In the III century BC, the commanders of Carthage saw in elephants an excellent way to fight with the enemy cavalry. The war elephants were kept in reserve, using them in the last stages of the battle, and were used them into the thick of the battle. Or they were placed on the flanks to counter the circumventive maneuvers of enemy riders. At the sight of huge animals, the horses of the Romans refused to obey their riders and rushed away.
But in the First Punic War (264 - 241 years BC), the elephants of Carthage began to play the role of a living ram. The Carthaginian infantry could not break through the lines of experienced heavy legionnaires, standing in tight battle formations. Therefore, elephants were used as a eakthrough weapon. The army of Carthage used African elephants, which are known to be smaller than their Indian counterparts. However, there is speculation that Hannibal could receive giants from India through allied Egypt. Initially, fighting elephants brought glorious victories to the commanders of Carthage, whose army increased the number of colossi in their ranks. However, over time, the Romans learned to confront the elephants, were used Velites against them as light infantry. The Velites exhausted the animals, dropping darts and arrows, until the elephants began to run back, disrupting the battle formations of the Carthaginians themselves.
During the Second Punic War, elephants took part in almost all battles. During his campaign, Hannibal had 37 animals. It was especially difficult for elephants during the crossing of the Rhone River, where animals fell into the water from rafts, but still reached the other shore without loss. Many elephants died when crossing the Alps. Of the 34 elephants, only 7 successfully crossed snow-capped peaks. The Battle of Zam (202 BC) was the last battle of Carthage, in which elephants took part. In total, Hannibal managed to put about 80 elephants in the battle. They began the battle, throwing themselves at the Roman legions. After the deafening sounds made by the horns and trumpets of the Romans, several giants immediately turned and began to retreat directly to the Allied detachments.
The remaining elephants continued the offensive between the ranks of the enemy infantry, which parted with the aim of letting the elephants in between orders and then begin the massacre. Lightly armed soldiers were sent to kill the animals, who struck them and quickly moved away from the angry elephants. The latter as a result of despair fled from the battlefield, ceasing to obey their drovers. The battle ended in victory for the Romans.
scale 1:32 ( 54 mm)
materials: tin alloy, steel, tempera and acrylic paints