Drummer Lee Rigby suffered "extensive and serious" injuries and had to be identified by a dental expert, an inquest into his death has heard.
The 25-year-old was killed near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, southeast London, on May 22, as he returned from a day working at the Tower of London.
A short hearing at Southwark Coroner's Court was told that Drummer Rigby was hit by a car before being attacked by two men armed with a cleaver and a knife.
Detective Chief Inspector Grant Mallon, from Scotland Yard's Counter-Terrorism Command, said the men then dragged his body into the middle of the road and encouraged passers-by to look at what they had done.
Mr Mallon told the inquest: "As he walked into Artillery Place, a vehicle is seen to swerve into the carriageway on which he was walking and strike him.
"The two occupants of the vehicle then exit the vehicle and attack him with a cleaver and a knife."
He said Drummer Rigby suffered "extensive and serious injuries", and investigations into his murder were continuing.
A post-mortem has confirmed he died from multiple cut and stab wounds.
Adjourning the inquest to a date to be fixed, deputy coroner Lorna Tagliavini said: "I would like to take this opportunity to give my personal condolences to all members of Lee Rigby's family for their very sad loss."
It comes as Scotland Yard discloses it has arrested a 42-year-old man on suspicion of being involved in supplying illegal fire arms.
The Crown Prosecution Service also announced that a friend of one of the suspects, who was arrested at the BBC last week, has been charged with three counts under the Terrorism Act.
Abu Nusaybah, 28, a friend of Michael Adebolajo, was arrested after giving an interview to Newsnight.
The charges all relate to publishing material that could encourage the "commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism".
On Thursday, Michael Adebowale, 22, from Greenwich, appeared in court charged with the soldier's murder. He is due to appear again at the Old Bailey on Monday.
Adebolajo, who was arrested on suspicion of the killing, remains in hospital after being shot by police.