How effective were chariots in battle?

Jun 2006
340
Kentucky
Just how effective were chariots in battle? Would you see a massive attack with 100 chariots at a time. They can't make sharp turns can they? Would put throw spears from them? How were they used to attack soldiers?
 

Belisarius

Forum Staff
Jun 2006
10,359
U.K.
The answer is..no-one rally knows.

The current consensus is that chariois were ancient versions of APCs, designed to carry their warriors to the most advantagious position from which they would either dismount to fight, or fight from the chariot using a bow or javelins, presenting a moving target to the enemy.

Hellenistic Sucessors and later Romans tried to use chariots to break up enemy formations. The late Roman chariot was pulled by four cataphract cavalry in place of normal horses. Both these chariot weapons were failures, so we're back to the Armoured Personnel Carrier model.
 
Jun 2006
368
Earthquake Central
I think chariots were like jeeps. Great for moving people around... not so great in the middle of a battle.
 
Sep 2006
9
I think chariots were also a type of psychological warfare. When the opposing army saw and heard the chariots coming most of them were scared. The chariots were not much practical use in battle but they were good to disconcert the enemy.