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military Battles Involving War Elephants

Alby Thompson
5.8k views 36 items
Battles in which war elephants were used. Throughout human history, elephants have been employed in combat, typically for offensive use in charging the enemy and breaking their ranks. It is believed that the first war elephant combat unit - or elephantry - was employed in Ancient India and Southeast Asia. (The Indian Vedic texts the Mahabharata and Ramayana, both dating from the 4th Century BC, specifically mention the introduction of elephants in warfare.)

The first elephants were tamed in Ancient Mesopotamia, around 4,500 years ago, for use in farming and agriculture. But the most famous historical case of war elephants crucially making a difference in battle took place during the Second Punic War, when Hannibal of Carthage led an army of war elephants across the Alps to fight the Roman Republic. Because of the brutal weather and terrain in the Alps, and the adjustment of Roman military tactics to compensate for the elephants, Hannibal suffered his final loss at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC.

The use of war elephants in battle waned during the First and Second World Wars. Even at this point, the animals were largely used to aid in transport and for pulling heavy equipment, rather than as actual weapons. The very last recorded use of elephants in war happened in 1987 when the animals were used by the Iraqi military to transport heavy weaponry.

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Battle of Gaugamela is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Gaugamela Mosul, Iraq - 331 BC

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Battle of the Hydaspes is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of the Hydaspes Punjab, Pakistan, Pakistan - 326 BC

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Battle of Paraitacene is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Paraitacene Isfahan, Iran - 317 BC

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Battle of Gabiene is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Gabiene Gabiene - 316 BC

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Battle of Gaza is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Gaza Gaza City - 312 BC

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Battle of Ipsus is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Ipsus Phrygia - 301 BC

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Battle of Heraclea is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Heraclea Basilicata, Italy - 280 BC

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Battle of Asculum is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Asculum Asculum - 279 BC

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Battle of Beneventum (275 BC) is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Beneventum (275 BC) Benevento, Italy - 275 BC

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Kalinga War is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Kalinga War Kalinga - 265-264 BC

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Battle of Agrigentum is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Agrigentum Agrigento, Italy - 262 BC

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Battle of Tunis is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Tunis Tunis, Tunisia - 255 BC

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Battle of the Bagradas River (... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of the Bagradas River (49 BC) North Africa - 239 BC

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Battle of Utica is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Utica Utica, Tunisia, Tunisia - 238 BC

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Battle of
Battle of "The Saw" Tunis, Tunisia - 238 BC

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Siege of Saguntum is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Siege of Saguntum Sagunto, Spain - 219-218 BC

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Battle of the Trebia is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of the Trebia Trebbia, Italy - 218 BC. Pre-dated by famed "Crossing of the Alps."

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Battle of Raphia is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Raphia Gaza City - 217 BC

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Battle of the Metaurus is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of the Metaurus Marche, Italy - 207 BC

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Battle of Zama is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Zama Zama Minor, Tunisia - 202 BC

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Battle of Magnesia is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Magnesia Lydia - 190 BC

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Maccabean Revolt is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Maccabean Revolt Palestine - 167-160 BC

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Battle of Beth Zur is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Beth Zur Beth-zur - 164 BC

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Siege of Numantia is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Siege of Numantia Numantia, Spain - 153 BC

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Battle of Carthage is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Carthage Tunis, Tunisia - 149-146 BC

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Battle of the Muthul is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of the Muthul Numidia - 108 BC

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Battle of Thapsus is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Thapsus Thapsus - 46 BC

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Battle of Avarayr is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Avarayr West Azerbaijan Province, Iran - 451 AD

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Battle of al-Qādisiyyah is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of al-Qādisiyyah Al-Qādisiyyah, Iraq - 636 AD

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Battle of Rajasthan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Rajasthan 738 AD

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Capture of Cremona is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Capture of Cremona 1214 AD

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Battle of Ngasaunggyan is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Ngasaunggyan Yunnan, China - 1277 AD

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Battle of Panipat is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Panipat Panipat, India - 1526 AD

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Battle of Panipat is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Panipat Panipat, India - 1556 AD

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Battle of Khajwa is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Khajwa 1659 AD

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Battle of Panipat is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Battles Involving War Elephants
Battle of Panipat Panipat, India - 1761 AD