(Last Updated on : 23/12/2010)
Work of Infantry, Cavalry, Chariots and Elephants which is mentioned in chapter IV of Book X in Arthashastra
, explains that the exploration on occupied positions, camp and forests; holding strategic positions, water, fording places, and positions agreeable with the direction of the wind and the sun, destruction or protection of the commissariat and of troops arriving afresh; supervision of the discipline of the army; lengthening the line of the army; protecting the sides of the army; first attack; (dispersion of the enemy's army) ; trampling it down; defending and seizing; letting the enemy's army out; causing the army to take a different direction; carrying the treasury and the princes; falling against the rear of the enemy; chasing the timid; pursuit; and concentration are the responsibilities which constitute the work of the horses.
Work of Infantry, Cavalry, Chariots and Elephants further includes the work of the elephants which include marching in the front; preparing the roads, camping grounds and path for bringing water; protecting the sides; firm standing, fording and entering into water while crossing pools of water and ascending from them; forced entrance into impregnable places; setting or quenching the fire; the subjugation of one of the four constituents of the army; gathering the dispersed army; breaking a compact army; protection against dangers; trampling down (the enemy's army); frightening and driving them out; magnificence; seizing; abandoning; destruction of walls, gates and towers; and carrying the treasury of the enemy. In case of chariots, it includes protection of the army ; repelling the attack made by all the four constituents of the enemy's army ; seizing and abandoning (positions) during the time of battle; gathering a dispersed army; breaking the compact array of the enemy's army; frightening it ; magnificence; and creating fearful noise which shall automatically frighten the army.
Work of Infantry, Cavalry, Chariots and Elephant further explains, always carrying weapons and fighting the real battle with barefoot is the work of the infantry. The examination of camps, roads, bridges, wells, and rivers; carrying the machines, weapons, armours, instruments and provisions; carrying away the men who are knocked down along with their weapons and armours are the work of the free labourers who walk along with the moving army. Kautilya
further advises the conqueror who has less number of horses shall include the bulls along with the horses, likewise when he is deficient with elephants he can fill the middle of his army by including the mules, camels and carts at the centre of his army.
Thus, Work of Infantry, Cavalry, Chariots and Elephants, gives a detailed description of the role played by all the units of an army who are organised in such manner.