During the reign of King Ondoher, Gondor faced enemies from the the East and the South. To counter the dual threat, the King divided his forces into two, creating a Southern Army, based at Pelargir and commanded by Eärnil, and a Northern Army, commanded by the King himself. The Northern Army saw action on the field of Dagorlad, where they were caught at unawares by the cavalry and chariots of the Wainriders. The King was slain, and Ondoher's captains Minohtar and Adrahil commanded the survivors of the army to retreat. The invading Wainriders would ultimately be defeated by Eärnil and his Southern Army at the Battle of the Camp.
The raising of two armies was Ondoher's response to his particular military situation, and it is unclear whether the division between the Northern and Southern Army of Gondor was continued. There is however a single reference to Gondor's Northern Army fighting to protect the realm against invading Balchoth during the rule of Steward Cirion, some five hundred years after Ondoher's time. This seems to imply that Ondoher's ordering of his forces was maintained by his successors, at least well into the last millennium of the Third Age.
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