6 Animals of War

Elephants: Hannibal famously used elephant cavalry during his invasion of Italy during the Second Punic War.

Dolphins: In the 1960s, these savvy cetaceans were enlisted by the U.S. and the Soviet Union as part of the Cold War arms race.

Rats: Historically, rats have been rather unwelcome, if largely inescapable, companions for the world’s militaries.

Chimps: Perhaps because a Planet of the Apes scenario has always seemed just a bit too plausible, humans have not tried to weaponize other primates on any serious scale.

Pigeons: Often disparaged as “rats with wings,” the humble pigeon has acted as a battlefield messenger since at least Caesar’s conquest of Gaul in the first century BCE.

Snakes: When an individual is regarded as one of the greatest military leaders in history, he’s bound to show up on a list like this more than once.

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