Alexander vs Porus Battle of the Hydaspes p3
They could not even see the enemy’s left wing cavalry because they were hidden. He therefore ordered the cavalry on the other side of the center to leave their position and move immediately to the left and assist the cavalry fighting there. They believed that by doing this they would defeat Alexander’s small cavalry force, after which it would not be too much of a problem to dislodge the infantry. Thus the Indian cavalry on the right and the chariots behind them vacated their position and moved to the left where Alexander was fighting the Greek Indian cavalry.
As soon as these riders reached that side, Alexander the Great played his master stroke. He ordered his hidden cavalry to attack. These cavalry came galloping and circled the rear of the Indian army and reached the left flank. They attacked the Indian cavalry from behind. Now these Indian cavalry and their chariots were surrounded on two sides. While from one side, Greek archers were continuously shooting arrows at them. Soon the Indian cavalry and their chariots were wiped out.
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Now the right and left arms of the Indians were broken. Only the center infantry and the elephants standing in front of it remained. Now the Greek cavalry attacked the Indian infantry from the right and left sides. The center army in front advanced with their long spears and attacked the Indian infantry as well through the elephants and the gap of hundreds of feet between them. When the Greek army was advancing, the Indians had the best opportunity to destroy them.
They were such that the army of Rajapuras had huge bows which were better than the bows of the Greeks. The advancing enemy could be severely damaged by raining arrows from these bows. But there was a technical problem with these bows. That the arrows could be shot only by keeping the lower part of the bow on the ground. The technique of these bows was like this, the structure was like this, but for that, the land had to be dry, but the land was already marshy, the bow used to slip there.
So mud was mud all around. And while trying to shoot arrows in this mud, the bows of the Indians often slipped and their aim was wrong. So even these best bows unfortunately could not help the Rajapuras. The Greek army advanced, avoiding their archers, after which the infantry of both sides clashed. On this occasion, a historic battle took place. During which Raja Porus soldiers fought fiercely, the Porus elephants caused great damage to the Greek army. These elephants were specially trained for war.
The enemy soldier who came under their attack would trample him under his feet or wrap him in his trunk and throw him on the ground. Many elephants even rammed their long tusks into the bodies of enemy soldiers and killed them. The soldiers on elephants were also constantly raining arrows and spears on the Greeks. In such a situation, Alexander the Greek also made a strategy to deal with elephants. So soon the Greek archers began to encircle each elephant separately.
Then these archers began to target and kill the mahouts driving the elephants. On the other hand, the Greek infantry started stabbing their long spears into the eyes of the elephants. Some of the soldiers started hitting their trunks and feet with their swords. In no time, dozens of elephants were blinded or seriously injured, and their handlersThey were also killed. Now these elephants and ostriches were wandering in the battlefield.
The wild hands began to knock down the soldiers on top of them. To avoid the arrows coming from the front, the elephants turned and galloped back trampling their own infantry. These elephants caused enormous damage to the Indian army. Even today, “Poor’s elephants” is a proverb that is used when someone starts harming their own. However, after the elephants withdrew from the battlefield, the Greeks’ bridge began to become heavy.
But one elephant was still standing in the field. It was the elephant of the Rajapuras on which he himself rode. Although the Indian army was getting surrounded by the enemy, Raja was not ready to leave the field. He was constantly fighting with some of his followers. Meanwhile, his second son was also killed. Rajapuras suffered many wounds from arrows and spears. At one point, he was knocked unconscious for a while by an arrow but continued to stand on the field.
According to the historian Plutarch, the elephant of Rajapuras was a very intelligent animal. He was specially trained so long as he was sure that his master, Raja Porus, was safe, he also stood his ground, did not run backwards. The Greek soldiers who were advancing towards the king would attack them head-on and force them to flee. But when the elephant realized that his master was injured and might fall down at any moment, he knelt down on the ground so that the porus would not fall down but dismounted.
Maybe it’s part of his training. After the elephant sat down, the morale of the soldiers of Raja Puras also started to break. Some of the Raja’s men explained to him that there was no use in fighting now. It is good to leave the battlefield before the enemy is surrounded. The Rajapuras accepted their advice and retreated. He probably left the battlefield on his elephant. As soon as they retreated, the entire Indian army retreated.
The soldiers of the Raja who were stationed in front of the Greek camp also fled when the news of the defeat reached them. Thus, the Greek army in the camp across the river also crossed the Jhelum and started massacring the fleeing Indian soldiers. Alexander the Great had also stationed a third army in the area between his camp and the place from which he crossed the river.
This army also crossed the river sometime during the battle and joined the rest of the forces. Thus, the entire Greek army had crossed the river Jhelum while the army of Raja Porus was running away defeated. Between India and Alexander the Great, the Rajapuras wall was torn down. About twelve thousand Indian soldiers were killed and nine thousand captured in the Battle of Jhelum River.