The Human Emperor Chapter 876
Chapter 876: The Arabs Defeated I
Chapter 876: The Arabs, Defeated! (I)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The seventh, ninth, and tenth infantry units… these were elite infantry units personally trained by Umar, his personal guards. They also had another duty: assaulting hardened points of resistance on the battlefield. The Arabs had conquered the world through cavalry, but they had also researched methods to deal with cavalry.
After all, the Arabs were far from the only power to possess and train cavalry!
These were Umar's handpicked men who had helped him kill the elite troops of numerous enemy states on the battlefield, both infantry and cavalry.
As the army moved and shifted, an invisible net of death was drawing in around the five thousand Wushang Cavalry. But things were far from over. Umar was a renowned general, and his expertise was not restricted to mere defense.
"The thirtieth cavalry unit, thirty-third cavalry unit, fortieth, fiftieth, and eightieth cavalry units… charge and smash their left and right flanks! Crush them!"
Umar's eyes were cold and emotionless as they locked onto the flanks of the Qixi army.
'Avoid the solid and strike the weak' was not a principle that only the Great Tang understood. The Arabs might not have had many strategy texts, but through countless bloody battles, Umar had grasped this obvious principle through real combat. This force of Tang cavalry truly was very powerful, but this did not mean that all the Tang soldiers were like that.
As long as he could bypass the Tang cavalry and strike at their weakness, defeating the main force in the rear, then in the end, no matter how powerful this group of Tang cavalry was, the victory would still go to the Abbasid Caliphate.
And not only that, even though the Tang forces seemed to cover the earth, Umar understood that all he needed to do with his tactics was buy some time. The Arabs had gathered more than three hundred thousand elite soldiers at Talas, and once those three hundred thousand soldiers were fully mobilized, the only thing awaiting the Tang would be death.
The earth swayed and trembled. Umar had barely spoken when a force of fifteen thousand Arab cavalry rode out from the rear, dividing into two halves that rode to the left and right, galloping past the shield wall like black whirlwinds. Black halos clanged and clattered under their feet as they rapidly accelerated to their maximum speeds.
Three hundred zhang went by in a flash!
The fifteen thousand cavalry had smoothly bypassed the Wushang Cavalry, as well as the forces led by Sun Zhiming, Chen Burang, and the others. They now had a clear path to the rear of the Qixi army.
In the face of charging cavalry, they had always been sheep waiting for the slaughter. In the history of infantry versus cavalry, the numbers of times that infantry had won was extremely small. A fully-armored cavalry force could charge down an infantry force five, six, even ten times its number, and the ferocious Arab cavalry had annihilated infantry forces beyond number.
"Crush their formation! Pulverize them!"
"For the Abbasid Caliphate! Kill these infidels!"
Hooves thundered along the ground as the fifteen thousand Arab cavalry and their black halos approached the Tang rear like a majestic hurricane. One hundred and fifty zhang, one hundred zhang, fifty zhang… the distance was rapidly decreasing, and they could now see the soldiers on the transport carriages getting off and taking up formation.
But this was already too late. Before these veteran and lighting-fast Arab cavalry, such efforts were pointless.
Vicious bellows filled the air as the fifteen thousand cavalry pushed themselves to cross that final stretch.
At almost the same time, a loud order came from the Tang side. Silvery-white carts were suddenly pushed forward, five Tang infantry standing next to each one. And in front of these infantry, Chen Bin had unsheathed his Wootz Steel sword and pointed it forward.
His gaze was aloof, his back straight, his sword hand unmoving as if fixed in place.
At the final moment, Chen Bin swung down his sword. The hundreds of small carts instantly began to move. Boooom! For a moment, the world seemed silent, all other noise drowned out by a deafening explosion, the music of death itself.
Countless ballista bolts, each of them more than one zhang long and covered in inscriptions, were fired out of the small carts in a torrential rain.
The eyes of the Arab cavalry at the very front instantly widened at the sight of these bolts, and the breath in their lungs seemed to freeze as terror seized their bodies. They strenuously pulled on the reins of their horses to turn and flee, but it was already too late.
Bang! A horse shrieked as a thick ballista bolt blew through it, and then a second, a third… The renowned Arab warhorses, each of them wrapped in thick armor that was impervious to ordinary arrows, might as well have been made of paper in the face of the Great Tang's mighty ballista bolts.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Hundreds upon thousands of ballista bolts were fired, each one piercing through four or five Arab cavalrymen, with the most powerful of them tearing through seven or eight. The whinnying of horses filled the air, and in this one clash, the Arabs had lost at least five thousand, perhaps even six thousand men.
But even though the Arab cavalry were being peppered by ballista fire, the powerful force of inertia carried them along for quite some distance, even up to the very first row of ballistae, though they were nothing more than corpses by that point.
Chen Bin's eyes had remained fixed on the Arab cavalry, and his Wootz Steel sword swung down once more. Boooooom!Churning dust filled the air as a second volley was fired.
A third volley filled the skies soon after the second, each ballista bolt like the scythe of the god of death, each one aimed at an Arab cavalryman. After three volleys, the fifteen thousand Arab cavalry were finished, their fate sealed. The vast battlefield was now carpeted with the bodies of horses and Arabs.
After three volleys, the thundering hooves and cries of war had all vanished. The gurgling of the new rivers of blood could be heard loud and clear.
For a second, the entire battlefield was eerily still, even the sounds of fighting dying away. In the distance, the Arab soldiers stared in shock at the ground covered in corpses, dread and terror in their eyes. These fifteen thousand cavalry had all been excellent warriors who had participated in the conquest of many a kingdom, defeating foes many times their number, subduing all kinds of doughty adversaries. Each of them had been galloping at maximum speed and could contend against four or five infantry.
When they set out, each of the Arab soldiers had been confident that they could kill several times their number in Tang, that they could pierce straight through the Tang formation and utterly scatter them. None of them had imagined that three volleys of ballista bolts would be enough to put them into the earth.
In their history of wars, never had the Arabs encountered such a thing as this. All of them instantly felt an oppressive and stifling pressure.
Even Umar had grown much paler.
Chen Bin's eyes were unmoved by the gruesome scene wrought by the ballistae. He waved his sword down, and the three thousand silvery-white carts, the three thousand ballistae, were pushed over the corpses of the Arab cavalry.
Around them, the other Qixi soldiers also surged over the Arab corpses.
Meanwhile, in the rear of the Arab army, Umar had unsheathed his saber. Even though he had lost two batches of cavalry and suffered almost thirty thousand losses, Umar had still not given up, still hoped to buy time for the army of three hundred thousand. War did not solely depend on tactics, but on strategy as well. No matter how formidable this Tang army was, as long as the rest of the immense Arab army could turn around, the Tang would be doomed.
Rumble! The Tang army picked up speed, drawing closer and closer to the Arabs.
This time, with no more Arab cavalry, the more than one hundred thousand Tang reinforcements encountered no more obstacles. Finally…
The earth quaked and the heavens swayed. If one looked down from the sky, one would see the dense ranks of the armies smashing into each other like two waves. All of Talas seemed to be shuddering at their clash, and the earth itself seemed about to sunder.
Fist against fist, flesh against flesh, warhorse against warhorse, weapon against weapon… all of it fiercely clashed on the battlefield. There were no skills or tricks in this kind of battle, only every soldier pouring out all their strength. This was the largest and most intense battle between the east and west.
"For the Caliphate!"
"Stop these infidels!"
At the front lines of the eastern battlefield, the Arab shieldmen put their lives into stopping the Tang charge. Their teeth were clenched as they pushed their shoulders up against their seven-foot-high shields. Thudthudthud! Attacks rained down from the other side, causing the shields to shake and quiver, but the Arabs managed to hold.
They had a wealth of experience guarding against such attacks. One of these enormous shields could block the attacks from four or five opponents of equal strength, a vital tool for the Arabs in dealing with the cavalry and infantry of other states.
In actual combat, even Arab cavalry found it very difficult to break through this barrier.
"Hold! General will definitely send orders! As long as we can hold for a while, then General can finish mobilizing the rest of the army and utterly crush these Tang!"
The Arab shieldmen roared and shouted as they leaned their bodies forward, planting their feet so deeply into the earth that they seemed ready to fuse with it.
But at this moment…
The earth rumbled as invisible ripples swept out of the rear of the Tang army like a whirlwind, swiftly engulfing the Arab soldiers. Before any of the Arabs on the eastern front could react, they heard a metal clattering as if invisible chains had wrapped around their halos, and their strength instantly plunged three levels.
A fierce stalemate with the Tang was instantly transformed into a crumbling wall.