Battle of Kadesh (ca. 1274 B.C.)Battle of Kadesh (ca. 1274 B.C.) - The Battle of Kadesh is the first battle in recorded history for which we have a detailed account of the tactics employed by both sides. It is the first battle for which we have records from the two opposing empires. And it is the first battle for which we have a written peace treaty bringing about an end to hostilities. As a result, it is the first battle in history which can and has been studied by military experts. It was fought between the two superpowers of the day, Egypt and the Hittites. It was fought in the Levant. Both empires wanted that strip of land as a buffer against the other. Ramses II was pharaoh of Egypt and Muwatallish was the Hittite king. The conflict is dated about 1274 B.C., which would have put it about five years into Ramses' reign. The record indicates that the Egyptians were on the verge of a humiliating defeat, but just when the battle was nearly lost, a division of reinforcements arrived to shore up the Egyptian line. At the same time, the Hittites, believing the battle to be won, began looting dead Egyptians when they were surprised by Ramses' reinforcements. They retreated back into the city of Kadesh, which they controlled, and the Egyptians were unable to break through the city's defenses. For such a major battle, there appears to have been no clear winner. However, the fact that Ramses was able to fend off defeat was enough for him to chalk it up as a victory. He counts Kadesh as one of his great military achievements. The Battle of Kadesh is also believed to be the largest chariot battle in history; about 6,000 between the two sides.