Nothing is as gruesome as a war. Explaining it very simply in a lay man’s language, the side that has a bigger and stronger army wins. But that is not what always happens. There have been some memorable cases of history, where in the war was won on wits and not power. Skilled and Tricky commanders have made a handful of people win a battle with strategic thinking, where they used their maniac heads at the right time in the right direction.
While a war has to be fair, to be called a good blooded war, some commanders have even used Trickery, ruses and other deceitful tactics to win their sides. Bizarre Military Strategies and they worked?? Really!!
Hannibal and his brains- Snakes it is!
Hannibal has been known to be one of the most famous Military leaders in the world. This is why he could trek through the Alps on elephants. He has an amazing victory to his credit. During his time in exile, Hannibal in 190 BC , sought refuge with Prusias, the King of Bithiya, who was warring with King Eumenes II, (an ally of Rome), at that time. Hannibal was keen of destroying anything that was remotely associated with Rome and this was his perfect chance to avenge his fate. So he joined the war.
They were outnumbered and a head on collision would have meant death for his entire army. And so he hatched his cunning plan. He asked all his soldiers to find and catch live snakes which they put in earthen pots. These pots were then hurled on the enemy’s ships. While it may have seemed to be a desperate man’s tactic of fighting the last attempt, minutes later the enemies were scandalized when they came to know that they were surrounded by thousands of live serpents. More than half of the men jumped overboard, ultimately making him triumphant!
The Battle of Suiyang
Led by General Zhang Xun, one of the greatest generals to have lived, this ploy seems funny, yet it worked. He strategized the death of the Opposing General to destroy the enemy morale. And he did two things. He did the “war drums at night” ambush when the opposing army did not care. And after seeing that he was outnumbered 15 to 1, he ordered his archers to fire weeds. Seeing this, the Enemy soldiers went rushing and running to their army General to inform him that they were being attacked by weeds. This naturally meant that Zhang Xun’s army had run out of arrows.
Seeing this general Zhang ordered his troops to fire everything they had into the tent where he had located the opposing General. The enemy general was shot in the eye and left the army in confusion and chaos.
Really ingenious though!
The Sack of Rome
A great Viking, Hastein- his desire to be famous was over powering him and to prove his mettle, he wanted to go and sack Rome. And he did. He did not sail as far as Rome and attacked Luna, assuming it was Rome. Luna is not existent anymore. Since, Rome was an old city; it would not be easy to attack it as a Viking. So he came up with a plan! A plan to stage his death and burial! He pretended to be dead and having his men pretend to be exiled, requesting a Christian Burial for him.
And so crap hit the tops!
Why Luna opened its arms to this stranger is unknown.And then why they did nothing to defend themselves is also unknown. Now, if Luna could have been mistaken as Rome, they should have had a sizeable army also. But the bluff worked in the Vikings favour!
This means you should always poke a stranger before you think of burying them. Otherwise, they could just get up and bury you!
Bismarck’s Taunting Letter
Otto Von Bismarck was ambitious and he wanted the Prussian Dominance throughout Europe. So he unified the German states under the North German Confederation. He also had to unify the southern States which were under the influence of France. And because he would not just march on them, he decided to prick France is some way, that would provoke them enough to retaliate and wage a war on him.
This was done with the help of a simple telegram known as the ‘EMS Dispatch’. He received it from the King of Prussia. This letter requested a meeting between the King and the French Ambassador. Prince Leopold, a German by blood, had been considered for the Spanish Throne. This would have been Fatal to France and they wanted to ensure that no German would touch the throne.
So while the Prussian King did not refute any of the requests of France and gave non-committal replies, what Bismarck released to the press was quite a lie. It gave the picture of the King just refusing everything the French had stated.
Angered by this, the French went to war and lost. Just as Bismarck had planned!
Pointe du Hoc – the Operation Overload!
A small operation with a deeper scheme, this battle is also known as operation Overlord. The idea was to land on a small rocky hidden away beach, climb a stupid cliff, kill the Germans and stay put till reinforcements arrived. But no one told the US Rangers the big guns were not there anymore and that they would have to go further ahead if they wanted to kill even one German.
They had no option but to follow that and they did this for four days. They arrived as 225 rangers and only 90 men were left that were still able to hold the gun.
Luckily they were reinforced by the troops of Ohama!
The Forest of the Impaled Ones
When the Ottomans entered the Transylvanian Capital, the defense was led by Vlad, the impaler himself. The roads were lined by 20,000 impaled Turks and Bulgarian corpses. And after half an hour of the barging into the Transylvania capital, the Ottoman’s just ran. What else would they do?
Whilst this was a strategy to scare them off, it did work!
And surprisingly, because soldiers are not supposed to be scared of dead corpses!
The BBC’s Broadcasting Blunder
This was a sheer Brazen Bluff. In fact a double bluff albeit an unintentional one. And happened pretty recently, in fact in the Falklands war between England and Argentina! In 1982, the British forces landed and the war with the Argentina troops started. Though a victory was essential for Britain, more than the victory over the post, it was important to boost the morale of the British Armies who had been defeated by the Argentinians before.
And while they marched ahead to capture the Goose Green, BBC internationally announced this. This was the bomb dropped! BBC was being threatened by the government and Jones even wanted to sue BBC for this leakage of info.
The Argentinians on the other hand, did see this but discarded it, because they thought that no one would actually announce their plans on TV. And surprisingly, the Argentinians were caught by surprise and England was victorious.
Genghis Khan and his cruelties
If you are an animal lover, this might make your blood boil a bit. Genghis Khan wanted to capture the fortress city of Volohai. And the invasion of china was his most ambitious plan. But once he reached there, he realized that the Mongols had done everything they could to save it. So he went and made the biggest and the weirdest requests in the history of war. He claimed that he would lift the siege and leave in exchange of 1,000 cats and 10,000 birds (swallows). This was bewildering to the Commanders of Volohai but they had little option and they complied. Soon enough they did send the animals.
Here is the turning point!
Genghis Khan ordered his armies to sets the tails and wings of the animals on fire, and there they went running back to their shelters and set up the entire fort on fire. And Genghis Khan just walked ahead and captured it.