- Mar 2013
I mean, its not like any of us is trained in elephant back combat, so there's no way to answer this. But having sat on numerous elephants, I'd argue that height wise, its a great height for a spearman to get an angle on cavalry. The horseman will have to strike up to get at you, while you're lunging down, at vulnerable areas such as the neck and shoulders. A soldier handy with a spear could probably do a fair bit of damage. As to difficulty - Hellenistic cavalry rode horses without stirrups and yet fought. And we should all have an idea how difficult that should be, yet the cavalry units such as the Companions or Cataphracts were known to be heavy hitters in ancient warfare. In some interpretations, Alexander is supposed to have swung the battle of Chaeronea with cavalry. So if well trained soldiers could manage that balancing act, not sure why its so improbable to imagine to well trained soldiers doing similar things on elephants - animals which are considerably smarter than horses if I may say so.Kings changed mounts during the battle if required. From an elephant to a horse or vice-versa. One can't do much of fighting while sitting on an elephant. Shooting arrows and throwing spears. If Porus fought Alex, then perhaps he had changed his mount according to the need of the battle. All this is guess work only. As for a king, handling his elephant as well as fighting and commanding his army, I have my reservations. Too much bother.