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Bronze weapons were an integral part of Shang society. Shang infantry were armed with a variety of stone and bronze weaponry, including máo spears, yuè pole-axes, gē pole-based dagger-axes, composite bows, and bronze or leather helmets. The chariot first appeared in China during the reign of Wu Ding. Oracle bone inscriptions suggest that the western enemies of the Shang used limited numbers of chariots in battle, but the Shang themselves used them only as mobile command vehicles and in royal hunts. It is little doubt that the chariot entered China through the Central Asia and the Northern Steppe, possibly indicating some form of contact with the Indo-Europeans. Recent archaeological finds have shown that the late Shang used horses, chariots, bows and practiced horse burials that are similar to the steppe peoples to the west. Other possible cultural influences resulting from Indo-European contact may include fighting styles, head-and-hoof rituals, art motifs and myths. These influences have led one scholar, Christopher I. Beckwith, to speculate that Indo-Europeans "may even have been responsible for the foundation of the Shang Dynasty," though he admits there is no direct evidence. A crucial factor in the Zhou conquest of the Shang may have been their more effective use of chariots.

Although the Shang depended upon the military skills of their nobility, Shang rulers could mobilise the masses of town-dwelling and rural commoners as conscript labourers and soldiers for both campaigns of defence and conquest. Aristocrats and other state rulers were obligated to furnish their local garrisons with all necessary equipment, armour, and armaments. The Shang king maintained a force of about a thousand troops at his capital and would personally lead this force into battle. A rudimentary military bureaucracy was also needed in order to muster forces ranging from three to five thousand troops for border campaigns to thirteen thousand troops for suppressing rebellions against Shang dynasty.

Battle vs. Assyrian Soldier (by Yetimonster)[]

Somewhere in a feild in China, a Shang Warrior prepares arrows for a Composite Bow, beneath a tree. Nearby, the warrior's chariot and driver wait. Suddenly, a chariot carrying two Assyrians approaches. The Shang Warrior imeadiately spots them, and fires an arrow at the attackers. The arrow whizzes by the Assyrians, who are entirely unphased. The Shang Warrior fires a second arrow, with snaps after hitting the chariot. The Shang Warrior gets in his own chariot, and orders his driver to charge. The two chariots eventually pass by eachother, only to turn around once they reach the end of the feild. Once the two chariots pass eachother again, the Shang Warrior slashes the Assyrian driver's neck with his Ge dagger axe. The second Assyrian is forced to take control of the chariot to avoid crashing. The Assyrian then pulls his own Bow and Arrow, and fires twoards the Shang Warrior. The arrow kills the chariot driver while the chariot is still in motion, forcing the Shang Warrior to leap out before the horses drag the chariot into the nearby woods. The Shang Warrior arms himself with his Ji Haleberd, as opposed to the Assyrian's spear. The two battle for several seconds until, the Assyrian, stabs the Shang Warrior in the leg, and knocks the Ji away. The Shang Warrior, manages to flee into the forest, before the Assyrian can reach any of his weapons. The Assyian is then reduced to his Sapara and Sling. The Assyrian chases his foe into the forest, where he sees the Shang Warrior, armed with a Mao, standind up high on a cliff. The Shang Warrior, spins the spear wildly, and charges the Assyrian. The Assyrian hurls a rock at him with his sling, but the attack fails. The Assyiran (know using his Sapara) and Shang Warrior continue their battle, blocking eachother's strikes. The battle takes the two twoards the cliff, where the Shang Warrior knocks the Sapara away, and stabs the Assyrian through the chest. The Shang Warrior then tosses the body off the cliff to the ground below.

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