War Elephants by John M. KistlerWar Elephants by John M. Kistler

War Elephants

byJohn M. KistlerForeword byRichard Lair

Paperback | October 1, 2007

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Elephants have fought in human armies for more than three thousand years. Asian armies boasted of their pachyderm power, while the Romans fielded elephants alongside their legendary legions but were perhaps too proud to admit that mere animals contributed to victory. War Elephants is the story of their largely forgotten role in the history of warfare.
Generals throughout recorded history used elephants as tanks, bulldozers, and cargo trucks long before such vehicles existed. Until gunpowder began to reduce the utility of elephants in battle during the seventeenth century, these beasts built roads, swung swords, or simply terrified opposing forces. Although some believe that elephants were mere gimmicks of warfare, John M. Kistler discredits that notion. War Elephants shows that elephants deserve respect for the sacrifices they have made in the service of many cultures. Elephants have long fought for and served human masters, but it is now the elephants themselves that must be protected.
John M. Kistler is a freelance writer and runs a small business. He received his mahout certificate from the Elephant Conservation Center in Thailand while assisting consultants on Oliver Stone’s film Alexander.
Title:War ElephantsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.95 × 5.98 × 0.7 inPublished:October 1, 2007Publisher:UNP - Bison BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0803260040

ISBN - 13:9780803260047

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Fabulous Book This is the only book of its kind and a fine one at that. War Elephants is exhaustively researched and should be of interest to military buffs and amateur historians as well as serious students and professionals looking for an excellent resource. The only thing missing is a bit more information on Eastern perspectives and accounts regarding the use and rearing of these incredible instruments of warfare throughout history - and this is a fact acknowledged by the author himself. You will not find a better book on this topic anywhere, and Kistler is to be commended for allowing his obvious passion for the elephant to drive him through this project without letting sentimentality run amok and ruin a fine contribution to military history.
Date published: 2012-12-20

Table of Contents

Foreword by Richard Lair
1 Useful Orphan
2 Early Contests
3 Beauty and the Beasts
4 Fill of Blood
5 Improvements
6 The Elephant Memory
7 The Horror
8 Alexander's Opinion
9 Death on the Nile
10 Elephants Marching
11 Siege
12 Cavalry Killers
13 The Elephant Industry
14 Unmitigated Gauls
15 The Elephant of Surprise
16 Flaming Pigs
17 Chaos in the Streets
18 War Elephants of Carthage
19 Proud Mahouts
20 Cruelty and Inhumanity
21 The Lion's Brood
22 Dangerous Waters
23 Treacherous Paths
24 The Best Laid Plans
25 Stalemate
26 Hasdrubal
27 Rome's Genius
28 Africa versus Asia
29 Day of Slaughter
30 Weapons of Massive Destruction
31 Guerrilla War
32 The Running of the Bulls
33 Pompey's Circus
34 The Herd of Julius Caesar
35 Arrogant Emperors
36 Sackcloth, Ashes, and Prayer
37 Breach of Faith
38 The Year of the Elephant
39 Early and Medieval Asia
40 Charlemagne and Frederick
41 Plump and Ready
42 Mongol Hordes
43 Pyramids of Skulls
44 Thais, Burmese, Khmers, and Others
45 The Great Mahout
46 Beasts of Burden
47 Mighty Engineers
48 Targets of Opportunity

Editorial Reviews

"Generals used elephants as tanks, bulldozers, and cargo trucks long before such vehicles existed, and, until gunpowder reduced the utility of elephants in battle, these beasts built roads, swung swords, and terrified opposing forces. Kistler tells the story of the elephant's largely forgotten role in the history of warfare.”—Reference & Research Book News
- Reference & Research Book News