When Claudius was proclaimed Emperor of Rome in 41 AD, he had no military experience. In 43 AD, to silence his critics on this perceived failing, Claudius decided to gain military glory by invading Britain.
Following the expedition of his predecessor Julius Caesar, Claudius readied four legions to accompany him: the IInd, IXth, XIVth and XXth. General Aulus Plautius would command the troops and as Julius Caesar did, Claudius took Roman war elephants with him on his British campaign.
The elephants were brought to Britain by boat, always a difficult task as elephants do not like this mode of travel. In the case of Julius Caesar, the elephant was a huge and frightening beast to the resident Celts and was effectively used by Caesar to create fear. While it is known that Claudius brought elephants with him to Britain, the records of their role in the conquest have not survived.
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