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Old 27th February 2013, 12:09 AM   #1
VANDOO
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Smile WAR ELEPHANTS, WEAPONS AND ARMOR

HERE ARE SEVERAL PICTURES OF WAR ELEPHANTS SOME PAINTINGS OF FAMOUS BATTLES AND A RELIEF FROM ANGKOR WAT AND A FEW PICTURES. MAN HAS HAD A LONG WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ELEPHANT AND THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN THE ORIGINAL HEAVY ARMOR. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN USED FOR LEADING CHARGES IN MODERN TIMES BUT IN SOME INSTANCES HAVE BEEN USED FOR TRANSPORT AND HEAVY LIFTING. I WILL TRY TO ADD INFORMATION AND PICTURES AS I FIND THEM, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADD ANY INFORMATION OR PICTURES YOU MAY HAVE.
1. HIGH ELEPHANT GATE, GWALIOR FORT INDIA
2. BAYON ANGKOR TWELFTH CENTURY KYMER
3.BATTLE OF ZAMA
4. BATTLE OF GAUGA MELA
5. DEATH OF THE NABOB OF THE CARNATIC
6. INDIAN CALVERY ADVANCE
7. MUGAL WAR ELEPHANT
8. THE BATTLE OF HYDAPES
8. MUGAL EMPOROR AKBAR
9. SIAMESE MOUNTED ARTILLERY.
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Old 27th February 2013, 07:09 AM   #2
T. Koch
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Great topic, Vandoo and I love the pictures! Reminds me of how much I want to go to India. Looking forward to see this topic evolve.

I don't have much to contribute as to war elephants, but I recently read about how elephants traditionally have been used to execute people over much of Asia, in particular under the Mughal empires: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Execution_by_elephant

Apparently such elephants were very carefully trained and able to carry out the deed in a varied number of detailed ways according to the command of the ruler. It symbolizes of course not only the rulers official power over death and life, but also his might in the ability to command the strongest of natures creatures.


"a Kandyan [Sri Lankan] chief, who was witness to such scenes, has assured us that the elephant never once applied his tusks, but, placing his foot on the prostrate victim, plucked off his limbs in succession by a sudden movement of his trunk."


- A tall frosty glass of brutal, anyone?


Picture below from An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon by Robert Knox (1681)
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Old 28th February 2013, 12:05 AM   #3
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According to the Royal Armories they have the only Indian Elephant armor in the world, I have see pictures of others but maybe those are reproductions.
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Old 28th February 2013, 06:14 AM   #4
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Japanese Elephant "Cavalry" WWII Burma.
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Old 1st March 2013, 03:11 AM   #5
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Great topic. Siamese Army 1875.
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Old 2nd March 2013, 07:18 PM   #6
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THERE ARE STORIES OF ELEPHANTS BEING TRAINED TO USE A SWORD HELD IN THE TRUNK AS WELL AS CHAINS WITH STEEL BALLS ON THE END TO USE AS A FLAIL. LARGE BLADES MOUNTED ON THE TUSKS HAVE ALSO BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT. IN 1558 CEYLON WAS SAID TO HAVE HAD 2200 WAR ELEPHANTS, THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN QUITE AN EXPENSE TO TRAIN, CARE FOR AND FEED.
SOME STRADGEYS WERE TO TRY AND STAMPEDE THE ENEMYS ELEPHANTS BACK INTO THEIR OWN LINES. THE MOST INTERESTING I HAVE READ ABOUT WAS THE MEGARIANS WHO OILED SOME SWINE AND SET THEM ON FIRE AND SENT THEM OFF INTO THE ENEMYS ADVANCE. THE FIRE AND SQUEELING WORKED VERY WELL AND TERIFIED THE ENEMYS ELEPHANTS. WAR IS HELL AND UNFORTUNATE ESPECIALLY WHEN INNOCENT ANIMALS WHO HAVE NO CHOICE ARE USED IN MANY CRUEL WAYS. THE SAME COULD BE SAID OF MANKIND AS MANY PEOPLE HAVE NO CHOICE AND ARE SENT BY THEIR RULERS.
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Old 4th March 2013, 06:18 AM   #7
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Any evidence of a handful of mice being used?
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Old 10th March 2013, 02:17 PM   #8
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I can't cope with the idea of using animals for cruel purposes, but would like to (re) post the earliest picture (watercolour) of war elephants known until today; XVI century.
(by a Portuguese anonymous - Casanatense Codice)

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