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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: The Arena: War pigs: Edit Log


Aug 29 2018, 10:33pm

Views: 11041
War pigs

"..So how could a pig possibly hope to defeat an elephant?

The world found out during the War of the Diadochi, in which Alexander the Greatís generals fought over his empire after his death. The battle in question was the Megara siege in 266 BC, in which Antigonus II Gonatus advanced upon the city with a vast army, including a great number of formidable war elephants. The Megarians had to break the siege at any cost but how could they possibly hope to defeat such a vast and mighty army?

Enter the war pig. Just let that thought settle for a moment.

War pigs.

First question, why even think of sending a pig to go and fight an elephant? Well, the Siege of Megara was not the first time that it happened nor was it originally the Megarians idea to do such a thing. Instead it was Pliny the Elder (the Roman author, naturalist and natural philosopher) who determined that ďelephants are scared by the smallest squeal of the hogĒ which led to Romans utilizing squealing pigs and rams to repel the War Elephants of Pyrrhus in 275 BC. For the Megarians under siege, sending war pigs to attack war elephants didnít seem nearly bizarre or dangerous enough. Instead they coated their war pigs in a flammable resin and set them on fire. The war pig had just become the incendiary pig. The Megarians drove the flaming pigs towards the massed ranks of war elephants in a screaming, squealing cacophony of angry burning pork. Despite the forceful commands of the mahouts (drivers) sat upon them, the elephants bolted. They ran back through their own ranks, crushing both man and horse and effectively crippling Antigonus II Gonatusí forces in just a few moments.

The pig had been victorious. In the battle of war pig versus war elephant it was clear who the champion was."


Elephants afraid of mice? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oA77tVNKtc


"Elephants cannot jump; they are too heavy for even their massive bones to absorb the shock of landing. Ditches they cannot step across, but are too steep-sided for them to safely descend or ascend will act as barriers, channelling them into the killing zone. They are vulnerable to pit traps and caltrops.

Like almost all animals, they fear fire. Jan Meyer suggested coating a pig with pitch and lighting it on fire, and allowing the burning, terrified animal to run loose. Thatís fine, except that there is no guarantee that some of the pigs wonít turn around and run toward the defenderís forces. Human beings donít hold formation very well when fear-crazed flaming pigs run at them. Fire arrows and fire pots are effective, especially if aimed at the elephantís trunk. Elephants wonít usually cross a broad line of fire.
As several posters pointed out, long spears and pikes can pierce an elephant. Arbalests, specialized crossbows with very high tension arms (often made of steel) that needed special mechanisms to aim, could discharge larger bolts than standard bows, and drive them through the elephantís hide and any chain mail over it."

(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 29 2018, 10:40pm)

Edit Log:
Post edited by Eruonen (Valinor) on Aug 29 2018, 10:36pm
Post edited by Eruonen (Valinor) on Aug 29 2018, 10:40pm

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