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enter image description here How effective are these guys? And could they somehow be considered the predecessor to the modern tank just as the horses of the medieval age were?

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    $\begingroup$ In which combat scenario? With which kind of ammunitions? $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Feb 4 at 14:00
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    $\begingroup$ Camels were used for military purposes by those peoples which had camels exactly like horses were by those peoples which had horses. The camel equivalent of cavalry is sometimes called camelry. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Feb 4 at 14:03
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    $\begingroup$ Given the disposition and general personality of camels, this is a recipe for friendly fire once them buggers start kicking and turning in revolt and desperation. $\endgroup$ – Renan Feb 4 at 14:03
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    $\begingroup$ @Renan: Even worse, that thing looks like it's mounted on a swivel $\endgroup$ – nzaman Feb 4 at 14:05
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    $\begingroup$ @Renan, though there seems to be a sensible strap under the neck to stop the camel throwing its head up into its own line of fire. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Feb 4 at 14:05
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Not so much the predecessor of the modern tank as the predecessor of the technical*, used in the same environments for much the same purpose. It carries the largest gun you can get into the area in the fastest possible way. Effective against infantry but not against heavy fortifications.

For those worried about the camels running wild, apparently you lie the camel down and fire sideways using the camel as cover. enter image description here

It's a desert specialist unit, used as mobile artillery in places you wouldn't be able to get heavy artillery to.

The zamburak became a deadly weapon in the 18th century. The Pashtuns used it to deadly effect in the Battle of Gulnabad, routing a numerically superior imperial Safavid army. The zamburak was also used successfully in Nader's Campaigns, when the shah and military genius Nader Shah utilized a zamburak corps in conjunction with a regular artillery corps of conventional cannon to devastating effect in numerous battles such as at the Battle of Damghan (1729), the Battle of Yeghevārd, and the Battle of Karnal.

A zamburak consisted of a soldier on a camel with a mounted swivel gun (a small falconet), which was hinged on a metal fork-rest protruding from the saddle of the animal. In order to fire the cannon, the camel would be put on its knees. The name is derived from the Persian word for wasp zambur (زنبور), possibly in reference to the sound earlier camel-mounted crossbows made. The mobility of the camel combined with the flexibility and heavy firepower of the swivel gun made for an intimidating military unit, although the accuracy and range of the cannon was rather low. The light cannon was also not particularly useful against heavy fortifications. - Wikipedia


* A pickup with a machine gun on the back.

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  • $\begingroup$ Alright, I stand corrected. I wish I could give you more than just an upvote for now. $\endgroup$ – Renan Feb 4 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ Looks dangerous $\endgroup$ – Kilisi Feb 4 at 15:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Kilisi war is dangerous. $\endgroup$ – Renan Feb 4 at 17:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Kilisi That's a hump we'll have to get over. $\endgroup$ – Nex Terren Feb 4 at 20:39
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    $\begingroup$ Bactrian camels would be better, twice the humps, twice the firepower $\endgroup$ – Kilisi Feb 4 at 20:41
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Pack animals have been used to transport weapons for a long time. Of course the pack saddles were not designed for firing from the horse or mule, the gun was supposed to dismount.

Compare this writeup of 1944 US horse cavalry, especially the Machine Gun platoon. Or look at this picture of a machine gun pack saddle.

For that matter, look at this image of elephant-carried guns in Abyssinia.

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