Animals in the Military: From Hannibal’s Elephants to the Dolphins of the U

1) Animals in the Military: From Hannibal’s Elephants to the Dolphins of the U.S. Navy – John M. Kistler
ABC-CLIO | 2011 | PDF

When one thinks of war, armies of soldiers and assaults with bullets and bombs delivered by deadly machinery typically come to mind. Throughout human history, however, animals have also played significant roles in our armed conflicts. In Animals in the Military: From Hannibal’s Elephants to the Dolphins of the U.S. Navy, author John M. Kistler examines these contributions, describing the work of animals in human warfare throughout time, from lowly insects to birds to elephants.

Drawing on both ancient and modern sources, the book reveals the full scope of heroics and horror committed by―and against―animal warriors in three unique areas: animals in combat, animals in support, and animals in incidental and experimental roles. Each chapter describes a single species, chronologically recounting its fascinating place in human warfare over time, from insects used as stinging projectiles to message-delivering pigeons.

2) War Elephants – John M. Kistler
Praeger | 2005 | PDF

Elephants have fought in human armies for more than three thousand years. Asian powers boasted of their pachyderm power, while the Romans fielded elephants alongside their legendary legions but were, perhaps, too proud to admit that mere animals contributed to victory. Elephants have gored, stomped, and sliced their way through infantry and cavalry with great success. They have also been cut, speared, bombed, and napalmed for their efforts. This is the story of their largely forgotten role in the history of warfare.

Generals throughout recorded history have used elephants as tanks, bulldozers, and cargo trucks long before such vehicles existed. Until gunpowder began to reduce the utility of elephants in battle during the 17th Century, these beasts built roads, swung swords, or simply terrified opposing forces. Although some believe that elephants were mere gimmicks of warfare, Kistler discredits that notion. His book hopes to give elephants the credit they deserve for the sacrifices they have endured. Elephants have long fought for and served human masters, but it is now the elephants themselves that must be protected.