History Main / WarElephants

6th Feb '18 4:22:41 AM JackG
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* In ''Literature/TheExecutioner'' novel "Tiger War", Mack Bolan has to defend a village from a punitive expedition sent to punish them for aiding Bolan. He waits for the column to move past, then charges an elephant (used by the villagers for carrying logs) up their rear, panicking the soldiers and causing them to flee to the sides of the trail where the villagers have placed punji sticks. One of the villains shoots the mahout, where upon the elephant rips off the man's limbs and tramples him underfoot.

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* In ''Literature/TheExecutioner'' novel "Tiger War", Mack Bolan has to defend a village from a punitive expedition sent to punish them for aiding Bolan. He waits for the column to move past, then charges an elephant (used by the villagers for carrying logs) up their rear, panicking the soldiers and causing them to flee to the sides of the trail where the villagers have placed [[SpikesOfDoom punji sticks.sticks]]. One of the villains shoots the mahout, where upon the elephant rips off the man's limbs and tramples him underfoot.
5th Feb '18 1:02:03 AM Spindriver
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* The Indians used Elephants in war, and Indian elephants were noted to be superior to their African counterparts in terms of controllability, making them much more dangerous to the enemy even though they were smaller. Many Indian kingdoms used alcohol and other intoxicants to get the elephants ''high'' before sending them into battle, making them more pain-resistant and less prone to being terrified. A charge of intoxicated elephants with archers shooting down from their backs was pretty much enough to wreck any enemy formation. And to make matters worse for enemies, the Indians developed ''elephant armor'', turning them into living tanks.
** The Persians got their elephants and elephant trainers from India and frequently used the same tactics.
* UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat encountered war elephants in India, and his general Seleukos got 500 of them in return for peace with an Indian king. He used these to gain a decisive advantage over the other Macedonian generals in the Wars of the Successors, eventually conquering the lion's share of Alexander's empire. Elephants were used in many Hellenistic armies after that, and were helpful for instance in defeating the Galatians in Turkey in the 3rd century BC. However, after a while, professional soldiers got used to the sight of elephants, meaning their psychological impact was lost. The Romans never adopted the practice of using them.

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* The Indians used Elephants in war, and Indian elephants were noted to be superior to their African counterparts in terms of controllability, making them much more dangerous to the enemy even though they were smaller. Many Indian kingdoms used alcohol and other intoxicants to get the elephants ''high'' before sending them into battle, making them more pain-resistant and less prone to being terrified. A charge of intoxicated elephants with archers shooting down from their backs was pretty much enough to wreck any enemy formation. And to make matters worse for enemies, the Indians developed ''elephant armor'', turning them into living tanks.
**
tanks. The Persians got their elephants and elephant trainers from India and frequently used the same tactics.
* UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat encountered war elephants in India, and his general Seleukos got 500 of them in return for peace with an Indian king. He used these to gain a decisive advantage over the other Macedonian generals in the Wars of the Successors, eventually conquering the lion's share of Alexander's empire. Elephants were used in many Hellenistic armies after that, and were helpful for instance in defeating the Galatians in Turkey in the 3rd century BC. However, after a while, professional soldiers got used to the sight of elephants, meaning their psychological impact was lost. The Romans never generally adopted the practice of using them.them, although one or two sources claim that they brought one or two elephants along on their invasions of Britain presumably on the basis that the Britons would barely even have ''heard'' of elephants, and so would be scared witless by the mere sight of them



*** Caesar just applied a standard tactic: the Romans were very good at killing elephants. Pyrrhus managed to salvage two [[TropeNamer Pyrrhic]] [[PyrrhicVictory Victories]] against the Romans because he had been the first one to use elephants against them, but by the third battle the Romans had learned how to kill them, or even to ''set them on their owners'' (needless to say, that was a brutal CurbStompBattle in Roman favor, and Pyrrhus never dared to show up in Italy again). At Zama, Scipio Africanus used a different tactic: he left wide lanes open between his disciplined units, so that the elephants could take the line of least resistance by charging ''between'' them instead of over them. He also had some of his troops blow loud horns, which turned some of the elephants back on their masters. Nonetheless, Scipio took the elephants so seriously as a threat that he dictated this as part of the peace terms: that the Carthaginians should get rid of all their remaining elephants and not tame any more.

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*** ** In fact, Caesar was just applied applying a standard tactic: the Romans were very good at killing elephants. Pyrrhus managed to salvage two [[TropeNamer Pyrrhic]] [[PyrrhicVictory Victories]] against the Romans because he had been the first one to use elephants against them, but by the third battle the Romans had learned how to kill them, or even to ''set them on their owners'' (needless to say, that was a brutal CurbStompBattle in Roman favor, and Pyrrhus never dared to show up in Italy again). At Zama, Scipio Africanus used a different tactic: he left wide lanes open between his disciplined units, so that the elephants could take the line of least resistance by charging ''between'' them instead of over them. He also had some of his troops blow loud horns, which turned some of the elephants back on their masters. Nonetheless, Scipio took the elephants so seriously as a threat that he dictated this as part of the peace terms: that the Carthaginians should get rid of all their remaining elephants and not tame any more.
28th Jan '18 9:26:24 PM Theriocephalus
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If you want to make an army look exotic and threatening, give them War Elephants. War Mammoths work too, or whatever the [[CallARabbitASmeerp fantasy equivalent]] might be. In any case, they tend to be super-sized to the point where they almost qualify as war-barges with tusks.

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If you want to make an army look exotic and threatening, give them War Elephants. War Mammoths work too, or whatever the [[CallARabbitASmeerp fantasy equivalent]] might be.be, especially when used by armies coming from the endless cold of [[GrimUpNorth the northlands]] or in [[MammothsMeanIceAge the distant past]]. In any case, they tend to be super-sized to the point where they almost qualify as war-barges with tusks.



* In the VideoGame/AgeOfWonders games there are war elephants and war Mammoths depending on the race

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* In the VideoGame/AgeOfWonders games there are war elephants and war Mammoths depending on the racerace.
3rd Jan '18 5:31:19 PM nombretomado
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* In ''{{The Heroes of Olympus}}'' series, Camp Jupiter has a resident war elephant named Hannibal.

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* In ''{{The ''Literature/{{The Heroes of Olympus}}'' series, Camp Jupiter has a resident war elephant named Hannibal.
11th Dec '17 1:42:51 PM Malady
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* In Kurt Busiek and George Perez' run on ''ComicBook/Avengers'', Sonja's nemesis Kulan Gath transmutes a couple of tanks into war elephants and they nearly trample IronMan before he is saved by team mate Triathlon. SheHulk tells them "Back off, Jumbo" and flattens one with a punch while swinging the other one through the air by its trunk. Even war elephants don't stand a chance against the Emerald Amazon.

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* In Kurt Busiek and George Perez' run on ''ComicBook/Avengers'', Sonja's nemesis Kulan Gath transmutes a couple of tanks into war elephants and they nearly trample IronMan before he is saved by team mate Triathlon. SheHulk ComicBook/SheHulk tells them "Back off, Jumbo" and flattens one with a punch while swinging the other one through the air by its trunk. Even war elephants don't stand a chance against the Emerald Amazon.
30th Nov '17 6:44:52 PM TheBigBopper
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This trope is very much TruthInTelevision; kingdoms in North Africa, the Middle East, and southeastern Asia have weaponized pachyderms at some point in their histories. Elephants are huge, strong, tough, terrifying, and highly trainable animals capable of carrying multiple riders on their backs, whether they be officers wanting a better view of the battlefield, archers, or even artillerymen firing a ballista or cannon from a howdah. Horses were also generally ''terrified'' of them and wouldn't go near them, so a few elephants in front of your army could make enemy cavalry charges useless. However, [[AwesomeButImpractical they could easily panic in battle]], [[HoistbyHisOwnPetard trampling friend or foe]].

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This trope is very much TruthInTelevision; TruthInTelevision: kingdoms in North Africa, the Middle East, and southeastern Asia have weaponized pachyderms at some point various points in their histories.history. Elephants are huge, strong, tough, terrifying, and highly trainable animals capable of carrying multiple riders on their backs, whether they be officers wanting a better view of the battlefield, archers, or even artillerymen firing a ballista or cannon from a howdah. Horses were also generally ''terrified'' of them and wouldn't go near them, so a few elephants in front of your army could make enemy cavalry charges useless. However, [[AwesomeButImpractical they could easily panic in battle]], [[HoistbyHisOwnPetard trampling friend or foe]].
20th Sep '17 3:42:02 PM dotchan
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* ''Anime/TheHeroicLegendOfArslan'': A feature of Shindra's army, they can also be drugged into an even more dangerous berserker state (predictably, they up being just as dangerous to Shindran troops).
14th Sep '17 11:36:41 AM emperors
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* The wildling army in ''Series/GameOfThrones'' led by Mance Rayder use the mammoth variant in the season 4 episode "The Watchers on the Wall".

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* ''Series/GameOfThrones''
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The wildling army in ''Series/GameOfThrones'' led by Mance Rayder use the mammoth variant in the season 4 episode "The Watchers on the Wall".Wall".
** The Golden Company in Season 7 is stated to have elephants in their army. They haven't been shown yet.
16th Aug '17 12:50:15 PM PrincessPandaTrope
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* ''Khan Kluay'', known as ''The Blue Elephant'' in the USA, has the protagonist grow up into a war elephant, complete with a war elephant battle at the climax.
4th Aug '17 12:57:54 PM Theriocephalus
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* In ''VideoGame/{{Far Cry 4}}'' you can ride elephants.

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* In ''VideoGame/{{Far Cry 4}}'' ''VideoGame/FarCry4'' you can ride elephants.



* ''VideoGame/TotalWarWarhammer'': Norsca can field massive, six-tusked mammoths mutated by chaos. They come in a few variants, namely as feral monster units, as semi-tamed war beasts with howdahs on their backs and as mounts for Norscan generals.

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* ''VideoGame/TotalWarWarhammer'': Norsca can field massive, six-tusked massive war mammoths mutated twisted by chaos.Chaos, with visible mutations such as multiple tusks and tanks tipped with clawed, hand-like appendages. They come in a few variants, namely as feral monster units, as semi-tamed war beasts with howdahs on their backs and as mounts for Norscan generals.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.WarElephants