My List of the Greatest Commanders in History

Lord Oda Nobunaga

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Jan 2015
5,681
Ontario, Canada

macon

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Aug 2015
4,198
Slovenia, EU
What was so good about Benoite de Boigne? What did he do exactly?
First grand scale, he was commanding six numbers. Then he was western organizer of Maratha army in 18th century and worked for Scindias of Gwalior. It seems that he also won many battles with middle to big numbers involved.
 
Nov 2019
4
a very dark place
It's basically impossible to tell for times before rome since there is not much writing. Anyway I chip in for skipio africanus and alexander the great because why not.
i was surprised such an extensive/through list did not include these names. esp. alexander the great
kind of like listing greatest home run hitters and forgetting babe ruth
 

Lord Oda Nobunaga

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
5,681
Ontario, Canada
Suppiluliumas I (or Shuppiluliuma)

The Early Career of Suppiluliumas


Suppiluliumas was perhaps the giant of that age. The 1300's BC certainly, perhaps even the Bronze Age. He reigned in Hatti from about 1344 BC to 1322 BC. When his father Tudhaliya II ruled, a massive coalition of west Anatolian states invaded the Hittite Empire. The threat was dire, such that the king retreated from his capital at Hattusa (the sacred and ancestral city of the Hittite Empire) and moved his court to Samuha. Suppiluliumas received command of the Hittite army and defeated the coalition in battle, forcing them to withdraw from Hittite lands. He also defeated the Kaska tribes of the Pontus region and the Hayasa in the east, allowing the king to return to his capital at Hattusa. Indeed things were so dire that many had claimed that the Hittite Empire was finished.

The next king to succeed was the elder son of Tudhaliya II, called Tudhaliya III, it is said that Suppiluliumas assassinated his brother and took the throne, as he had control of the army. After taking the throne he fought two more campaigns in the west against the Arzawans and another campaign against the Kaskans. He conquered Arzawa and appointed a vassal king, also taking the city of Armatana, a state in Kizzuwatna (Cilicia). These were of course in retaliation for their earlier invasions. However the Kaska barbarians would become a regular threat for the Hittites from here on out, they had also raided in the previous century.

The War Against Mitanni and the First Syrian Campaign

Since Egypt under Akhenaten and Tutankhamun was in severe decline, the vassal states in Syria and Canaan were able to fight each other or refuse to pay tribute. Adventurers and renegades also carved out new kingdoms in Syria. Likewise Mitanni was in the midst of a civil war; the king Artashumara was assassinated by his nobles and the chancellor installed his infant brother Tushratta as king. A relative, Artatama II (perhaps a son or brother of Artashumara), proclaimed himself king in the east and he was recognized by the Hittites.

Suppiluliumas invaded Ishuwa, which was just north of Mesopotamia and was a Hurrian state under the control of Mitanni (his brother Tudhaliya III invaded Ishuwa and was defeated by Tushratta). In fact Suppiluliumas failed to besiege the mountain fortresses of Ishuwa and withdrew, instead opting to invade Syria. It is said that the Hittites marched as far as the mountains of Lebanon and many cities joined them. It is possible that Suppiluliumas marched his army into Egyptian territories this far south. Other cities were besieged and plundered, which resulted in angry letters from Egyptian vassals (for instance the city of Gubla constantly requested support) as well as from Tushratta in western Mitanni (as the Hittites had not officially declared war on Mitanni).

This further caused Syria to be destabilized; a renegade called Abdi-Asirta leading an army of mercenaries and bandits continued to invade cities and plunder territory. The Pharaoh Akhenaten did nothing to stop him at first, despite receiving letters from troubled vassals. Eventually Abdi-Asirta's actions troubled the Pharaoh so that he sent a few hundred reinforcements and orders to the local kings to resist Abdi-Asirta's invasions. Eventually Abdi-Asirta was defeated by these kings and was killed by his disgruntled followers. Soon after these kings then began to quarrel and fight one another.

Invasion of Mitanni and Second Syrian Campaign

Around 1340 BC Suppiluliumas again invaded and this time successfully took Ishuwa. This then allowed him to march directly down the Euphrates river, cross over from the north and enter the Mitanni heartland along the Khabur river. He took over the land of Alshe and Kutmar, which then allowed him to move against the Mitanni capital of Washukkani. Tushratta refused to give battle and withdrew into Syria, much to the chagrin of Suppiluliumas. He was unable to siege out Washukanni and instead plundered the nearby Shuta. At some point Tushratta invaded and plundered Syria and took the city of Qatna. He probably defeated those unruly vassals which had collaborated with the Hittites.

Suppiluliumas also crossed the Euphrates into Syria and began attacking those vassal kings which had pledged themselves to Mitanni and Egypt. Fearing Tushratta's wrath, many of these kings decided to side with Suppiluliumas, and so the Hittites forced Tushratta out of Syria. Some of these kings then turned on the Hittites but were defeated and ironically sought sanctuary with Tushratta in Washukanni. Other kings in Syria formed a coalition against the Hittites. But despite this violation of Egyptian territory, the Pharaoh Akhenaten did nothing to support his vassals. The states in Niya, Mukish and Nuhashi made war on Ugarit for not joining their coalition, despite this Ugarit refused submission to the Hittites. Suppiluliumas was disinterested in the far south at this time and moved to attack Aleppo, a large city which controlled the routes in northern Syria. Suppiluliumas succeeded in taking Aleppo and placed his younger son Telipinu as its king (who would found a dynasty there which would outlast the very Hittite Empire).

Finally the king of Ugarit was desperate and asked Suppiluliumas for support. The Hittite king obliged and sent a detachment to chase out the other kings, while he took the main army to besiege and capture Mukish. The king of Niya attempted to make peace and traveled to Mukish, while gone his brother usurped him. Then Niya allied with Arahati, assembled their forces there, and again made war on the Hittites. Suppiluliumas marched forth and defeated them, even capturing the two kings and all of their supporters. Then he invaded southwards and took Qatna. However this incursion startled the king of Kadesh and he declared war on the Hittites. Suppiluliumas marched against him and defeated him in battle, after which he fled to Abzuya but was then besieged. Afterwards Suppiluliumas continued south and took Apa (Damascus) thus subjecting all of Syria to Hittite rule in one year. On his return to Hatti he likely marched through the west coast in Amurru and forced those cities to submit. Likely because its ruler Aziru, being the son of the renegade Abdi-Asirta, needed recognition as king which the Hittite ruler accepted. This constitutes the Second Syrian Campaign, but at no point did Akhenaten break off relations after the Hittite transgressions. This could be a sign of the weakness of the Egyptian army during that time, or the domestic issues which plagued Egypt.

The Mitanni Civil War is Resolved; Suppiluliumas Campaigns in Anatolia... again

Tushratta was assassinated in a plot by one of his sons and the nobles (it is unclear to me whether the assassin was Shattiwaza himself, or a different son). This allowed the usurper Artatama II to march out from the east and take control over the whole empire. Whether because he was infirm or in some way incapable, Artatama II now had his son Shuttarna III as co-ruler (or perhaps Artatama II wished to legitimize his successor, given the civil war this makes sense). The eastern faction had depended on the support of their Assyrian vassals to keep them in power and as a consequence Assyrian advisers dominated at court. Shuttarna III also sent tribute to the Assyrians and the state of Alshe in the north, and moved the capital from Washukanni to Taite, to make matters worse there was famine in Mitanni (Suppiluliuma states that he sent many cows, donkeys and horses to alleviate the suffering in Mitanni). Another scholar has interpreted this as Assyrian and Alshe ransacking, and that the new king was powerless to stop them. This no doubt offended the Hurrian and Aryan nobility and caused further troubles in Mitanni. There was an uprising by a man called Aki-Teshup which was put down. Aki-Teshup and his supporter Shattiwaza (a son of Tushratta) fled to Babylon.

In the meantime Suppiluliumas sent a commander called Lupakki to secure Amqa in Syria, himself invading the Kaska tribes in the northern coast of Anatolia fortifying Athulisha and Tuhupurpuna and taking Almina, then placing a large garrison in Parpara. He then sent his generals Urawanni and Kuwatna-ziti to invade Kashula. A plague then broke out and this weakened the army stationed in the north. The Kaskans took advantage of this to rebel, but when the king sent reinforcements they were put down. The king then went on to conquer Tumanna and sent his nephew Hutu-piyanza to fortify and defend Pala, which they did by fighting a guerrilla war against the Kaskans. The next year the king invaded the Kaska regions once again and took not only Ishtahara but also Manaziyana and Kalimuna.

The Third Syrian Campaign; Suppiluliumas almost conquers Egypt

In Syria however, various local kings made war on the Hittites and attacked Aleppo which was ruled by the king's son Telipinu. Telipinu and Lupakki were able to defend the Syrian lands and so the cities of Arziya and Murmuriga made peace, but Carchemish remained hostile. Telipinu left Lupakki with 600 men to hold Murmuriga and went to Hatti to consult with Suppiluliumas. The Mitanni then invaded Syria and attacked Murmuriga, so it is safe to say that relations between Suppiluliumas and his ally Shuttarna III had deteriorated. What is more Tutankhamun decided to break from his father's impotent policies and sent an Egyptian army to attack the king of Kadesh (in the inscriptions of Horemheb he mentions that the king led his army against the Asiatics, perhaps Tutankhamun led this army against Kadesh, or perhaps the later army sent to Amqa, or took part in another campaign in the region). Seeing this unexpected response other Syrian kings might have joined with the Egyptians, specifically the rulers of Nuhashi. Suppiluliumas decided to lead an army back into Syria and begin his Third Syrian Campaign, around 1327 BC.

Suppiluliumas assembled his army at Talpa; he ordered his brother Zita and the crown prince Arnuwanda to lead an army against the Mitanni. They were able to defeat the Mitanni forces and chase them back across the Euphrates. Since Suppiluliumas considered Shuttarna III's regime as separate from that of Tushratta, he would claim that he never undertook hostilities against Mitanni. But with Shuttarna III's invasion of Syria and attack on Murmuriga, the treaty between Suppiluliumas and Artatama II was no longer being observed. Suppiluliumas then led an army to attack the major city of Carchemish. Now laying siege to Carchemish he sent Lupakki and Tarhunta-zalma to lead a contingent to Amqa in retaliation for the Egyptian conquest of Kadesh. Those commanders brought back captives and plunder in addition to the news of the sudden death of Tutankhamun. Since Tutankhamun had no heirs, his wife Ankhesenamun wrote to Suppiluliumas, asking him to send one of his sons to claim the throne of Egypt. Surprising as it was he sent envoys to ensure the veracity of this message. In the meantime Carchemish fell to the Hittites after only eight days, he spared the temple and the citadel but plundered much of the city and enslaved many inhabitants. He appointed one of his sons (Piyashili) as the city's king. The Hittite envoys returned from Egypt, along with Egyptian envoys, and they negotiated to send one of Suppiluliumas' sons as King of Egypt. Suppiluliumas sent one of his sons called Zannanza. This would have made Suppiluliumas the ruler of a massive empire however Zannanza was assassinated by the Egyptians. Suppiluliumas retaliated by raiding Egyptian territory.

The Kaskans Never Stop! More campaigns in Anatolia

Soon after he was forced to campaign in northern and eastern Anatolia against his former enemies the Kaskans and the Hayasa, he destroyed the towns of Palhiwisha and Kammama, among others. Then leading armies in Ishtahara, burning Teshita and fortifying Tuhpilisha, marching through Tikukuwa and burning both Hurna and Mount Tihshina, likely attempting to weaken another Kaskan uprising. He then marched down to the Marashanta river and marched through the land of Darittara. A rebel called Pitakkatalli raised an army in Shappiduwa so the king marched against him and defeated him. Afterwards marching through Washaya and then burning Zina, Gakilusha, Darukka, Hinatiwanda, Iwatallisha and Shappiduwa, probably to put down Piakkatalli and his partisans. He also marched to the north west and crossed Mount Kashu, invading that land beyond there, which had not yet been subjected to Hittite rule. Finally he put down a revolt in the Dahara River Land and burned that area, as well as Tapapinuwa. Marching back north to attack Timuhala, a major Kaskan fortress, but which surrendered before the Hittites could assault it.

The Hittites Conquer Mitanni

Aki-Teshup and Shattiwaza (a son of Tushratta), which had rebelled against Shuttarna III, had then fled to Babylon. Aki-Teshup was killed by the Babylonian king and Shattiwaza had fled to Anatolia. There he came to the court of Suppiluliumas and pleaded for that king's support. He adopted Shattiwaza as his son, married him to one of his daughters, and promised to wage war against Shuttarna III. Suppiluliumas had earlier signed a treaty with Artatama II which recognized him as ruler and therefore it might be a breach of that treaty should he wage war on that king's son. The Hittite king sent his son Piyashili and Shattiwaza in command of an army to invade Mitanni. They crossed the Euphrates from Carchemish, burned and raided the area around Harran and marched on the city of Irrite. The Mitanni army was waiting outside of Irrite and engaged the Hittites, however the Hittites won the battle and this then caused Irrite and Harran to surrender to the Hittites. It is not clear to me what role Suppiluliumas played, whether he planned the campaign or went to Syria to oversee it. Perhaps he stayed in his capital at Hattusa to manage the realm, in the field however, the Hittite army was led by the King of Carchemish, the king's son Piyashili, together with the Mitanni prince Shattiwaza as his second in command.

At this point the people of Mitanni began to turn on Shuttarna III and the citizens of Washukanni rebelled against him. Shuttarna III was reduced to asking his Assyrian vassals to send an army to protect him. The Assyrians did indeed arrive and laid siege to Washukanni. The people in the city then sent a message to Irrite asking for the Hittites to relieve them. Piyashili and Shattiwaza marched out to relieve Washukanni, the Assyrians withdrew and the Hittites entered into the old capital of Mitanni in triumph. The land of Pakarripa also submitted to the Hittites and so the army marched to secure it. Since that land was quite desolate the Hittites struggled with their supplies, and there were various reports of the Assyrian army, but they did not march out to battle the Hittites. The Hittites marched out to find them and bring them to battle, going as far east as the city of Nilapshini, but the Assyrians did not give battle. It seems that the logistical strain was too much and Piyashili withdrew back into the Mitanni heartland. The Hittites then marched to the major city of Taite and placed it under siege. The Assyrians marched out to attempt a relief but did not engage the Hittites and quite likely withdrew. The Assyrian king, Ashur-Uballit, often opted to withdraw and rely on attrition, but he did not appear confident enough to challenge the Hittites in battle.

After this point in the text there are no more mentions of Shuttarna III. A good assumption is that Shuttarna III died in battle, was captured and killed, killed himself during a siege, or was assassinated by his own nobles. Well in any case Shattiwaza was installed as Artatama II's co-ruler, who remarkably was still alive but unable to rule. In this way Suppiluliumas conquered the Mitanni Empire, without technically breaking his treaty with Artatama II, also ironically putting his dead enemy's son into power. The Assyrians for their part no longer needed to pay tribute to Mitanni; Shuttarna III had given them much tribute, even treasures which were once taken from Assyria when it was conquered by Shaushtatar a century prior. The Assyrians probably also secured the eastern area and took some of the neighboring cities which belonged to Mitanni. The decline as well as the Assyrian threat was probably the reason that Shattiwaza moved the capital from the ancestral Washukanni to the then prosperous city of Taite (Harran and Irrite were also growing). Well, the Assyrians would become a bigger threat in the next century, but while the Hittites were at their peak the Assyrians would not challenge them.

The End of a Conqueror

Prince Arnuwanda was sent to invade the parts of Syria that came under Egyptian control. Renegades in Mitanni carried out an uprising and defeated a Hittite army around Washukanni. Somehow this uprising was defeated but issues of banditry and rebellion seem to have persisted after Suppiluliumas' reign. While Suppiluliumas was campaigning in Mitanni the Kaska tribes began to raid the borders yet again. In response Suppiluliumas led another campaign north and took Ishupitta and Kashipaha. Prince Arnuwanda had taken Amqa from the Egyptians and returned to Hatti with prisoners. These prisoners were carrying a plague which spread across Syria and Hatti. Eventually Suppiluliumas himself succumbed to the plague and he was succeeded by Arnuwanda II. However very soon afterwards Arnuwanda II also died of the plague and was succeeded by his brother Mursili II. It seems that Mursili II was the youngest son, for some reason his brothers Piyashili and Telepinu did not become king instead. It could be due to a legal clause that since they were already kings they could not inherit. It is doubtful that he expected his son Arnuwanda to die from the dreaded plague, or perhaps Suppiluliumas died to soon to make plans.

After his death Suppiluliumas was remembered as a great conqueror and a great king. However his son Mursili II had to contend with many challenges of ruling such a large and overstretched empire. During his reign Mursili II faced his own illness, as well as various plagues, wars and famines. The situation in Hatti was so dreadful that the Hittite Empire began to decline. Then Mursili II started to beg the gods' forgiveness for the sins of his great father. Undoubtedly this was seen as the divine cause for Hatti's suffering. Suppiluliumas then became a great king, and a great sinner as well.
 
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Dec 2019
52
Fryslân, Netherlands
I would like to nominate some contemporaries of Belisarius.
Sittas, he was defeated by the brilliant and energetic Aratius but was generally successful, exemplified by his victory at Satala.
Gelimer, retrieved a desperate situation against the Moors. At Ad Decimum he tried to encircle Belisarius. His plan is often said to have been overly complicated but this is not true. he sent Gibamund to block a road which the Byzantines probably didn't know, not to attack Belisarius from the rear. He was planning to hide his troops until Belisarius had marched past his position and then march in after him. Vandal troops should have been stationed on the other side which meant Belisarius would have been trapped. Belisarius was actually planning on moving to this position with his entire cavalry arm to scout the area. if only Ammatus would have been competent enough to get his forces there on time Belisarius would have probably ridden into the trap and been encircled. No coordination of the Vandal forces was needed as both could use the Byzantine position to determine what to do. If Belisarius would have been killed Gelimer would have his forces united and the Byzantines wouldn't have had cavalry nor a leader. They would have been weakened, trapped and vulnerable. Factors outside of Gelimers control turned the battle into a decisive Byzantine victory, however.
Solomon, won victories against the Moors, probably equal to if not better than Belisarius.
John Troglita, don't know much about him but he seemed a really good commander.
Witigis, successful before the Gothic War. His army at the siege of Rome was 20.000-40.000 instead of 150.000. At the so called Battle of Rome he defeated Belisarius, who tried to break the siege. He ordered his troops to not attack the Byzantines, whose horse archers moved closer and closer to Gothic lines to inflict more damage. When the Byzantine horses got tired Witigis ordered a charge. The tired Byzantines were not able to retreat quick enough and many were killed but an infantry rear guard made a heroic last stand, sacrificing their lifes to save the routed Byzantine horsemen. He was a competent strategist, took a port that Belisarius could use to supply Rome and bypassed unimportant objectives.
John (nephew of Vitalius) & Totila, both great and well-known commanders.
 
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nuclearguy165

Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
4,865
Ohio, USA
I would like to nominate some contemporaries of Belisarius.
Sittas, he was defeated by the brilliant and energetic Aratius but was generally successful, exemplified by his victory at Satala.
Gelimer, retrieved a desperate situation against the Moors. At Ad Decimum he tried to encircle Belisarius. His plan is often said to have been overly complicated but this is not true. he sent Gibamund to block a road which the Byzantines probably didn't know, not to attack Belisarius from the rear. He was planning to hide his troops until Belisarius had marched past his position and then march in after him. Vandal troops should have been stationed on the other side which meant Belisarius would have been trapped. Belisarius was actually planning on moving to this position with his entire cavalry arm to scout the area. if only Ammatus would have been competent enough to get his forces there on time Belisarius would have probably ridden into the trap and been encircled. No coordination of the Vandal forces was needed as both could use the Byzantine position to determine what to do. If Belisarius would have been killed Gelimer would have his forces united and the Byzantines wouldn't have had cavalry nor a leader. They would have been weakened, trapped and vulnerable. Factors outside of Gelimers control turned the battle into a decisive Byzantine victory, however.
Solomon, won victories against the Moors, probably equal to if not better than Belisarius.
John Troglita, don't know much about him but he seemed a really good commander.
Witigis, successful before the Gothic War. His army at the siege of Rome was 20.000-40.000 instead of 150.000. At the so called Battle of Rome he defeated Belisarius, who tried to break the siege. He ordered his troops to not attack the Byzantines, whose horse archers moved closer and closer to Gothic lines to inflict more damage. When the Byzantine horses got tired Witigis ordered a charge. The tired Byzantines were not able to retreat quick enough and many were killed but an infantry rear guard made a heroic last stand, sacrificing their lifes to save the routed Byzantine horsemen. He was a competent strategist, took a port that Belisarius could use to supply Rome and bypassed unimportant objectives.
John (nephew of Vitalius) & Totila, both great and well-known commanders.
Vitiges, I agree with, but Gelimer?...... ooh boy, that’s a new one.
 

Lord Oda Nobunaga

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Jan 2015
5,681
Ontario, Canada
I'll take a look at those guys. Neither the Byzantines nor Justinian are my best area... when you said Solomon I thought you meant the Biblical king. Although there is a case to be made that Saul, David and Solomon etc were historical figures. I am more skeptical of anything in the Bible prior to that.

By the way did anyone end up reading my post about Suppiluliumas? I was going to put it in my blog, maybe include a map if I can find or make one. But also I was planning to follow it up by making posts about his son Mursili II and grandson Muwatallis II, possibly even his other grandson Hattusili II (commonly referred to as Hattusili III but in my opinion this is incorrect numbering).

The Reign of Murshili II (or Mursilis)

The short version is that after Suppiluliumas died in 1322, he was succeeded by his eldest son Arnuwanda II, he also succumbed to the plague the next year. Somehow this led to his other son Mursili II gaining the throne, not sure how since his other two sons were still alive, perhaps it was stipulated in their contract when they were made kings of Carchemish and Aleppo that they could not become King of Hatti. Early in his reign the new king put down various rebellions by the Kaska people in the north. Mursili II faced many challenges including the plague killing many of the people in Anatolia, a famine probably brought about by over-farming and overpopulation, but also wars against the Luwian kings in Anatolian, who were themselves supported by the Ahhiyawans (presumably the Mycenaean Greeks), more raids by the Kaskan tribes, the threat of the growing Assyrians Empire, and eventually an Egyptian attempt to invade Syria, during the middle of his reign Mursili II also fell ill and maybe became incapacitated. It was believed that the Hittite Empire was having its death throes, Mursili II begged the gods to forgive him for the great sins of his father (namely usurping and killing his brother, breaking treaties and raiding and burning Syria), which to us these prayers have become valuable sources. But in spite of all of this Mursili II recovered his health, managed to prevent the empire from collapsing and defeated the Luwian coalitions, bringing West Anatolia over to his control. He was also able to defeat Pharaoh Horemheb in battle and force him to give up most of his claims in Syria. It seems that the Assyrians did not dare to challenge Mursili II and so they quietly grew in power in their corner of the Tigris and would become a major threat in later generations.

As in his second year the Assyrians attempted to besiege Carchemish, Mursili II brought an army in support of his brother Sharri-Kushuh and the Assyrians withdrew. In his third year he defeated the Arzawans in the west, defeated their army in battle and took Uhha-ziti's capital at Ephesus. The next year he took Mira and the Seha River Land, completing the conquest of Anatolia. In his seventh year a man called Pihhuniya declared himself king of all the Kaskan tribes, however Mursili II defeated and captured him, putting a quick end to his massive revolt. The Assyrians returned again in the ninth year taking advantage of the king's absence on a campaign in Anatolia and a revolt in Nuhassi and Kadesh (in Syria). This was his most dangerous year but the Hittites held out on all fronts, Mursili II personally defeated the King of Kadesh, relieved Carchemish, and marched into Mesopotamia as far as Harran, where he increased the defenses, then marched up through eastern Anatolia and attacked the Kaskans. Then the next year he invaded Azzi in the east and besieged their mountain citadels, truly these were his finest campaigns.
Mursili II was not like his father at all; he was not a great conqueror, he was not militant, he was extremely pious, his general demeanor was very mild rather than wrathful. Perhaps he was someone who felt more at home carrying out administrative duties and giving offerings to the gods than campaigning in the field, in spite of that he was able to keep the empire together and defeat his enemies.

The Arzawan enemy king Uhha-ziti said of Mursili II:
"You are a child; you know nothing and instill no fear in me. Your land is now in ruins, and your infantry and chariotry are few. Against your infantry, I have many infantry; against your chariotry, I have many chariotry. Your father had many infantry and chariotry. But you, who are a child, how can you match him?"

Mursili first prayed to the gods, then he declared his intentions to the Arzawan King Uhha-ziti:
“Concerning what servants of mine came to you - because I repeatedly requested them from you, and you did not send them back to me, and you kept calling me a child and belittling me; now, come! We will do battle! May the Storm God, My Lord, judge our case!"

A good omen was seen when Mursili II marched out for war, which appears to have come to pass as Mursili not only defeated the Arzawans in battle, took their city and then Uhha-ziti died from illness the next year:
"The mighty Storm God, My Lord, showed his divinely righteous power and hurled a thunderbolt. All of my troops saw the thunderbolt. All the land of Arzawa saw the thunderbolt. The thunderbolt passed (us) and struck the land of Arzawa. It struck Uhha-ziti’s (capital) city Apaša. It settled in Uhha-ziti’s knees, and he became ill."

Manapa-Tarhunta the King of Seha River Land had taken arms alongside Uhha-ziti, but seeing the Hittite victory he panicked:
“My lord, do not kill me! My lord, take me in subjugation! I will give back to my lord the men who came in to me (as fugitives)!”

... and Mursili responded to him, however at the end of it all Manapa-Tarhunta sent his old mother to beg on his behalf, this appears to have worked and Mursili accepted him as a vassal:
“Formerly, when your brothers expelled you from your land, I commended you to the men of Karkiša. I paid off the men of Karkiša for you. But you did not support me in Šeha River Land! You supported Uhha-ziti, my enemy! Now will I take you in subjugation?”
*I like to think that if this were Suppiluliumas, he would have just killed all of them.

After rebelling several times the Kaskan tribes changed strategy and accepted the rule of one man as king, such that Mursili remarked:

“Pihhuniya did not rule in the Kaškan manner. Suddenly, even though the rule of one man did not exist in Kaška, that Pihhuniya ruled in the manner of kingship.”

But the Kaskan menace was so great that they began to invade Hittite lands, conquering the city of Ishtitina, Pihhuniya said to the Hittites:
“I will give back nothing to you! If you should come for battle, I will certainly not wait here for you in order to fight in my own field and fallow! I will approach you for battle in the midst of your land!”
Pihhuniya was soundly defeated and captured, most likely executed.

Mursili would thus declare near the end of his reign, and in many regards this shows the contrast with his father:

"Thus speaks My Sun Mursilis, Great King, King of Hatti, the Valiant, son of Suppiluliumas, Great King, the Valiant.

Even before I sat on my father's throne, all the enemy lands were hostile to me. When my father became a god, my brother Arnuwandas sat on his father's throne. Afterwards, he too became ill. When the enemy lands heard Arnuwandas ill, the enemy lands began to be hostile.

When my brother Arnuwandas became a god, the enemy lands who had not been hostile, but now these enemy lands also were hostile. The surrounding enemy lands spoke as follows. "His father who was Great King of Hatti before him: he was an heroic king, he had conquered enemy lands. He has become a god; and his son, who sat on his father's throne after him, he also was a warrior. Now it has afflicted him, and he too has become a god. But he who has now sat on his father's throne, he is a child. The borders of Hatti, and the land of Hatti he will not save."

Because my father was garrisoning in Mitanni, he stayed over in garrison, and they neglected the feasts of my lady Sun Goddess of Arinna. When I My Sun sat on my father's throne the surrounding enemy lands which were hostile to me even before I went to any enemy land, I went back to the regular feasts of the Sun Goddess of Arinna, my lady, and I celebrated them. I took up my hand to the Sun Goddess of Arinna, my lady, and I spoke the following: "O Sun Goddess of Arinna, my lady, the surrounding enemy lands which have called me a child, and they have made small of me, secondly they have made to attack your borders. O Sun Goddess of Arinna, my lady, stand with me: forward and smite the aforementioned surrounding enemy lands!" And the Sun Goddess of Arinna, my lady, heard my word, and she stood with me, and while I sat on my father's throne, I conquered these surrounding enemy lands in ten years, and I destroyed them."
 
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