Asian Elephants

War Elephants
Asian Elephants in warfare for 2,300 years

Asian Elephants were used for fighting, hauling heavy equipment or working on construction projects. They have had a long and distinguished military career, from the era of Alexander the Great, up until the mid-20th century. Usually, they were placed in the middle of the ranks, in order to prevent the penetration of enemy troops, as well as the retreat of their own.

  • Alexander the Great, Battle of Gaugamela (331B.C.)
  • Battle of the Hydaspes River (326 B.C.)
  • Hannibal crossing the Rhône (218 B.C.)
  • The Battle of Zama (202B.C.)

Their exploitation ceased with the dissemination of explosives, since elephants could not get used to the firing weapons and panicked, thus becoming even more dangerous than the enemy. The 1960s were the last time elephants were widely used in war.

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  • World War I, heavy equipment transport
  • World War II, loading of an American airplane in India
  • World War II
  • The British Army in Burma, 1945