Dated: September 2, 2005, updated July 2, 2006
Macedonian elephant with 2 crew.
From the memoirs of an elephant man.
On killing your enemy:
Killing your enemy with a 20ft stick is next to impossible. Killing your enemy with a 20ft stick while on an elephant's back is impossible. A 20ft stick is twice as heavy as a 10ft spear. Controlling a 20ft stick is four times as difficult. On top of that, the enemy never keeps still. It's not like they stand still and say "Spear me! Spear me!"
On enemy cavalry:
Ancient writers got it wrong when they said that enemy cavalry often shied away from the unfamiliar smell of elephants. They left out one word, enemy cavalry often shied away from the unfamiliar smell of elephant sh*t.
This marvelous machine I sit on is no more than a gigantic elephant crap producing machine. While we sit in line waiting for battle, what do you think the elephants are doing? Figuring how to smash through the enemy line? No, they are reminiscing about their last meal and producing elephant poop. No doubt you have seen dog poop, some of you have even have seen horse poop, well, elephant poop is twice as smelly and ten times as big. Who wants to run towards piles of steaming elephant excrement? No, they all want to run away from it, except me, I have to sit right on top of it. And now you know why the generals always order the elephants to charge first. With streaming eyes and running nostrils, they can no longer bear the smell and cry "Send the elephants! Send the elephants!"
On Kamjeet my driver.
Why, oh why is he in a loin cloth? Surely a king who has money for elephants can provide pants for my driver? And why does he keep bending forward? It's more than I can bare.
Have you ever ridden an animal where the driver comes pre-equipped with a hammer and stake to kill it in case it runs amok? It's like taking a taxi to the airport and the driver says: "My taxi is perfectly safe, but if it goes out of control I have a stake that I can hammer through the dashboard and stop it. "
Now imagine instead of sitting in the car you are sitting on the roof, and instead of your briefcase you have a long stick with which you are supposed to kill passing pedestrians, and they in turn can shoot you with arrows and thow stones at you. That's what it's like to be me.
Lastly, on results:
No one who has ever used elephants in battle has ever come to a good end, this list doesn't lie:
* Hannibal - killed by his own hand
* Darius - killed by his own man
* Porus - defeated by man without elephants, dead
* Pyrrhus - killed by a roof tile, dead
* Seleucus - assassinated, dead
* Alexander - dead (malaria/drink/poisoned?)
* Antigonus - dead
* Antipater - dead
* Masinissa - dead (You get the idea.)
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