AHC/WI: Hannibal and his elephants cross the Appalachians

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Jackson Lennock, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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    In 1862, Abraham Lincoln politely rejected an offer by the King of Siam for a contribution of War Elephants.

    During the Civil War, Vice President Hannibal Hamlin was an advocate for arming Black Americans. He also starting in 1860 was a member of the Maine State Guard. He proceeded to get called up in the summer of 1864 and opted to serve despite his being allowed not to take part (being Vice-President and all). The only perk he wasn't able to refuse (he wanted to be treated like any citizen-soldier) was being quartered with the officers. He would proceed to rise to the rank of Corporal.

    So here's a what if: Have Hannibal Hamlin and his African-American Legion cross the Appalachians with their War Elephants.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  2. Practical Lobster scuttling across the floors of silent seas

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    This is genius
     
  3. Greenhorn Well-Known Member

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    Funny, but the actual value would be rather insignificant. The Confederates could use modern artillery and firearms to bushwhack the beasts along the narrow road passages, unless they're protected by screens of infantry, which I doubt Union commanders will think of without a few bloody lessons (I'm using the tank as a rough analogue. Even in WW2 the Allies and Axis had trouble early on figuring out just what combination of men they needed in their armored divisions. The Germans would re-organize their units a fair bit between Poland and Barbarossa. Without previous experience using them in modern combat, and judging by historical Union leadership, I highly doubt it'd be any different). Modern communication methods would also serve to alert rebel leaders of the Union advance if it gets bogged down or is spotted by cavalry, increasing Confederate ability to ambush the advancing Union pachyderms.
     
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  4. Arcavius Arms and the Man I Sing

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    They wouldnt be used for frontline duty, but rather for labor and maybe parade. Closest they might get to combat would be hauling seige (not field) artillery.
     
  5. Drizzt Well-Known Member

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    Not in the Hollywood movie about them, they wouldn't ;) .
     
  6. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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    It certainly beats Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
     
  7. Arcavius Arms and the Man I Sing

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    Also, werent the Brits making use of elephants in India at the time?
     
  8. Wendell Wendell

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    This is one of those rule of cool alternate history ideas which is not so much plausible, but pure fun. If written well enough, its issues with plausibility could be glossed over.
     
  9. Umbric Man Umbric Manned

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    I prefer to think of that fine work of art and this proposal as somehow being in the same universe.
     
  10. FranzAncheNo Citizen of the Republic of Pistoia

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  11. Wendell Wendell

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    Will these war elephants make it to Rome itself?
     
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  12. fasquardon Cosmonaut

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    Well that's a different kind of marching through Georgia...

    As I understand it, the real utility of elephants in war was the psychological impact of a drunk elephant charging towards your lines. With ACW rifles and artillery, I'm not sure the psychological effect on the enemy would be outweighed by their impracticalities...

    The elephants might be useful for hauling around really big artillery pieces. But... I'm not sure what benefit such big guns would have, considering all the logistical difficulties they'd have.

    Of course, given how popular the classics were at this time, it might work for a diversionary attack, as the Confederates feel they can't let ancient Rome down by letting Hannibal take Rome (Georgia).

    fasquardon
     
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  13. KaiserWilhelm Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely genius
     
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  14. Kerney defender of low probability atls everywhere

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    I could see Hannibal guiding/possessing his namesake to put his spirit to rest.

    He'd of course face that "devil" Forrest, if it were in the Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter Universe.
     
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  15. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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  16. Arcavius Arms and the Man I Sing

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    Bringing the really big guns to places the rail lines didnt run might be of use
     
  17. Wendell Wendell

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  18. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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  19. Wendell Wendell

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  20. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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    Ah. I misunderstood.