Wikipedia:Today's featured article/August 8, 2004

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A war elephant during World War I

War elephants were important, although not widespread, weapons in ancient military history. Their main use was in charges, to trample the enemy and/or break their ranks. War elephants were exclusively male animals, as they are faster and more aggressive. An elephant charge could reach about 30 km/h and was difficult to stop by an infantry line. Its power was based on pure force and the fear that a charging 10-ton animal could inspire in the enemy lines. With the advent of gunpowder warfare in the late 15th century, war elephants became obsolete as a charging element because they could be easily knocked down by a cannon shot. (more...)

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