Parshat Beshallach: The Egyptian Version
Top Secret: Eyes Only, Joint Egyptian Chiefs of Staff
Egyptian Weekly Army Report, Northern Sector
Glorious Egyptian Empire Peacetime: Battles to Report—0
Minimal Military Losses, Thank Ra-in-His-Glory
8th Year of Reign of His Majesty, Sun-in-His-Splendor-Rising,
Pharaoh Ramesses II
Item: Supply-Sergeant Khufu requisitioned six bows-and-quivers for use by Platoon 6, Chariot Squadron C, Regiment “Horus-Hawk-of-Vengeance”; three of six quivers were found to be of substandard workmanship, and returned to the Nubian Arms Supply Factory for repair or replacement.
Item: Corporal Menkaure found to be drunk on barley-beer during 3rd Night Watch, sentenced to receive ten lashes and lose three-days’ pay, it being Middle-Level-Troop-Alert due to incursions by Bedouin into Northern Boundary Area; sentence reduced by Provost Marshal Judge to five lashes, one day’s loss of pay, Plea of Mercy, in light of Corporal’s recently losing his mother to Nile Fever; sentence under review.
Item: Our Troop Movements Yesterday:
Chariot Squadrons F & H, Regiment “Osiris-Escort-of-Underworld,”
Lieutenants Userkaf & Huni Commanding
Capt. Kawab, Commander-on-Scene, Reporting—
1 o’clock am—Sentries Privates Sahure and Waset, stationed on Signal-Tower #4, Eastern Boundary, Great Pyramid District, spot a Dust-Cloud in area of Goshen-Slave-Quarters. Fearful of spreading Plague, there being Reports of such in that area, Sentries wave Red Flags and light Watch-Fires to alert other Signal-Towers in Area.
Private Sahure: “They were Slave Rabble—those Hapiru folk; I do not speak their gibberish, my family being High Egyptian for generations—but I did make out Dancing and Singing amid their march.”
Private Waset: “I smelled some sort of bread baking; it smelled burnt, and they were carrying large boxes of gold and silver, which gleamed in the morning sun.”
Sentries estimated Size of Mob to be 6,000 (approx.) Men, Women, & Children.
2:30 am—Upon spotting the Signal-Fires of Tower #4, Adjutant Unas of Cavalry Troop 8 saddles a swift horse and reports to Regimental Headquarters (RHQ) Regiment “Horus-Hawk-of-Vengeance,” for Instructions, Lieutenant Colonel (LTCOL) Shepses Commanding.
2:35am—LTCOL Shepses, having received no instructions via Swift Rider from the Joint Egyptian Chiefs of Staff (JTEC) at Ramesses Palace in Memphis, sends messengers (Runners: Lance-Corp. Khafre, Private Smendes) to Chariot Squadrons F & H, ordering them to “shadow the Hapiru,” and report back to him regarding “any suspicious movements.”
4am—Chariot Squadron F Commander, Subaltern Neithi reports back,
“Hapiru are moving towards Nile Delta, following a Flamelike Entity, which they are carrying in what appears to be a brazier. They hail and call to it, as to a Deity of some sort.
“Visual Observation is unclear, there being a Heavy Morning Fog.”
4:10am—LTCOL Shepses orders the Reconnaissance to continue, commanding Three Chariot Squadrons to close the distance between themselves and the Hapiru, intending Reconnaissance-in-Force, each Chariot mounting one Archer, one Driver.
5am—Hapiru halt on bank of Nile; their alleged leader, one ‘Mses, is speaking to them.
Capt. Kawab: “He appeared highly agitated, and seemed to be arguing with the slave-rabble. I was too far off to make out what they were saying. A fog was rolling in, coming between my forces and the Hapiru, and our vision was obscured.”
Squadrons draw closer.
Capt. Kawab orders Standard Cautious Battle Approach Drill to Begin: archers fit arrows to bows.
Horses pulled back to jog-trot from gallop.
(See Cavalry Instructions Scroll XXXIV, 5th Ed., “Battle Approach, Cautious, Suspicious of Ambush,” Published by Egyptian War College, Reign of Pharaoh Horemheb, for the exact maneuvers followed.)
5:30am—Sky darkens; rain falls; strong East Wind blowing.
Delta-water appears to be sinking into the earth, not unusual in Marshy Ground.
Our Chariot-Squadrons maintain good “battle alert” order.
Lieutenant Userkaf orders Sgt-Major Huni to halt the Squadrons, on Capt. Kawab’s order; single horse-and-rider (Private Tahpanes) is ordered out to approach ‘Mses, in attempt to parley and force Hapiru slaves to return, or they will be destroyed by an overwhelming chariot force.
Heavy East Wind forces Rider to return. No parley takes place.
‘Mses, Israelite slave leader, is seen pointing a shepherd’s crook out over the waters.
6am—Water continues flowing down, as in swamplike action, only much accelerated; Lt. Huni, who studied hydroponics in Pharaoh Tutankhamun Memorial Agricultural Academy prior to Army Conscription, theorizes that it might be due to Underwater Seismic Action; his Adjutant, one Private Weni, testifies that he sees a River-Demon possibly floating in the air over the area.
No Conclusion is reached by this Military Court of Justice.
6:15am—Hapiru cross over, dry-shod, through middle track of Nile, exposed through Unknown Means (See 6am Entry, above).
6:20am—Officers confer; Capt. Kawab calls for a Volunteer Chariot Platoon to Reconnoiter the Hapiru Path of Crossing, and possibly follow.
Three Charioteer-Teams of Platoon 7 Volunteer, Sergeant-Major (SGTMAJ) Renef Commanding, drive down the slope and into the marsh, but find their chariot-wheels caught in the quickly-rising-mud. Before Lt. Userkaf, their Commander, can organize a Rescue Squad with Ropes and a Work Party, both horses and troops are overcome by Quicksand, and lost.
Recommendation submitted for Army Scarab Medal of Merit (Bronze) to be awarded to SGTMAJ Renef, and a lifetime non-commissioned officer’s pension to his widow and two children, along with posthumous promotion to 2nd Lieutenant; this recommendation is currently under review by the Royal Military Pensions Board, which will report back to Lt. Userkaf in two weeks.
It is observed that, while this Tragic Accident is occurring, the Hapiru on the Opposite Shore are dancing and singing, while playing timbrels and drums.
Our brave Egyptian Cavalry Troopers are angry over the loss of their comrades and wish to attack the Hapiru, but the waters have returned to their previous depth, and their chariots are unable to cross.
6:30am—Capt. Kawab orders a peaceful withdrawal through the rain and wind, and files this Report on behalf of LTCOL Shepses.