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War Elephants (New Vanguard) [Paperback]

Konstantin S Nossov
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 Nov 2008 New Vanguard (Book 150)
Elephants have been deployed as weapons for centuries, particularly in South and South-East Asia, where war elephants constituted the bulk of most armies in the region from antiquity right up to the 19th century. This book offers an insight into the incredible history of these 'living tanks,' focusing on the design of the equipment and armament that made them so terrifying. The author, Konstantin S Nossov, traces the history of war elephants, from their deployment against Alexander the Great's army at the battle of Gaugamela, through to their use in the 19th century by the armies of South-East Asia, analyzing the battle formation and tactics of war elephants in action and how these tactics developed.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey (10 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846032687
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846032684
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 17.5 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 360,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Konstantin's Nossov's "War Elephants" surveys the history of elephants used as weapons, tracing the history of war elephants from their deployment in ancient armies through their use in 19th century Asian conflicts. Military libraries will find it an interesting and wide-ranging survey." -"The Bookwatch" (February 2009)

""War Elephants" is a must have for ancient warfare buffs looking for specific knowledge on the use of elephants. Wargamers who are playing games and enjoy crafting house rules will find "War Elephants" solid source material from which to tailor new flavors in their games." -Mike Dorn, "The Wargamer" (January 2009)

"In his book, author Nossov describes the background of the subject, their training and equipment as well as how they were used by various peoples. This is shown by period illustrations and artifacts left over from those times. It is further enhanced by the artwork of Peter Dennis, making for a well rounded publication and a book that I can easily recommend to you for something interesting and a bit more unusual from the norm." -Scott Van Aken, "modelingmadness.com "(December 2008)

About the Author

Dr Konstantin S. Nossov was born in 1972. He is a graduate of Moscow State University and researcher in Ancient and Medieval Military History, as well as author of a number of books published in Russian. He has also written several English-language magazine articles. The author lives in Russia.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the world's fighting elephants 13 Jun 2011
By Mr. Mice Guy TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a well written and informative book. As a wargamer for more than 30 years, I found that it told me everything I needed to know about elephants in warfare. The section on elephants in Roman warfare was interesting, as the writers I have read recently on Roman Warfare have ignored them completely - apparently they were extensively used, and made an important contribution to the battles of Cynoscephalae and Pydna; "The honour of achieving victory is usually ascribed to the superiority of mobile Roman legions over an inert Macedonian phalanx. Yet it is forgotten that none other than elephants gained the Romans victory on the flanks in both battles - without them final victory could not have been achieved". Caesar also had at least one elephant with him in Britain. Highly recommended.

Introduction - p4
The Elephant - p5
.Types of elephant and their peculiarities
.Catching elephants
.Taming and training
Indian War Elephants - p10
.Historical outline
.Equipment and armament
.The crew
War Elephants of Alexander's Successors - p19
.Historical outline; equipment, armament and crew
War Elephants of Pyrrhus of Epirus - p24
.Historical outline; equipment, armament and crew
Carthaginian War Elephants - p26
.Historical outline; equipment, armament and crew
War Elephants in the Roman Army - p30
.Historical outline; equipment, armament and crew
War Elephants in South East Asia - p32
.Historical outline; equipment, armament and crew
War Elephants Elsewhere - p35
.Historical outline; equipment, armament and crew
War Elephants in Action - p39
.The functions, merits and demerits of war elephants
.Deployment of elephants on a battlefield
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a serious work 7 Oct 2009
High time we read a well researched and impartial work on war elephants. although there are some important missing issues, especially in mediterranean use of war elephants, the research is deep and interrogative enough. a new breath of inquiry instead of reading for a zillionth time the roman propaganda about this celebrated and expensive means of war. all the rulers and generals endorsing them were fashion victims? were they stupid? the author's opinion is NO and he backs it up with interesting thoughts and data. especially interesting is the use of elephants in SE Asia and the far east during the 1srt and 2nd millenia AD.
it must be blamed to Osprey that more original informative material (graphs etc) is not included, and that in many cases something is felt missing. some more detail would have been welcome. but it is the only osprey book I realy enjoyed for a long time about the ancient world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book 16 Jan 2014
By mo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great art work , up to the minute subject matter, as always from osprey. Would reccomend all the Osprey series
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