Bret Devereaux Elephants Against Wolves https://acoup.blog/2019/08/02/collections-war-elephants-part-ii-elephants-against-wolves/: "The playbook for dealing with elephants was actually fairly simple in concept–Vegetius, a later Roman military writer, manages to sum up the ‘best practices’ in less than a paragraph (Vegetius 3.24). Ideally, the elephants should be met by light infantry screening troops, whose freedom of movement allows them to avoid the elephant’s charge. Those light troops – armed with missile weapons (especially javelins, but also slings) should especially target the mahouts, in an effort to panic the elephants. Ideally, a space is left open for the elephants to flee too, although ancient sources are full of examples where they were simply driven back through the enemy formation. The goal isn’t to kill the elephant, but instead to panic the animal and drive it off or–better yet–drive it through the enemy. This latter point is notable: ancient military writer after ancient military writer notes how elephants were often as much a danger to their own troops as to the enemy, especially when wounded or frightened...


#noted #2019-10-21

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