The armies of Alexander the Great encountered elephants in the armies of their enemies – the Persians and Indians. The Macedonian King was sufficiently impressed by these exotic beasts to raise an elephant corps for his own army. After Alexander’s death the Successors, who divided his sprawling empire amongst them, continued to make great use of elephants in battle. Indeed, the Seleucids, the Macedonian rulers of Syria and much of the old Persian Empire, succeeded in defeating an invading army of Galatians by the cunning use of elephants to sow panic among the enemy horsemen, resulting in a whole-scale rout! This famous battle is known as The Elephant Victory and it took place in Asia Minor – modern Turkey.
By the time of Pyrrhus – Alexander’s cousin and King of Epirus and Macedonia – elephants were going to war carrying impressive towers containing armed warriors. They played such a devastating part in his campaign against the Romans that in later days, when the Romans defeated the Seleucids, a condition of the ensuring peace treaty was the destruction of the Seleucid elephant corps. More elephants must have been obtained in some fashion, because they continued to form a part of the Seleucid forces for years afterwards.
Models supplied unassembled and unpainted