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The Viking Eivor Varinsdottir leading a raid of a monastery in England

A raid is a military operation on an enemy position where the purpose is not to capture and hold territory but to quickly achieve a tactical objective and withdraw before the enemy has a chance to respond.

Common objectives of a raid may include but are not limited to ransacking and pillaging for plunder, freeing prisoners-of-war, assassinating key individuals, destroying or sabotaging military assets, demoralizing and sowing discord in the enemy, or seizing intelligence. Raiding is a basic and universal tactic of warfare. Every belligerent from state armies to pirates and bandits, to Assassins and Templars have conducted raids.


Classical Era

During the Peloponnesian War, raiding was a common tactic among the Spartan and Athenian armies. Attika was raided many times by Sparta during the War. On the sea, pirates raided merchant ships to take their goods. Thugs, criminals and cults, as the Followers of Ares and the Cult of Kosmos raided forts, cities and villages who opposed them.[1]

The secret Order of the Ancients led raids in Potidaia and Patrai in their quest to eliminate the Tainted One, individuals descendants of Isu and Human who they saw as a threat of humanity.[2]

The Spartan misthios Kassandra led raids to weaken the national power of region, attacking their forts by destroying weapons, stealing their national treasure and killing high-ranking officers. Kassandra also attacked camps of thugs and cults in Greece and was sometimes hired by governments or individuals to do these actions.[1]

During the end of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, bandits and criminals, like the Hungry Great Ones or the Son of Ra's followers attacked the isolated villages of Egypt. The Order of the Ancient also used these tactics to cement their power. The Medjay Bayek of Siwa intervened many times to stop these raids.[3]

Bayek also organized some raids infiltrating military or bandit camps to kill their leaders, taking some pieces of equipment and liberating prisoners. The rebels also raided soldiers and bandits as a way to protest against injustice, as the rebels led by Gamilat.[4]

Viking Age

During the Dark Ages, Norsemen seafarers known as Vikings led many raids across Northern Europe. One of the first recorded raids was at Lindisfarne, an island off the northeast coast of England.[5]

During the 9th century, the Vikings continued to raid England. Among them, the Norse Eivor led raids with other Vikings to develop their community.[6]

Golden Age of Piracy

In the Caribbean Sea, pirates and privateers raided ships and cities, taking goods and gold to enrich themself or the Crown. One of the most famous raids of the period was the sack of Panama City by the privateer Henry Morgan in 1671.[7]

During the early 18th century, the West Indies Rite of the Templar Order discovered the location of their nemesis the West Indies Brotherhood of Assassins. They launched many raids on their headquarters of Tulum and their bureaus across Caribbean to eliminate them.[8]

The pirate captain and later Assassin Edward Kenway led raids on the plantations of the late Peter Beckford, taking plunder, cloth, metal and wood to renovate his ship the Jackdaw; sugar and rum to sell its. He also boarded ships containing gold and cargo.[8]

In West Africa slavers raided villages to make new slaves and sending them in Americas. During the beginning of the 18th century, the British Assassin Omar Khaled led raiding attacks on slave ships to liberate the slaves. In the Caribbean, some slaves as Cudjoe succeeded to escape from their captivity, forming the Maroons movement. They raided plantations to freed slaves and taking revenge on their former masters. The Assassins Antó, Adéwalé and François Mackandal participated in many raids to free slaves, inspiring the Maroon rebellion.[9]

Colonial North America

During the Seven Years' War, the former Colonial Assassin Shay Cormac allied with the Colonial Templar. As the Templars aligned with the British Crown in the War, Shay raided French warehouses to stole resources like wood, metal, and cloth to renovate his ship the Morrigan, while he used the stone to renovate building through the colonies and sell the tobacco. Shay also boarded many French ships, taking their cargo and freeing prisoners of war.[10]

During the late 18th century in the Louisiana Bayou, the Louisiana Assassin Aveline de Grandpré raided camps held by Baptiste's Acolytes to eliminate them, assuring the control of the bayou to the smugglers Élise Lafleur and Roussillon.[11]

In the Frontier, native villages were raided by colonist forces as a preventive action before they allied with their enemies. The village of Kanatahséton was raided and burned in 1760 by a British army led by George Washington. In 1778, Washington, then Commander of the Continental Army, order the raid of Kanatahséton as he had information that they allied with the British during the American Revolutionary War. The Assassin and member of the village Ratonhnhaké:ton killed the messengers before the orders could reach the army. In 1779, the Sullivan Expedition raided many natives villages.[12]

French Revolution

With the blooming of the French Revolution, many public mobs turned as violent riots and raids on strategic buildings. Some tried to gather food, raiding markets and bakery, other wanted weapons and gunpowder like during the Storming of the Bastille. Raiding was also used by the Sans-culottes as a way to weight on political decisions as the Women's March on Versailles or the attack on the Tuileries Palace. During the September Massacres, the prison of Paris was raided by extremist revolutionaries who killed the prisoners as they feared they prepared a plot against the Republic. During the Thermidorian Reaction, the National Convention raided Paris Hôtel de Ville to capture Maximilien de Robespierre and executed him ending the Reign of Terror. The Parisian Assassins organized a raid and eliminated the Jacobins who were allied with the radical faction of the French Templars, the true architect of the Terror.[13]

With the fall of the monarchy, the nobility had no more powers in France, and thugs and criminals profited of the chaos to pillage palaces and hôtels-particuliers. Versailles was the most affected by these actions, losing half of its villagers. In Paris, the French Templars organized the smuggling of religious relics through the city, while in Saint-Denis, Raiders stole many relics from the Basilica of Saint-Denis and its Abbey after the Convention ordered the destruction of the royal necropolis. With the increase of vandalism on monuments as on Notre-Dame, the archaeologist Alexandre Lenoir wanted to protect historic monuments, objects, and properties of France and created a museum to secured artifacts.[14]

Victorian Era

In 1868, London was in the middle of a gang war between the Blighters, allied by the British Rite of the Templar Order, and the Rooks, led by the twin Assassins Jacob and Evie Frye. The Assassins and their gangs often raids the Blighters' carriages, steamboats and trains to steal or sabotage their resources. They also liberate the child labours in their factory and attacked gang stronghold to break their power.[15]

During the Autumn of Terror, Whitechapel and the City was under the grip of the rogue Assassin Jack the Ripper and the Rooks. Evie Frye launched raids on Rooks' brothels to liberate the prostitutes who were hostages. She also closed the Fight Club of the Rooks and foiled their operation through the city by hijacking their cargo.[16]