contrast the four-wheel, onager-drawn chariots - although quite a bit slower - did provide a stable platform that allowed archers to shoot on the move. In fact each chariot hosted four men - a driver, two archers and a multipurpose extra whose primary job was to supply the bowmen with a steady supply of arrows, but who could also fill in for an injured man and even had a rack of spears available for close-in combat with the enemy.
On rougher ground or given enough open area to use their speed advantage, the day might have gone to the horsemen. But they were trapped like rats in a sealed granary. Even their successes, such as the maiming of several onagers and the resultant immobilization of their chariots, bore no fruit. The halted chariots simply blocked the canyon exit, serving as stationary forts - which if anything improved the accuracy of the now motionless on-board archers. What ensued was nothing short of slaughter, and Hezi could only marvel - with a mixture of awe and horror - as Apophis and his Hyksos charioteers sealed their victory.