Before the Navy Seals and The SAS, nations still needed sections of their army to do the hard work, the dirty work. The things that required a certain frame of mind and more often than not a penchant for violence.
Below are a few of the most interesting examples of nations employing those with the willingness and the skills to perform acts no other soldier could perform.
The Medjays - Egypt’s Elite Paramilitary and Scouting Force
The Medjays were originally a nomadic tribe in Southern Egypt and Sudan. Because of their fearsome martial prowess the Egyptian powers often contracted them as mercenaries, spies and scouts for their outer boarders.
The Medjays were eventually employed as soldiers and scouts and formed a type of National Police Force between around 1500 and 1200 b.c. This police force was used as a protector of the most valuable parts of Egypt; Royal Cemeteries, Palaces and boarders. The Medjays were also employed on the front lines of Egypt’s wars. The Medjay’s were some of the most feared archers of the time, making them both excellent scouts and dangerous warriors.
During The Medjay’s time as Egypt’s police force, they employed trained dogs to help them. As any modern K-9 officer will tell you, a dogs athletic prowess, power and aggression can be vital allies when handling criminals or unruly crowds.
The Medjays were Egypt’s army rangers. Despite originally being born from a single Nomadic tribe, the best soldiers in the Egyptian Military were also extended invitations into the illustrious ranks, enhancing the Medjay’s reputation as a fearsome military unit.
Fun Fact: The Medjay feature in both The Mummy with Brendan Fraser and the popular video game, Assassins Creed: Origins.
The Jaguar Knights - The Aztec Empires Top Warrior Class
The Jaguars of The Aztec Empire are well known through-out history and among popularists of ancient military. Not only for their attire, Jaguar skin, but also for their formidable reputation. The title of Jaguar came with money, wealth, status and privilege. In order to be inducted into the ranks of The Jaguar Warriors a warrior must capture 4 enemy soldiers to be sacrificed to the Aztec Gods.
An enemy sacrificed to the gods was far more valuable than an enemy killed in battle, in fact it was seen as clumsy to kill an enemy in battle. And it certainly took an exceptional warrior to capture four enemies.
The Aztec Empire was a a race of warriors where every man was expected to serve his state as a warrior. The Aztec warriors lived similar lives to the famed Spartan Warriors. Idleness was punished and every child was trained in warfare. Among a people who revered the warrior, those who ascended into Jaguar status must have been tremendously talented fighters.
Fun Fact: The ball game from the movie The Road To El Dorado is based on a real Aztec sport, Ullamaliztli! This sport was so revered that after conquering cities the courts Ullamaliztli was played on would be the first things built in their new city.
Ninjas - Japan’s Most Elite Killing Unit
Ninjas are the inspiration for countless movies, TV shows, jokes and costumes and remain a staple in modern pop-culture. But The Ninjas from feudal Japan were very real, and one of the greatest examples of a Special Forces unit in ancient and modern military history.
Ninjas were one of the most elite, covert assassins the world has ever seen. They were experts in subterfuge, disguise, infiltration and sabotage. Specializing in hand-to-hand combat, bladed weapons, bows, poisons, explosives and any other way you can think of to kill a person.
There is evidence from ancient manuals that Ninjas were not just trained in the art of war, but also survival, and self-reliance. Being taught foraging, hunting, scouting and even mining skills.
For hundreds of years Ninjas operated in the shadows of Japan, being used as secret weapons to overthrow warlords, assassinate rivals, change the course of battle and countless other tasks.
Ninjas are the all-in-one special forces units that every general dreams of commanding. Ruthless, reliable, invisible and bad-ass.
Fun Fact: Ninjas had a secret way of communicating that involved using coloured rice!
Funner Fact: Ninjas would carry crickets with them, when avoiding detection they could use a mix of chemicals to make the cricket chirp, the chirping would cover the sound of their footsteps.
There are so many examples of amazing ancient warriors and their incredible acts of bravery, skill, heroism and violence.
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