They Fought Too
Animals in Combat


Poor pachyderms:

Various species of elephant have been used in battle since c. 1100 B.C., but the most famous use of elephants in war was that of Hannibal when he failed to conquer Rome with them. Hannibal's dad, Hamilcar, was a Carthaginian General who had been defeated by Rome in the First Punic War, which began in 265 BC and lasted twenty-four years.

Hamilcar imbued his son Hannibal with a smoldering hatred of Rome and told his son that with enough battle-ready elephants, Rome could be defeated. Hannibal tested his father's theory, setting out for Rome across the Alps with some thirty seven elephants and a massive army. Most of the elephants died en route in the Alps and Hannibal was eventually defeated. But people remember his quixotic effort and the unfortunate pachyderms that participated.


Sources: War Elephants, Hannibal's Elephants, Great Battles of the Roman Republic .





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