10 Greatest Warrior Groups In History

Human history has seen its fair share of wars, and with that, a fair share of great warrior groups.

We’re not talking about sole warriors amongst these groups that made a name for themselves on the battlefield, we’re talking about groups that were collectively feared by their enemies.

We’re also not claiming that one warrior group was better than the other. Times changed, weapons evolved and tactics from one era wouldn’t make sense in other periods in history.

That being said, we are positive that all the groups listed below (in random order) are considered as some of the greatest warrior groups in history for various reasons.

1. Maori Warriors

The Maori people were originally Polynesians who settled down in New Zealand starting in the 11th century.

Known to be unforgiving warriors who used ambush tactics using small battalions called “Tapu’s” to surprise their enemies and beat their heads open with clubs, their culture was defined by tribal wars.

In fact, they had something called the “war period”, a special code meaning wars could only be fought between November and April.

The ritual still performed in New Zealand called the “Haka” was performed by warriors before going to battle.

The winning tribe on the battlefield engaged in cannibalism to humiliate the defeated.

Maori Warrior
Picture credit: Pixabay

2. The Spartans

Sparta was a Greek city-state in Greece. Their glory period lasted from around the 6th to the 4th century B.C.

They were known to be fearless warriors who needed to undergo rigorous training to be called true Spartans.

Another peculiar fact about the Spartans is that they completed a natural selection for babies. Newborns that were considered weak or had deformities were thrown off mount Taygetus to die as they believed only the strongest had the right to live.

It was a popular belief that one Spartan warrior was the equivalent of 7 warriors from their enemies, and at one time they were able to hold off an entire army of Persians while being seriously outnumbered.

This event was made famous with the popular Hollywood movie “300” which obviously glorifies the Spartans as fearless warriors that fight to the death.

Spartan Warrior
Picture credit: Pixabay

3. The Huns

The Huns were a nomadic people living in central Asia, the Caucasus, and Eastern Europe in between the 4th and 6th century A.D.

Their infamous leader called “Atila”, which is mostly referred to as “Atila The Hun” created an army that terrorized the Eastern Roman empire and caused fear amongst everybody living along its borders.

Thye used to fight in small groups, moving rapidly over the battlefield as their archers did the initial damage.

This is how most nomadic groups fought their battles, and their rapid movement and apparent disorganized way of going into battle were feared amongst their enemies.

One of their best tactics was the “feigned retreat” tactic, in which they pretended to flee, causing disorganization in the enemy camp, only to swiftly turn back and attack.

Picture credit: Georges-Antoine Rochegrosse

4. The Immortals

The Achaemenid Empire (550-330 B.C.) also referred to as “The First Persian Empire” had a powerful unit in their army referred to as “The Immortals” or “Persian Immortals.”

Not a lot is known about them, but they have been described as a constant unit of 10,000 heavily-armed soldiers.

This simply means that whenever a soldier was sick, injured, or killed, a replacement soldier was added to the army for the army to retain its strength in numbers.

The main purpose of the army is supposed to have to protect the empire.

Persian immortals

5. The Akkadians

The Akkadian Empire, founded by Sargon of Akkad was the first ancient civilization in the region of Mesopotamia and had its years of glory between the 24th and 22nd centuries B.C.

One of the reasons Akkadians can be considered one of the most infamous warrior groups is because they were well ahead of their time, fighting in a very disciplined manner using professional soldiers rather than volunteers. This allowed them to easily slay their opponents who were a lot more amateuristic in their approach to warfare during this period.

They were also one of the first warrior groups to use armor to protect themselves consisting of leather skin that was reinforced with metal.

Most importantly however was their invention of the wheel, allowing them to use chariots in battle and for a logistic reason.

All these things combined made them one of the most feared warrior battalions in the region.

Akkadian warriors
Picture credit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode

6. The Hittite

The Hittites were a people living in the region of Anatolia (which consists of most of modern-day Turkey) around 14 B.C.

Their warrior group is most famously known for the infamous battle of Kadesh which took place around 1274 B.C.

They used a special tactic to defeat the enemy, which was placing an extra man on the chariots they used.

This gave the two other men who were throwing speers or using bows and arrows more protection, effectively increasing their chance of victory as opposed to the Egyptians who only put two men in the chariots and remained unprotected.

Hittite warrior group
Picture credit: Adam Cooke

7. The Assyrians

The Assyrian empire was a Mesopotamian kingdom that lasted from as early as the 25th century B.BC. until it collapsed around 612 B.C.

Because the Assyrians were surrounded by enemies, they had to devise clever military tactics to protect their fertile lands from invasion.

Since they were the main power in the region for this long, we can assume their military was one of the best to ever exist.

The Assyrians are considered to be one of the first superpowers of the ancient world, mainly because they used iron efficiently and on a massive scale, allowing the heavy equipment of a massive army.

Assyrian warrior group
Picture credit: Pixabay

8. The Mongols

The Mongol empire was one of the largest empires to ever exist, stretching all across Asia into Europe.

Under the command of the infamous Genghis Khan, the Mongols were able to conquer a lot of lands and showed no mercy to their defeated opponents.

Known for their excellent military, they used a hit-and-run style tactic and carefully used archers to weaken their opponents.

The horse archers were even able to use their bows while they were retreating.

The cruelty used by the Mongols over the captured opponents exemplifies the fear their warriors instilled in them. The leader of the defeated would be killed by pouring molten silver in his eyes and ears.

Mongol Warrior group
The hit-and-run tactic by Mongol warriors to lure in the enemy is illustrated in a 14th-century drawing.

9. The Dacians

The Dacians were a Thracian group of people living near the black sea, which is currently Romania, Moldavia, and parts of Ukraine.

They were feared amongst their opponents because of the use of a special weapon called the falx, a single-edged sword that was able to cause a lot of damage.

Their army consisted of hardened soldiers who weren’t afraid to go to battle using their falx, hence the Romans were very wary to engage in combat as their weapon was easily able to kill the armored Romans.

Dacian Warriors
Picture credit: Jason Juta

10. The Romans

The Romans created one of the most powerful armies in the world, forging an empire that lasted about 2,206 years.

During this period, they were able to adapt to new circumstances and upgraded their army to defeat their enemies.

The main factor of their success, apart from being able to adapt and improve their army, was that they had great discipline and organizational skills.

The legionaries, led by the centurion were one of the most feared and greatest warrior groups in history.

Roman warriors
Picture credit: Pixabay

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