Éléphants de Guerre de l'Antiquité

Loxodonta africana oxyotis, the African plains elephant

The African plains elephants, loxodonta africana oxyotis, is the largest living elephant, it measures 3.5 to 4 m at the shoulder. The African plains elephant is easy to differentiate from other elephants, it has very large ears, four hooves at each front foot, et its front legs are noticeably longer than the hind legs. The 1/48 scale toy elephant shown here is available from Simba Toys, it stands 3.55 m tall et it is sculpted almost without a fault. The bulges above the eyes are obviously incorrect, they are a unique feature of Asian elephants. The African elephant has a flat forehead. Another inaccuracy is that the ears are folded back against the shoulders. When elephants are excited about anything, they spread their ears et bring them in line avec their forehead. In order to increase the effect of this threatening posture, éléphants de guerre d'antiquité were occasionally deployed avec their heads et ears painted red, white ou yellow.

Elephas maximus – The Asian Elephant

Elephas maximus, the Asian elephant

The Asian elephant was used in battle as early as 1100 av.Chr., but it was not until 326 av.Chr., at the Bataille de Hydaspes, that the first European commander encountered elephants in battle. Alexandre le Grand defeated an army commanded by Poros at Hydaspes, in modern Pundjab, et of the 200 éléphants de guerre indiens deployed there Alexandre captured 80 animals which he later incorporated into his own army. In the course of his campaigns, Alexandre was able to gather as many as 200 elephants in his army. King Pyrrhus of Epirus defeated the Romans at the battle of Heraclea (280 av.Chr.), on the Gulf of Tarent, primarly because of the 26 éléphants indiens in his command.

Details of the Asian Elephant

  • Shoulder height: 2,5 to 3 m
  • Body length: 5,5 to 6,5 m
  • Poids: up to 5 t
  • Typical features:
    1. Noticeable bulges on the forehead
    2. Front et hind legs of nearly equal length
    3. Five hooves on each front foot, four on each hind foot
    4. Medium-sized ears, avec the upper et inner edges folded over
    5. Only one finger on the tip of the trunk
    6. Females carry underdeveloped tusks ou none at all. Many males are without tusks as well. Male Ceylon elephants are generally tusk-less.
    7. Peau grise pâle, changeant en peau rose rougeâtre along the trunk, throat, chest et belly.

Figurines et Maquettes disponibles

  • Maharadja indien mounted on elephant, 6 mm Irregular Miniatures IND1
  • Porte-parasol indien mounted on elephant, 6 mm Irregular Miniatures IND2
  • Éléphants de Guerre Grecs, 1/300 Heroics & Ros MAG4
  • Éléphants de Guerre Sassanid, 1/300 Heroics & Ros MAS6

Loxodonta africana oxyotis – The African Plains Elephant

Après que l'éléphant indien had proven its worth in battle, les Égytiens et Carthaginois deployed African plains elephants in the same role. The animals were tamed et prepared for battle in eastern Sudan et Tunisia. The plains elephant is much larger et heavier que l'éléphant indien. Properly armed et armoured, the plains elephant became a formidable enemy for infantry et cavalry. L'équipe d'un éléphant de guerre carthaginois typically consisted of four men, le Mahout numide who controlled the animal, et trois soldats carthaginois dans la tourelle: officier, archer, et infantryman armed avec the Sarissa, a lance 5–6 m long.

Details of the African Plains Elephant

  • Shoulder height: 3,5 bis 4 m
  • Body length: 6,5 bis 7,5 m
  • Poids: bis 6 t
  • Typical features:
    1. Flat forehead
    2. Front legs noticeably longer than hind legs
    3. Four hooves on each front foot, three on each hind foot
    4. Very large ears
    5. Two opposite fingers on the trunk
    6. Females et males carry large tusks. In rare cases, males may have tusks up to 3.5 m long.
    7. Slate blue grey skin, coloured pale brown by dirt et dust.

Figurines et Maquettes disponibles

  • Éléphant de Guerre Carthaginois, 1/32 Andrea Miniatures
  • African plains elephant, 1/50 Simba Toys
  • Éléphants de Guerre, 1/72 HYTTY 2006
  • Éléphant de Guerre Arabe, 15 mm Irregular Miniatures
  • Éléphants de Guerre Carthaginois, 1/300 Heroics & Ros MAC8

Loxodonta africana cyclotis – The African Forest Elephant

Les Numides used African forest elephants in battle. Many of these animals were captured in the woods of the Atlas mountains. These relatively small animals could not carry a tower, they were ridden by a crew of two ou three men. The Mahout controlled the animal, et les deux autres hommes were armed avec bow et arrows, ou javelins.

Details of the African Forest Elephant

  • Shoulder height: up to 2.35 m
  • Typical features:
    1. Flat forehead
    2. Front legs noticeably longer than hind legs
    3. Four hooves on each front foot, three on each hind foot
    4. Small round ears
    5. Two opposite fingers on the trunk
    6. Females et males carry large tusks.
    7. Slate blue grey skin, coloured pale brown by dirt et dust.

Figurines et Maquettes disponibles

Loxodonta africana africana – The African Cape Elephant

The Southafrican cape elephant forms the third subgroup of the African elephants. The cape elephant is similar in size et appearance to the African plains elephant.

Bibliographie

Questions Fréquents

Pour plus d'informations, veuillez contacter les éditeurs de la revue Military Miniatures Magazine au Miniatures Forum.

Figurines Antiques