Elephant War History: Elephant Course

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"The trunk to the ground and tusks, rested in the sky; invulnerable to spears and arrows; the road, the field, and the world are trembling because of the roar of their formidable building. ” The author of the medieval monument of Thai literature, the epic poem The Defeat of the Yuan, devoted many admiring lines to the battle elephants. Up to the 15th — 16th centuries, and in some places longer, elephantery was one of the most effective types of troops. Asian commanders for centuries honed the ability to fight with the help of gray giants.

Elephant War History: Elephant Course




India

Homeland of war elephants

The inhabitants of Hindustan were the first to tame elephants - and the first to send them to war. According to Indian sculptures and drawings, historians recreate the evolution of tactics: if the most ancient Indian commanders simply set dozens of elephants against the enemy, then from the middle of the XNUMXst millennium BC. e. there is a tradition to use these animals as a central combat unit, which needs reinforcements and a convoy - like aircraft carriers or tanks in modern wars. In India, they began to protect elephants with armor - first with woven blankets, and by the XNUMXth – XNUMXth centuries and full armor.

Persian kingdom

History failures

The Persians in the strategy of using elephantiary were, perhaps, even more inventive than the Indians, but they were most unlucky with their opponents: history remembers two famous battles involving war elephants, and after both the corresponding Persian states ceased to exist. In the battle of Gavgamelah, the elephants of King Darius could not repel the attack of the hoplites of Alexander the Great, and the defeat was the end of the Achaemenid state. A thousand years later, while fighting with Qadisia with Persians from the Sassanid dynasty, the Arabs guessed to cut the leather cinch by which the towers were fastened to the elephant's backs. Structures fell and broke, and the next day the Persians were left without elefantria. So they lost the decisive battle, and the territory of the kingdom came under the control of the Arabs.



China

Fire and sword

In medieval China, elephants were sometimes used in hostilities, but only as long as the forests where wild elephants were caught did not give way to cities and arable lands. The inhabitants of the ancient Chinese kingdoms did not seem to differ in their special talent for training, therefore they used rude tactics: in the chronicle of the Chu kingdom of the era of the Fighting Kingdoms, for example, it is told how soldiers tied burning sticks to elephant tails. In a panic, the elephants rushed forward and trampled on the army of the kingdom U.

Thailand

Elephant - friend, ally and brother

The peoples living in the territory of modern Thailand (formerly the kingdom of Siam), with elephants have a special relationship. Elephants participated in all military conflicts in Siam from antiquity to the middle of the XIX century. If in the countries where these animals were exotic, they were usually thrown on infantry and cavalry, in Southeast Asia, where elephantery was part of every self-respecting army, a special type of battle arose - a duel riding elephants. Especially for them, in Niao, a curved blade on a long wooden handle was invented in Siam. Crocheted, ngao in the intervals between fierce bouts served as a driver's cane.



Apart from Rome saved by geese, Thailand is the only country in the world that owes its independence to animals: on the backs of war elephants, Siamese soldiers at the end of the 16th century expelled the Burmese invaders from the country. The strategy was as follows: elephants with drovers and an infantry corps protecting the soft elephant underbelly during the battle were hidden in the jungle, and small cavalry or foot troops lured the enemy directly to the edge.

According to legend, in one of the battles of that war, the Siamese Jeanne d'Arc, Queen Suryotai, died: she accompanied her husband to the war and saved his life by sending her elephant to the elephant of the Burmese commander. The enemy pierced the queen with sharp ngao, but the king was saved.

The feat of Queen Suriotai did not affect the course of the war; the confrontation between the kingdoms of Siam and Burma lasted another three hundred years and ended only after Burma became an English colony. Siam, who never knew the power of the colonial administration, stopped the war, and all the elephants from the fighting turned into peace. Now, armed Ngao people riding elephants are lovers of historical reconstruction: in Thailand there are several historical clubs whose members understand the intricacies of military action involving elephantery.
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  1. ICT
    +3
    3 September 2017
    History of War Elephants


    continuation is needed, the topic is quite rich; India, Persia, Hannibal in the end ................
  2. +5
    3 September 2017
    I was always interested in the question. What elephants did Hannibal cross the Alps with and fought with the Romans during the Punic Wars .... African elephants, as you know, cannot be trained ... Carthage was in what is now Sudan ... So Carthage’s army used Indian elephants ??? Or the elephants of Hannibal is a historical myth ???. In 1965, we had a beautiful, richly illustrated, textbook of Korovkin ...
    1. +5
      3 September 2017
      It is believed that Hannibal, like Pierre, used the North African subspecies (now extinct) subspecies of the African shroud. They differed from the main species in smaller sizes and the ability to train.
      1. +1
        3 September 2017
        Thank. Where can I find out more about this?
        1. ICT
          0
          3 September 2017
          Quote: moskowit
          Thank. Where can I find out more about this?


          there was a movie about the modern (well, how modern the cinema and photos there were still black and white) training of African elephants

          Well, the main idea of ​​memory was to train one two elephants and gradually add untrained to them in a herd and so on, the enthusiast died and the whole thing died out, but trained elephants worked until the last
          1. +1
            3 September 2017
            Bernhard Grzimek has a description of an elephant trapping and taming station in Africa. http://www.vokrugsveta.ru/vs/article/5548/
            In general, African elephants (both savannah and forest) are less aggressive than Asian elephants, and they can at least be tamed at least, Brehm writes in Animal Life.
        2. 0
          3 September 2017
          I can’t indicate a specific source. There is controversy on this topic on the site historica.ru
          1. 0
            3 September 2017
            Thank you very much. I will certainly take advantage of the kindly provided address.
        3. +1
          3 September 2017
          "Armandi PD The military history of elephants from ancient times to the invention of firearms, with criticisms of several of the most famous military acts of the ancients."
          Bannikov A.V. The era of war elephants (from Alexander the Great to the fall of the Persian kingdom of the Sassanids).
          “The military history of elephants” - until recently, remained the only monograph devoted to elephantheria, despite the fact that in the ancient era fighting elephants were often used by various armies in battle battles. It was written back in 1843 (!) By a veteran of the Napoleonic troops, colonel from the artillery P.D. Armandi.
          What is interesting, the translator is the Russian language A.V. The next year Bannikov is releasing his own book, which also tells the story of the use of these giants by land on the battlefields.
    2. +1
      3 September 2017
      Quote: moskowit
      In 1965, we had a beautiful, richly illustrated, textbook of Korovkin ...

      and in 1975 we had the same
      1. +2
        3 September 2017
        Quote: verner1967
        and in 1975 we had the same

        not like that I confused it with my brother’s textbook
      2. 0
        3 September 2017
        Quote: verner1967
        and in 1975 we had the same

        My dream is to find on the network .... but not anywhere. There was a very memorable picture - Fight on the streets of Carthage. This is not a modern picture, much harsher, a panorama of a city burning at night and hand-to-hand fighting for each house ..... I don’t remember if there were ships there?
        1. +2
          3 September 2017
          Roman11, here is this picture?
          1. 0
            4 September 2017
            Quote: Mikhail_Zverev
            Roman11, here is this picture?

            No .. There is a side view and the background is more aggressive - black, yellow, red, orange. People rushing around, a flame nearby, the Romans with their rectangular shields in the ranks, on the left side like a 2-story building, in my opinion the boards are thrown from it to a neighboring house, which I don’t remember burning.

            There is something in common with the modern one, but the picture looks childishly naive (like a pop-wrap) - there are no sharp tones. Not to say that archivally, but "sharper" ..... for kids at that age.
            1. +2
              4 September 2017
              There’s still one like that, I once remembered the Roman "tortoise".
              1. +1
                4 September 2017
                Quote: Mikhail_Zverev
                There’s still one like that, I once remembered the Roman "tortoise".

                Just this official one is, roughly speaking, a “poppy” wrapper. No, of course it’s drawn perfectly, but the decoration, the surroundings are not the same.
                Probably then the textbooks were an intermediate publication - about the first half of the 80s. Perhaps not everyone in the Union studied according to Korovkin’s textbook

                By the way, that picture was on the right, and on the left is an illustration of the capture of the fortress by the Romans - but again, the picture is different. At the same time, I remember the “black” Bosco Scipio from that textbook, Hannibal was also there. Therefore, in the 2nd half of the 80s - 84, 85, 86th was the revision of the next edition. So that textbook was an intermediate edition and editorial. I have nothing against, some information was considered superfluous or added, but imagine if you studied in one textbook, and then come across a completely different one, then there is no perception. And if you still have a favorite subject at school? Pure psychology. And again, the quality of the illustrations suffered, or rather, more familiar. Therefore, there is no peace, there are 2 textbooks on the network, but there is no intermediate ..... laughing

                I’ll wait, but what if? But I’m afraid that those textbooks have already sunk into the abyss, because they didn’t study for long.
    3. +2
      3 September 2017
      Moskovitu! Well, you give, Carthage was placed in Sudan, a mistake of 3000 km., And even laid out a textbook, even though they themselves opened it? Even further comment is not a hunt, what progress has come to, that is. education!
      1. +2
        3 September 2017
        Just think, mixed up with Tunisia. Blunder came out ... It happens .... And about education, you, bunny, do not make hasty conclusions ... Ugly. And not courteous ....
    4. +1
      3 September 2017
      Correct - Carthage was located on the territory of present-day Tunisia, near the city of Tunisia. This is a little further from Sudan, actually hi
    5. +3
      3 September 2017
      Quote: moskowit
      Carthage was in what is now Sudan ..

      Or Tunisia respected?

      Quote: moskowit
      African elephants, as you know, are not amenable to training ....

      All give in.
      Another thing is that in the 1st Punic there was a battle for Panorm, where the Puns lost 120 elephants. Can you imagine an armada of modern North African? If we turn to mathematics, then you should not get lost in guesses - how many modern (large North African) elephants eat vegetation per day ?? Well guess about 3 centners!! And now imagine such an army of giants under Panorm in the army of Hamilikar Parapossky (not to be confused with Barka). There are so many difficulties, firstly they would turn the wonderful island of Sicily into a desert in a month, and secondly, they still need to be delivered by sea. How much do large ships need for them? Well, let there be several large transport workers (about a dozen), but the sea is a risk - and the storms and the victorious fleet of the Romans at that time. So it does not fit.

      Mostly there were savannahs (forest), small ..... which became extinct long ago.

      Of course, this does not mean that the Carthaginians could not have been large at all, but only in single quantities.
      And about Hannibal, he needed to do more with the fleet ..... Spain’s resources were unlimited - forest, people, silver mines, ..... father probably talked about the naval battles of the PPV, he could thoroughly prepare for revenge - he hurried in a word , hastened, trekking through the Alps adventure, only ruined many.
      1. 0
        5 September 2017
        Whether or not they were - all one is all just speculation. What really happened there and whether, for example, Hannibal was a real historical figure, and if he was, where and when, we don’t know anything about it. So, they are only the opinions of historians based on medieval literature written on behalf of various "ancients." By the way, in the literary cycle "Alexandria", which subsequently transformed into the "History of the campaigns of Alexander the Great," a certain Alexander first moved from Greece to Italy, conquered Rome and all of Italy, then landed in Carthage, conquered Carthage, then Libya, then Egypt. And only becoming a "hot pepper" decides to oppose Persia. And from Egypt.
    6. 0
      3 September 2017
      Quote: moskowit
      I was always interested in the question.

      And in this textbook there is a picture - Fight on the streets of Carthage? If there is, could you post it? ATP in advance. hi
      1. +3
        3 September 2017
        Can. The picture is really impressive. Fight on the roofs of buildings.
        1. 0
          4 September 2017
          Quote: moskowit
          Can. The picture is really impressive. Fight on the roofs of buildings.

          Thank! Oh, not that ..

          But this is in combat motley.
    7. +1
      26 September 2017
      Most likely, these current African elephants are not amenable to current dressing. Well, where would Hannibal bring Indian elephants from? Yes out of nowhere. It is said that he walked with elephants, which means that it was so. So, they could communicate with animals. The current descendants of Hannibal (and even the ancient Egyptians) all they can - show ancient sights and graves. Themselves have nothing to do with this - no!
  3. +4
    3 September 2017
    Like feeding an elephant a carrot. Really scary. I respect those crazy guys who went out to fight against them.
    1. +7
      3 September 2017
      Quote: Ken71
      Like feeding an elephant a carrot. Really scary. I respect those crazy guys who went out to fight against them.

      Elephants and reckless themselves. They don’t see much difference between a man’s head and a cap on this head. Maybe one thing to take with a trunk ... or maybe all together wassat
  4. ICT
    +1
    3 September 2017
    The enemy pierced the queen with sharp ngao, but the king was saved.


    (C)
    they say
    the film can be watched
  5. 0
    3 September 2017
    And I also know "Elephant", the beast was strong!
  6. +1
    3 September 2017
    And the topic is really interesting. About Carthage, anyway. Author, keep on disclosing! We will wait with impatience!
    1. 0
      3 September 2017
      It is unlikely. The article is copy-paste from the "popmechanics".
      1. +1
        3 September 2017
        Quote: 3x3zsave
        It is unlikely. The article is copy-paste from the "popmechanics".

        Yeah
        fool


        The article “A Short Course on the History of Elephantherium” was published in the journal Popular Mechanics (No. 8, August 2017).
        AUTHOR:
        Anastasia Shartogasheva
        25 August 2017 12: 00

        https://www.popmech.ru/weapon/379432-istoriya-boe
        vyh-slonov-kurs-elefanterii /
        Author works:

        https://elementy.ru/bookclub/author/5274275/anast
        asiya_shartogasheva

        did the author copy-paste herself?
        -------------------------------------
        how much

        around?
  7. +2
    3 September 2017
    Quote: irazum
    And the topic is really interesting. About Carthage, anyway. Author, keep on disclosing! We will wait with impatience!

    Further, fighting dogs from ancient Egypt to WWII, fighting cheetahs, crocodiles, bats!
    1. +4
      3 September 2017
      Of all of the above, only combat Internet hamsters and combat sofa primates of the hominid family are currently used.
      1. +2
        3 September 2017
        Quote: Curious
        Of all the above, only combat Internet is currently used

        fighting boars, roosters and geese in the APU are used




    2. ICT
      0
      3 September 2017
      Quote: andrewkor
      Further fighting dogs from ancient Egypt to WWII,

      about dogs was enough, and about different
  8. +1
    3 September 2017
    Quote: Curious
    Of all of the above, only combat Internet hamsters and combat sofa primates of the hominid family are currently used.
    World sensation! APU uses patrol war boars. See news on VO !!!
    1. 0
      3 September 2017
      These are still prototypes undergoing tests. That's when they will be adopted, then your piggy delight will be just right.
  9. 0
    3 September 2017
    And it is also curious that in the early pictures and images the war elephants are depicted with turrets on the back, where several people are located. But I don’t remember anywhere to be repeated in practice. Once in my childhood I saw some kind of historical film (Salambo or Indian - I don’t remember the name) with the participation of elephants in the battle. So there seems to be without these baskets ..... that is. like a battle involving elephants, but the question is with the turrets. Can someone tell me what the film is called, or movies, if there are several?
  10. +1
    3 September 2017
    Quote: moskowit
    Just think, mixed up with Tunisia. Blunder came out ... It happens .... And about education, you, bunny, do not make hasty conclusions ... Ugly. And not courteous ....

    The fact, as they say, on the face, don’t take it off! You think, they poked your nose in lapsus, it happens, don’t worry, learn history at least in the volume of the 5th grade, success!
    1. +1
      5 September 2017
      What's the problem ? Or do you think that after reading the textbook for grade 5 you learned the truth? It is possible that the real events, of which historians subsequently blinded the Punic wars, if at all (events) were, then some of them occurred just in Sudan.
  11. 0
    3 September 2017
    Personally, it’s not entirely clear to me from the article how the use of war elephants directly looked. Apparently, the main damaging factor was trampling and psychological impact?
    1. +1
      4 September 2017
      Quote: noviczok
      Personally, it’s not entirely clear to me from the article how the use of war elephants directly looked.

      We are building the first time, unprepared armies fled, so the army of A. Makedonsky under the Indus fled without a fight at the sight of elephants in the Indian army ... after every 10th was executed in the next battle, the Indians fled from the Macedonians, destroyed by their frightened animals ..... although there were all full.

      Then they gradually learned to turn their flight and they became dangerous for their armies - so Hannibal was defeated at Zamma. I still remember how the historian told us.
    2. +1
      5 September 2017
      The real use of elephants can be: as command posts of commanders of various levels. The chief and with him the signalman on the elephant. And they can see everything and they are noticeable. Then as a place for archers to sit. Five archers fit on one elephant. Well, or javelin throwers. On elephants you can place stocks of arrows and spears. And of course, the psychological factor. And so ..... we do not walk elephants in the system, that is, they cannot be lined up in a line. Fire and smoke - to be afraid. It is enough to throw dry branches and leaves in front of the elephants and set them on fire - the elephants will not go into the fire, they will get excited, they will turn and trample their own.
      1. +1
        7 September 2017
        Quote: Alex1117
        The real use of elephants can be: as command posts of commanders of various levels. The chief and with him the signalman on the elephant. .

        And what, an option ...
        Quote: Alex1117
        Then as a place for archers to sit. Five archers fit on one elephant. Well, or javelin throwers. On elephants you can place stocks of arrows and spears.

        Never had to ride an elephant trotting? Those are the other feelings ... Shooting from it - like from a moving World War II tank - does not have gyro stabilization at the booth ... And in the case of killing an elephant - immediately minus five or six units ...
        1. 0
          7 September 2017
          Forced to agree. For I didn’t ride elephants. So, there remains the option of using the elephant as a mobile hill for observing the battlefield. Well, in order to intimidate.
  12. 0
    3 September 2017
    ELEPHANTS in ancient times as aircraft carriers now !!! wink if for the first time there are no countermeasures, then a nightmare and horror !!!! and if you know and prepared, then the devil is not so terrible as he is painted !!! wink love wassat
  13. 0
    5 September 2017
    Quote: Novel 11

    We are building the first time, unprepared armies fled, so the army of A. Makedonsky under the Indus fled without a fight at the sight of elephants in the Indian army ... after every 10th was executed in the next battle, the Indians fled from the Macedonians, destroyed by their frightened animals ..... although there were all of them there. Then they gradually learned to turn their flight and they became dangerous for their armies - so Hannibal was defeated at Zamma. I still remember how the historian told us.
    And how old was your historian? More than 2 thousand? Is he an eyewitness to events?
  14. 0
    October 1 2017
    Under the Hawgamellas, the elephants, it seems, did not take part at all, having stood the whole battle on the sidelines, and under Cadizia there were too few of them to decide the outcome of the battle.

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