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The End of the War Chariot III

Weapons and Warfare

The Spring and Autumn period (770–481 BC) there differed in many ways from that of the Warring States, but they shared one thing in common: the frequency of fighting. Whilst the former witnessed the heyday of chariot battle, with engagements sometimes settled within the course of a single day, during the latter they were more prolonged as armies grew in size through the addition of massed infantry and cavalry. Manoeuvring and the ability to call upon reinforcements caused a number of Warring States’ battles to exceed a week. Conflicts themselves tended to stretch over several years. In 314 BC Qi took advantage of internal problems in Yan to attack that northeastern state, and overran it in a swift campaign. According to the Zhanguo ce, a collection of historical anecdotes concerning the Warring States period, this military opportunity arose because of the weakness of the Yan ruler, who preferred to leave…

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